January 9th found P.J., Julie and me at the Kent Island Yacht Club for the annual meeting of ECORA (East Coast Outrigger Racing Association) at the Kent Island Yacht Club in Maryland. This was P.J.’s second meeting and Julie and I were there to learn as much as we could about the past and future of East Coast outrigger canoe.
On our club’s last visit we competed in the Kent Island Cup but the cold temperatures and ice in the Chesapeake made us think twice about asking to go paddling. This time awards were handed out to the best paddlers in OC-1’s and OC-6’s and left us wanting to get in shape for the upcoming season. There was some discussion of where stand up paddling (SUP) fits in ECORA’s plans for the future but no one will be doing the KIC again anytime soon.
Talk then turned to the race calendar which turns out to be extremely full. The season starts with an OC-1 race June 5th in Kent Island, with the Washington Monumental being our first chance to paddle the OC-6 in a competition. Some possible changes to races include the Toronto Harbor Challenge, which is currently not a definite and may be cancelled on July 10th, as well as the Liberty World Outrigger Competition, which is currently awaiting a final date. Liberty may become part of the much larger Mayor’s Cup, a paddling race around Manhattan, this year which has led to the delay in scheduling of this race. Inclusion in this race will be great for outrigger as it will give us a larger audience that will be able to witness our sport. Check out the club calendar for more race dates and start planning for races you may want to attend.