Ventura’s outrigger canoe team hosted the Ventura Challenge

75 outrigger canoes and their teams were racing.

by Patricia Schallert

Outrigger canoe boats are various watercraft featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull. They can range from small dugout canoes to large plank-built vessels.

An outrigger has a narrow, long and sturdy frame made from buoyant material which is attached to the side of the boat to give it extra stability. They are commonly seen on racing boats and other high-performance vessels,

Ventura’s outrigger canoe team, also known as Hokuloa,  hosted the Ventura Challenge race on Saturday, May 10th launching out of Harbor Cove Beach.  Many of the outrigger canoes and their teams came from as far away as San Diego, Dana Point, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Marina Del Rey, Santa Barbara, Avala Beach and San Luis Obispo County and other cities from Southern California.

Four or five clubs from Arizona and Las Vegas area also participated in the race.

Like most “outrigger canoe” clubs, Ventura has several teams which includes a novice team, women’s team, a co-ed team and men’s team, and includes master teams. There were three races that took place on Saturday. The novice team did a short course to the pier and back and the women and men’s race paddled 12 miles straight out toward the oil rigs and back.

Norm Hudson, a volunteer and supporter of Ventura’s recreation team, said there were close to “75 outrigger canoes and their teams that were racing on Saturday.”

Even with the cloud cover and some drizzle, it was fun to be a spectator and ato participate in the race.

Ventura’s Outrigger Canoe Club is a member-run non-profit organization Ventura Outrigger Challenge.

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