Team Canada will have strong lakecity roots this November at the 2018 IWWF PanAm Waterski Championships.
Parnell Pinette will join two of his sons, Conley and Lucas, representing Canada at the international event Nov. 12-18 in Santiago, Chile.
The trio join a team of 32 Canadians selected to attend the PanAm event, and were the only three British Columbians chosen to compete.
Parnell will ski as a member of the 35-54 year old team. Lucas joins Alberta’s Evan Kraus and Shae O’Brien, Quebec’s Nellie Allard and Ontario’s Charlie Ross to round out the under-14 team, while Conley will compete alongside Ontario’s Neilly Ross and Jamie Calhoun, and Quebec’s Dominique Grondin Allard on the under-21 team.
Lucas, at 12 years old, is currently the top-ranked waterskier in North America in the under-14 boys age division.
It will be his first trip to a PanAm Waterski Championships.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Lucas said. “I’m a bit nervous, but I feel honoured to get to ski for Canada.”
Lucas will leave Williams Lake on Oct. 22 to travel to Florida where he will train with Canadian professional waterskier Matt Rinni prior to the tournament.
Parnell and Conley will meet Lucas in Brazil just prior to the championships.
At the event, participants will compete in three events: trick, jump and slalom.
“I’d like to podium in jump and also trick,” said Lucas, who started waterskiing when he was two, and began to ski competitively at the age of six.
“I’m hoping to jump like 120 feet.”
Canada’s national team head coach Steve Bush said he’s particularly excited about the junior team, and having the opportunity to coach young athletes like Lucas.
“I am excited for this team as we have strong representation in all events,” Bush said.
Conley, meanwhile, is currently attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as a member of the school’s waterski team.
The brothers, most recently, were dominant at the 2018 Canadian Water Ski Nationals in Ontario this past August.
Conley — already a junior world jump champion, junior PanAm jump champion and multiple-time Canadian champion — placed first in jump, trick and overall, and finished second in the slalom event in the under-21 division.
Lucas won jump, trick and overall in the under-14 division.
The trio, meanwhile, all said they’re looking forward to having the opportunity to compete together as a family.
“This will be my first time here, and I get to ski with my dad and brother,” Lucas said.
“It’s pretty exciting, and I’m looking forward to it.”