Dana Outrigger is proud to offer one of the strongest youth programs in the area. Each year, we have approximately 100 youths join us, ranging from 10 up to 19 years of age. We compete in the Southern California Outrigger Racing Association which recognizes the following age divisions: 10 & under, 12 & under, 14 & under, 16 & under and 19 & under. Races are held in three different formats: Iron (distance races for experienced paddlers), Sprints (short distance races for all paddlers) and 9-Man (long distance races for older, more experienced paddlers).
Registration for the 2017 Season is now open and can be completed by Clicking Here. All paddlers will also need to supply a SCORA waiver formsigned by their parent or guardian. This form is available here: SCORA WAIVER.
The Important Stuff:
- New Paddlers aged 14 and under (Keiki) begin Wednesday, June 5th, 2017. Practice is every Monday and Wednesday from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. If the paddler is going to turn 15 in 2017, they should register for the Junior Program on Tuesday and Thursday. The minimum age is 10 for the Keiki program
- New Paddlers aged 15 and up (Junior) begin Thursday, June 1, 2017. Practice is every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
- Just show up at Baby Beach in Dana Point Harbor on the correct date and time. Registration is held on the first day of practice
- Fees were $75 per paddler last year. This includes the race fees charged by SCORA. We will post the 2017 fees here when available.
- Additional costs: $21 for race jersey and $103 for a paddle. These can be purchased online here.
- All paddlers must be able to swim and tread water proficiently and be in good health.
Coach Glenn Norwood is the Head Coach of our Keiki Program. Glenn has been paddling with Dana Outrigger for a number of years and races with our Open Men’s Team. He is an accomplished paddler who regularly competes each year. He has also competed in a number of the more grueling races in the sport. This includes the challenging Pailolo – a long distance, downwind race between Maui and Molokai held each September. Glenn is also a member of our Board of Directors. Assisting Glenn are his fellow coaches Greg Fassett and Allen Schade.
Coach Lori Long is the Head Coach of our Junior Program. Lori also began paddling with the club back in the 1980’s. She is a distinguished paddler, having competed in competitions around the globe. This includes a number of Molokai crossings. For a period of time, Lori also served as the Head Coach of the Women’s Team from 1991 to 1996. Her husband, Rich Long is the Head Coach of Dana Outrigger and Head Coach of the Men’s Open Team. Their children, Madison and Matt are both accomplished paddlers. Madison continues to paddle in the Dana Junior Program and her team went undefeated in the Iron Races and in the 9-man races in 2016. Assisting Lori is her fellow coach Bob Bright.
We welcome new youth paddlers into our program at the beginning of June of each year. They are taught all of the techniques and skills needed to race outrigger canoes in the month of June and begin competing in the month of July. Their first races are Sprints, which are short, high intensity races from 200m to 500m in length. But, outrigger racing is not just about competition. It is a team sport that requires all paddlers to act together as ‘ohana’ – a Hawaiian word meaning family. There is no room for ego in the canoe. All paddlers must learn to blend together and must support and encourage their crew mates. A canoe runs best when all paddlers are focused as a team and pulling in perfect unison.
Returning paddlers that have demonstrated proficiency may be invited to start training earlier in the year (April) for the Iron races. Junior Paddlers (14 & up) will race over a distance of about 4 miles. There are 5 Iron Races and they begin in early May and run through June of each year.
Our older, more proficient paddlers may also be invited to participate in the 9-man races. In these races, the canoe is followed by an escort boat carrying three additional paddlers. At regular intervals, these paddlers will jump off the escort boat and swim in line with the approaching canoe. When the canoe reaches them, three paddlers will jump out and the three paddlers in the water will take their place. This rotation happens about every 15 to 20 minutes. There are three such races that are held in August and September. The first 9-man race is our own Whitey Harrison Classic which is a 20-mile race from Dana Point Harbor to Main Beach in Laguna and back. The second race is the Pao Pao in Oceanside, which is also approximately 20 miles. The 9-man season culminates in the grueling 30 mile Catalina Crossing which runs from Newport Beach to Avalon. In 2015, our Junior Girls took 1st place and our Junior Boys took 3rd in their divisions in the Catalina Crossing. The video below shows our juniors racing in the 2014 Whitey Harrison Classic.
If you have any more questions about the Keiki or Junior Programs, just send an email to the Dana Coaches Mahalo!