Luanda and Mael Pronovost compete at the 2018 Canadian Whitewater National Championships in Kananaskis, Alta. on Aug. 3. (Marc Pronovost/Submitted)

Yukoners make repeated trips to the podium at 2018 Whitewater National Championships

More than a dozen medals for Pronovost siblings in Kananaskis, Alta.

The 2018 Whitewater National Championships hosted by Canoe Kayak Canada was in Kananaskis, Alta., from July 31 to Aug. 6 and a pair of Yukon siblings earned a number of podium finishes.

Mael and Luanda Pronovost competed in a variety of disciplines, including solo canoe, solo kayak and double mixed canoe races.

“It went really well,” said Luanda. “That was good because I never get to train up here and all the other provinces have courses, so it felt pretty good.”

Mael agreed that the championships were a success

“I’m really happy with all the results,” said Mael.

Asked what it was like to compete with a sibling for a teammate, Mael chuckled when answering.

“Better than it used to be,” said Mael. “It went surprisingly well.”

The competition started on July 31 with the national downriver sprint and downriver classic events. Each paddler had two runs down a stretch of river, with the best time being used for the standings.

In the downriver sprint, Luanda won gold in both the solo canoe and solo kayak junior categories.

Luanda had a time of 151.368 seconds in the female solo canoe category and 124.32 seconds in the solo kayak category.

For his part, Mael was third in the male solo canoe junior category with a time of 127.35 seconds — just 6.06 seconds behind winner Jakob Kryrowuchko.

In the male solo kayak category, Mael was eighth with a time of 120.888 seconds. Austin Atkins won the category with a time of 87.378 seconds.

In the mixed double canoe category, the Yukoners were second with a time of 125.046 seconds.

In the downriver classic solo kayak junior category, Luanda was second behind Jocelyn Taylor.

Mael was again third in the solo canoe junior classic category, finishing just over a second behind Kryowuchko.

In the downriver classic male solo kayak category, Mael was 10th.

The duo was third in the mixed double canoe.

The whitewater nationals slalom races were contested on Aug. 3 and the siblings again were no strangers to the podium.

In the junior male solo canoe category, Mael was third with a time of 146.17 seconds. James Risk won the category with a time of 113.43 seconds.

Mael was eighth in the junior male solo kayak, just under 10 seconds behind winner Cole Oruski.

Luanda was third in the junior female solo kayak category with a time of 171.29 seconds. Taylor won the category in 109.45 seconds.

The duo was third in the junior mixed double canoe category with a time of 297.62 seconds.

Both Mael and Luanda also took part in the Kananaskis Open on Aug. 4, where they each finished ninth overall in the male and female solo kayak categories respectively.

The siblings are both set to attend the World Class Kayak Academy, a travelling high school based in White Salmon, Wash., and geared towards student athletes, this fall.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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