Outrigger Paddling on the Central Coast


Greeting Friends & Paddlers!

Pale Kai had an exciting day at the 34th annual Rig Run Outrigger race in Santa Barbara hosted by Ka Nai'a Outrigger Club. This will go down in the PKO history books as the most crews ever entered...we had a whooping 12 crews! Many members drove down with the canoes on Friday night to rig boats and set up the race day site, some of our novice organized a group camping site nearby and many enjoyed the inexpensive lodging close to the race. For many of our new members, this was their first race with SCORA and some left with the medals to prove they can bring home the bling! 

(Drone photo by Mike Eliason of Santa Barbara)


Pale Kai Race Results, Analysis and Opinion

In typical fashion for the novice division, Rig Run’s first race of the day started with chaos on-par with the Spanish Armada.  Launching into a shore break proved very daunting and ill-timed for many of the southern marina clubs, with one novice boat huli-ing in the impact zone and swamping twice before coming back to shore to empty their boat and try again.  No surprise, all six Pale Kai Novice crafts launched into the break with confidence and skill hard won by early spring practices in Avila.

8:30 – Novice and Vet Short Course

96 - Kakou
Men’s Novice Unlimited
1.       Jeremy
2.       Jim
3.       Patrick
4.       Geoff
5.       Tim
6.       Matthew
152 – Ho'o Mua
Co-Ed Novice Spec
1.       Lisa
2.       Lynette
3.       Don
4.       Mike
5.       Gina
6.       Simon
154 – Keo Kii Anne
Women’s Novice Spec
1.       Andrea
2.       Ashley
3.       Laura
4.       Marin
5.       Madeline
6.       Brianne

155 - Pa'i Pohaku
Women’s Novice Spec “Double Trouble”
1.       Jenny B
2.       Jeanna
3.       Anne
4.       Katherine N
5.       Katherine B
6.       Jenny S
158 – Ho'o Hua Hawaii
Women’s Novice Spec
1.       Anastasia
2.       Tanya
3.       Cecilia
4.       Holland
5.       Cindy
170 - Akela
Co-Ed Novice Unlimited
1.       Jody
2.       Eddy
3.       Gordy
4.       Ryan
5.       Sari
6.       Nathan
38 -  Frankenstein Boat
Men’ s Open Unlimited
1.       Scott Rosenfeld
2.       Jon Sav
3.       Pat Lyons
4.       Rich
5.       Dean
6.       Scott Bixler
220 – Ohana O KeKai
Women’s Vet Short Course
1.       Lori Rainwater Quinn
2.       Lud
3.       Nettie
4.       Kristen
5.       Brenda
6.       Stephanie

As our short course canoes arrived at the start line the shenanigans continued. Four heats discussed on land suddenly condensed into two on the water.  Two more hulis happened right behind our ladies in the 154.  A men’s short course unlimited boat from another club found its ama stuck on the 155 and sustained some body damage before they could un-hook through no fault of our novice women. Cindy, steering the 158, also saw a huli right off the line, but smartly directed her crew not to look back as they surged forward with their heads firmly in their own boat. Lot's of bumper boats out here for the second race of the 2022 season.

Once off the line these novice crews all demonstrated unity and consistency.  Our Novice should be proud of their performance with no hulis, no injuries, and no disqualifications, especially considering this was a first-ever race for about half of the participants. Besting the Pale Kai Novice Women’s 3rd place showing from Crystal Pier, the Women in the 154 took home 2nd place medals this week!  Finally, our Novice men in the 96 Unlimited (second time ever in an UL) managed to pass the Women vets in the 220! It is never fun to get passed in a race, but it sure takes the sting out of it when it’s members of your club you helped teach! They narrowly avoided a huli just around the point break when a rogue wave broke over their vessel, the novice boat they had also just passed did not fair as well and earned a DNF. Lot's of adventure for these sea faring club members! And this just in, one of our other UL boats, the 170 novice crew in their first time in an UL there was a near miss - they got collided with after the second turn and Gordy almost took an ama to the head! Glad everyone made it back to shore safe!

Shifting to our Vet Short Course racers, the 220 had a very poignant race.  Two participants, Nettie and Kristen, normally dedicated Long Course participants, opted for short course in order to make it to a memorial for fellow paddler and dragon boater Rosanna.  Kristen also lost her father very recently so on this day the 220 short course crew paddled in loving memory of these two.  Special recognition has to go to Stephanie, for whom this was also her first race steering. Going the extra mile and taking to heart the weight of her steering responsibility in typical fashion, Stephanie called around to vet steers people for their best pre-race advice.  Shout out to Stacy Ritter, who, while not racing today, gave Stephanie the excellent steering advice to anticipate what other boats are going to do and helped Stephanie steer clear of a mess at the second bouy. The 220’s Second place finish is not too shabby either! As a note of interest, the first place Lanakila boat included former Pale Kai Head Coach Jean Spear – we’ll certainly be hoping to make her nervous as we nip at her heels in future races!

Finally, in another true manifestation of paddling Ohana, the 38 was a mixed boat in every sense; Pale Kai iaku's attached to a Hokoloa hull for a crew of PKO mixed novice and vet men.  Hokoloa recently damaged their iakos so this cooperation helped both clubs have access to another boat to race (with very cushy seats! Certainly an advantage to see what other clubs do with their equipment; you may have seen Chris surreptitiously taking notes) Shout outs to the threes novices in this boat who picked up a third place medal in a open vets division!

10:30 – Women and Co-Ed Long Course
220 – Ohana O Ke Kai
Women’s Golden Masters Unlimited
1.       Jill
2.       Melissa Traynor
3.       Kimmy
4.       Bonnie
5.       Tracy
6.       Nancy
170 - Akela
Women’s Open Unlimited
1.       Emily
2.       Cece
3.       Flo
4.       Marianne
5.       Carrie
6.       Tanya
Our golden girls earned a second place finish at this years Rigrun, no surprise our women’s golden masters are proving themselves to be consistently competitive.  They managed that fantastic finish in this race despite a rushed and disordered start after a hunt for the 220 which was way down the beach, a quick run for forgotten booties, and a questionable maneuver by an oceanside boat that cut left across a milieu of other boats and two shady Dana boats in their proximity. Some key wisdom was imparted by Kimmy post-race, for women utilizing the “bra-pocket” for race nutrition; Powerbars melt.  (try shot blocks instead when utilizing this storage method.)

Sitting in seat 4 of the 170 for this race, this writer felt there were some particularly large shoes to fill, with the double whammy of occupying Sarah Donohue’s normal seat and single handedly pushing this masters crew into the open division.  While the Open Women’s UL division may have had 21 boats this race, as often happens much of this race felt like it was a race against a single boat, Kahakai’s 565.   After the 565 overtook the 170 early on, the 170 was stoked to pass them after the first bouy turn.  But it was not to last, and the 565 creeped passed again and ultimately came in 42 seconds ahead of the 170.  With a little perspective, this was nothing to be ashamed of for the 170, where the median age was 42.  Having never practiced together, the 170 still managed a respectable mid-pack finish going up against 25-year-old whipper-snappers fresh off their college crew teams

12:00 - Men’s Long Course
170 – Akela 
Men’s Open Unlimited
1.       Andrew
2.       Mike
3.       John Savarese
4.       Larry
5.       Don
6.       Austin
220 – Ohana O Ke Kai
Men’s Golden Masters Unlimited
1.       Bob
2.       Pat
3.       Scott Bixler
4.       Paul
5.       Chris
6.       Tom
Finally our men’s crews went off without a hitch, despite several racers pulling doubles.  Golden masters reported a tough race with interesting conditions, struggling a little bit to find their mojo in the beginning but really enjoying dropping in at the Leadbetter surf lineup to catch some swell prior to the finish line. 

Our open men were stoked to have Andrew and Mike join for their first races of the season.  Despite and overcast and windy start this crew was all gratitude just to be racing again, all positive vibes.  They may have been passed by a few boasts on the uphill but in typical Pale Kai form passed a few boats themselves on the downhill.  As coach Don put it “no injuries, all smiles.”

Mahalo and see you at Marina Del Rey! - Marianne Z.

Novice:  If you are interested in doing the race write up for Long Beach please send Marianne a text or message on TeamSnap.


Jun 4 Kahanamoku Klassic - Marina Del Rey
Jun 11 Ventura Outrigger Challenge - Ventura Harbor
Jun 18 Kahakai Outrigger Challenge - Long Beach
Jun 25 Iron Champs - Mission Bay

*All PKO members, you can view and update your availability for practices, races and events on TeamSnap!  Not a current member of PKO? Consider joining us in 2023! 


We can all work together to reduce waste in our own lives and
as paddlers we can take small steps toward less waste as the race!
Here are a few tips for the upcoming Kahanamoku Klassic in MDR.

How can you be a Zero Waste Racer?

BYO – Bring your own: Refillable water bottle, coffee cup, etc.
Re-useable cutlery, bowl or plate (camping gear works) towel or cloth napkin

COMPOST: Look for the compost bins & read the signs.
What can you compost? Organics, food waste, paper napkins, true paper and cardboard etc.​

Excerpts from article written by Michael Jacobs
CATALINA CROSSING 1959: The first race involved two canoes shipped to California from Hawaii through the efforts of Albert Edward “Toots” Minvielle. Both of them were koa wood canoes with the names Malia meaning calm waters and Niuhe, meaning shark

While the first Catalina to Newport Dunes Race was a culmination of efforts and farsightedness on the part of several outstanding persons in canoe paddling, the spirit behind the spread and development of outrigger canoe paddling as a sport, both in Hawaii and California, is the famous Albert “Toots” Minvielle

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