Essential Paddling: OC-6 Iron Season Starts in Southern California

Photo: Chris Silvester

Here’s what you need to know

2019 SCORA Racing Season Kicks Off in San Diego

The 2019 Southern California Outrigger Racing Association (SCORA) competitive OC-6 racing season kicked off on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Mission Bay, San Diego. Overcast skies and light rain greeted paddlers at times throughout the morning as paddlers in the short course battled it out inside the confines of Mission Bay.

The women & coed paddlers departed for the long course out in the ocean around the time the skies opened up and let loose. Hey, it’s a water sport, right?! We overheard a few paddlers comment, “Just close your eyes and pretend it’s Hawaii,” but alas, the ocean off San Diego is much colder – especially in early May.

By the time the men launched for their long course around noon the skies had cleared and paddlers enjoyed sunshine and temps in the upper 60s (F) for an enjoyable afternoon of racing. Visit the SCORA website for complete results to all of the day’s races.

Molokai to Oahu – Recap

Stories from the canceled Molokai to Oahu Solo OC-1 race are still filtering in. The race itself may have been called off, but numerous logistical challenges remained as paddlers and escort crews had to make their way back to Oahu during the storm.

The winds were whipping left, right, and center as individual paddlers made their way out to escort boats, sans canoes for the journey back to Oahu. And by made their way out, we mean swam out approximately 100 yards through the surf to escort boats.

Not all paddlers made it to their intended boat and made due with the options as they presented themselves. This included a group of paddlers from the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California who found themselves on a vessel crewed by a group of locals who may or may not have been the most experienced crew on the water that day.

One escort boat sank after impaling itself on ocean debris; The boys from Lanakila made a transfer at sea (yes, more swimming); And at the end of the day, everyone survived the ordeal with a few more memories and life experiences to occupy campfire conversations for the foreseeable future.

Trump Administration’s Tariffs Impact Paddlers

Last week the Trump administration raised tariffs on products imported from China to 25 percent. The tariffs will have a direct impact on U.S companies importing products from China, including, but not limited to, the popular Puakea and Kai Waa outrigger canoes manufactured in China by Ozone.

Trade talks between the United States and China ended last Friday without discernible progress. U.S. President Donald Trump has remarked he believes the U.S. can wait out any economic damage because the Chinese will pay for the tariffs.

Sadly as anyone with a rudimentary understanding of how tariffs actually work knows that it will be American consumers and not the Chinese who will pay the tariffs. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow admitted as much, but that hasn’t slowed Trump’s ill-advised pursuit of a trade war with China.

E kū i luna “Stand Up” Nor Cal Outrigger

There’s a fundraiser scheduled up in Northern California a couple of weeks before the Gorge Downwind Championships. Check out Ekuiluna “Stand Up” Nor Cal Outrigger if you’ll be in the area and help paddlers heading to the Molokai Hoe (It costs close to $6500 per crew.).

This race/fundraiser is open to all paddlecraft.

General Details

11:45 a.m. Registration Table Open at Encinal Beach, Alameda
12:15 p.m. 3 Mile Course Safety/Racers Meeting (Mandatory)
12:30 p.m. 3 Mile Course Race Start
1:45 p.m. Registration Table Closes
1:45 p.m. Short and Long Course Safety/Racers Meeting (Mandatory)
2:00 p.m. Long Course Race Start
2:10 p.m. Short Course Race Start
5:00 p.m. Prizes/raffle and dinner at Spinnaker Yacht Club San Leandro

Three Race Options

#1: SUP/Prone/Keiki/Novice OC-1, OC-2 , Surf ski 3.5 mile race from Encinal Beach and back to Encinal Beach, Alameda CA. It will take place in the protected waters of Encinal Harbor. http://routebuilder.org/2641

#2: Short Course Downwind (9.0 miles) (OC1/OC2/Surfski) from Encinal Beach, Alameda/ Gap in Encinal Breakwall/ to San Leandro Marina. Approx. 9 Miles Course Map: http://routebuilder.org/25mc

#3: Long Course Downwind (12.5 miles) (OC1/OC2/Surfski) from Encinal Beach/To Channel Marker Red Pin markers/To San Leandro http://routebuilder.org/25md

Note: The 9 mile and 13 mile courses are for OC1, OC2, and Surfskis. Due to the length of the course, and how the waves form in this area along the Oakland Airport, organizers will not be offering the SUP option on these courses. 

Follow the event’s Facebook page for details on registration and any changes to the day’s itinerary.

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