Hokuloa Outrigger Canoe Club, Ventura’s only competitive open ocean outrigger canoe club, ends its season with first place wins for both the women’s and men’s crews at the 2014 US Outrigger Championship.
The Catalina Crossing is a championship event that caps off the outrigger season with open ocean racing for over 30 miles from Newport Beach to Catalina Island.
The Catalina Crossing is a part of the nine- man change race where nine paddlers share the work racing more than 30 miles together. Six paddlers are in the outrigger at one time with three additional team members following along in an escort boat.
At determined intervals, paddlers enter the ocean from the escort boat and position themselves to grab the ‘gunnel’ of the approaching outrigger. In a carefully synchronized move, paddlers will roll out of the outrigger at the same time as the fresh paddlers grab onto the canoe and catapult themselves into the seats just vacated.
Hokuloa’s Women’s team raced in the Bradley division, named for the type of canoe. Joining outrigger canoe teams from throughout California, the women lined up in the water at Newport Beach and ended their journey approximately 31 miles later in just over 5 hours and 17 minutes with a first place finish at Avalon, Catalina Island.
Hokuloa’s Men’s team raced back to the mainland also in the Bradley division and after a grueling 30 mile battle finished in Newport Beach with a time of just over 4 hours and 54 minutes.
This 2014 Outrigger Championship win was the first for the Hokuloa’s women and the second consecutive win for Hokuloa’s mens team.
Hokuloa Outrigger Canoe Club, a competitive sport canoe club in Ventura since the early 1970s, has a diverse membership of all ages and abilities from adults to keikis. The club’s Hawaiian name means Guiding Star and is emblematic of their mission to promote the sport of amateur outrigger canoe paddling through structured athletic programs, racing, and community outreach to encourage appreciation of the ocean.
Hokuloa hosts a summer keiki program for kids of all abilities that focuses on the basic skills of outrigger canoe paddling including boat-handling, steering, and rigging plus teamwork and having fun. The program includes two iron races in June and three sprint races in July.
For more information about Hokuloa visit: http://www.hokuloaoutrigger.com