Paddling skills run in the Pronovost family.
Whitehorse siblings Mael and Luanda Pronovost are proof of that.
The two teamed up for a Canadian title at the Whitewater National Championships, July 31-Aug. 6, in Ottawa.
The Pronovosts paddled to gold in the C2 (tandem canoe) slalom event in the junior mixed division. They also won silver in the C2 downriver classic and the downriver sprint.
“I’m happy with it,” said Luanda. “I really like that I got gold with my brother in C2 because we worked really hard for it and in the other C2 races we got silver.
“It was just a really fun event and I enjoyed it. It was well organized and fun and challenging.”
Luanda also dominated the C1 (solo canoe) events in the girls cadet divisions, winning in the downriver classic, downriver sprint and slalom.
The 13-year-old won a national title — a fifth, in case you’ve lost count — in K1 (solo kayak) with gold in the downriver classic. Luanda also won silver in the downriver sprint — an event she took gold in last year — and silver in the slalom. This was Luanda’s third appearance at the nationals and her last in the cadet division.
“(The course) was good, I liked it,” said Luanda. “It was much easier than last year (in Quebec).”
Paddling in his fourth nationals, Mael also nabbed C1 silver in the downriver classic, bronze in the downriver sprint and bronze in the slalom, all in the junior male (under-19) division. The 16-year-old didn’t pick up hardware in the K1 events, but did take ninth in the classic, fourth in the sprint and 11th in the slalom.
“It was a lot of fun, I’m really happy with all my results,” said Mael. “I did better than I thought I would.”
Mael notched a final medal with silver in the team run for U23 men on an interprovincial team with Ontario’s James Risk and Quebec’s Yannick Laviolette.
The nationals were hosted by the Ottawa River Runners. It doubled as the grand opening of a new clubhouse and boat storage facility, a decade-long project with a price tag of $350,000, on a tributary of the Ottawa River, nestled in downtown Ottawa.
“It was Canada 150, that’s why they wanted them in Ottawa, so there was a lot of people,” said Mael.
“Now competition is getting a lot harder because (I’m) in higher categories and the other people are getting faster. I’m also getting faster, but so is everyone else.”
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org