Our Open Women Program makes up the largest of our programs with about 90 active members.
During the season, the women train Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and on Saturdays from 7:00am to 10:00am. At times, the evening practices have been split into two different sections in order to accommodate the number of paddlers actively training.
The current Head Coaches of our Women’s Open Program are Lori Davis and Leslie Davis. Under their leadership, along with the assistance of Johnny Puakea, our top women’s team captured 1st place in the 2015 Catalina Crossing and set a new course record in the process. They broke the previous course record, standing since 2002, by approximately 20 minutes. You can read an article on their success in the Orange County Register by clicking here.
Other top finishes for Dana Outrigger Women in the 2015 Catalina Crossing include:
Women’s Senior Masters (1st Place)
Womens Masters Unlimited (2nd Place – Boat No. 17)
Womens Masters (2nd Place)
Womens Masters Unlimited (3rd Place – Boat No. 3)
Women’s Bradley (4th Place)
Coach Lori Davis has been paddling with Dana Outrigger for more than 22 years. But, she considers the six years spent coaching as one of her greatest accomplishments. Lori’s husband, Tom Davis, is also a longtime paddler and helps to coach the Open Mens Program with Rich Long and Tyson Poppler. Lori and Tom have two daughters who also paddled with Dana Outrigger. Lori’s fondest paddling memory is having raced in a Molokai – Na Wahine O Ke Kai with her best friends and her oldest daughter as members of her crew. Lori finds it extremely rewarding to see women from all walks of life commit themselves and achieve their paddling goals. She treasures the confidence and dedication that these women give to her as she tries to help reach these goals. Lori is a dedicated club member who frequently jumps in to help out with other activities. She also serves as boat coach for her husband’s crews during 9-man season.
Coach Leslie Davis has perhaps one of the most impressive resumés in the sport. She has been competing since 1976 beginning with Lanakila Canoe Club in Redondo Beach where she was coached by Al Ching. She went on to become the President of Lanakila and then of SCORA for four years. She also represented California in the early stages of the International Canoe Federation where she was involved in setting up race rules and selecting canoe designs.
In 1979, Leslie was recruited by Billy Whitford of NAC to paddle in that year’s Na Wahine O Ke Kai. They came in 2nd place. Leslie continued to dedicate herself to the sport, and persistence paid off when she and her team from Offshore, won the Na Wahine O Ke Kai six years in a row from 1986 to 1991. She and her team came back again for 1st place honors in 1993.
Her first 1st Place Molo win occurred when she was moved from her usual seat 1/seat 2 position to seat 6. While at the helm, she positioned her crew to catch wave after wave which allowed them to move up into 1st place. As they took the lead, a dolphin came up and began surfing alongside their canoe. Leslie considers this race to be one of her most memorable.
Leslie feels that coaching the Dana Outrigger women has rekindle her passion for the sport. She is proud of what the Dana women have accomplished and feels blessed to be connected with such talented paddlers. She is extremely proud that the Dana Women have won the Catalina Crossing the past two years in a row. You can see a video of the Dana Women in this year’s crossing here.
If you have any more questions about the Open Women’s Program, just send an email to the Dana Coaches Mahalo!