Three Yukon paddlers proved to be well-rounded at the Western Canadian Championships on the Kananaskis River in Alberta last weekend.
Luanda, Mael and Marc Pronovost all competed at the championships, which included freestyle, slalom, downriver and
boatercross events. The championships also doubled as the Alberta Whitewater Championships.
“It was good. A lot of fun,” said Mael. “I did better than I thought I would.”
Mael was on the podium in each of his races.
The Kananaskis River is located about 40 minutes west of Calgary and has been home to a number of national and
international events over the years.
“It was really fun,” said Luanda. “I really liked the course.”
Like her brother, she also stood on the podium in her events.
She was the top female cadet in the slalom kayak race and didn’t miss any gates on the course.
“My first run was good. I got all the gates and my second one was good,” she said. “It was better and I did (the gates)
faster too. It was just smoother.”
She came in second for the classic downriver race, paddling that section of the river for the first time ever.
Luanda was first in the sprint downriver and first in the freestyle competition.
With her all-round success, Luanda was crowned the overall cadet female champion.
Mael also had steady performances.
For his slalom kayak run, he used his second run in the best of two event, which was almost 30 seconds faster than
In his first run, an eddy caught the front of his boat and he was forced to paddle back for two gates, losing precious
On his second run, “I went in much lower,” he said. “I played it safe. It turned out I went in the perfect spot.”
He was also very happy with his C-1 run.
“It just went really well,” he said. “I got the eddies perfectly. I got cross-bow pivots. I looked like I knew what I was
Mael was second in both kayak and C-1.
In the classic downriver competition, he raced C-1 only, picking good lines all the way to the finish.
“I got lucky in Point Break,” he said of one of the rapids. “There was this perfect wave that shot me on top of the
shoulder. A couple of my friends got held back.”
He was second.
Then in the sprint downriver race, he tied for second with an Alberta paddler.
The freestyle competition was OK, he said. And despite a solid ride, he pulled off second place once again.
He managed third in the boatercross and was the best overall junior male paddler.
Mael and Luanda’s father, Marc, also competed in the weekend’s events.
“It was fun watching my dad race,” said Mael. “He did everything in a playboat.”
Marc was the top overall master paddler at the competition.