2012 Paddling Season is Fast Approaching

The paddling season is quickly approaching as our moderate winter should allow us to get on the water earlier than ever before.  The canoes are already at East Shore Marina and the iakos and amas are ready to be lashed on.

RRC 2011
COCC finishing first at the Rochester River Challenge!

Please make sure that you are prepared for cold water paddling with the correct clothing and a PFD.  Practices will start on Sundays and expand to Tuesday and Friday as weather permits.  Dues have remained at $125 so we are one of the best deals in Ithaca for people wanting to workout plus you get to be on the water and hangout with awesome folks.  See you on the water!

Launch of the 2011 Season

April 28th marked the start of Cayuga Outrigger’s 2011 season. Cold water, air temperature hovering around 50 degrees, a brisk wind and a setting sun did not deter 5 excited paddlers from launching A’no:wara onto Cayuga Lake.  Starting with rigging at Myers Park the crew of Bill, Felix, Julie, Paul and me paddled for an hour until arriving at East Shore Marina.  So started our season which is filled with an upcoming open house and ECORA races.  Hope to see you on the water!

Hamming It Up, originally uploaded by Cayuga Outrigger.

ECORA OC-6 Race Information

ECORA has finalized the 2011 OC-6 racing season schedule  with some new races added.  Cayuga Outrigger is dedicated to increasing our participation in the racing schedule so please feel free to check out the races listed below.

2011 Race Schedule

Washington Monumental, Liberty World Outrigger Competition, Toronto International Outrigger Challenge, Blackburn Challenge, Milford Challenge, Wai Nui – Why Not, Kent Island Cup and Lighthouse to Lighthouse

Kent Island Cup 2010

KI 2010
Kent Island Cup GPS Track

YeeeeeHaaaaaaa!  September 3rd proved to be a great day to travel south, toward a hurricane and 35+ miles of paddling.  That was our plan as we headed toward Kent Island, Maryland in the Chesapeake for a team outrigger race.  In our way was Hurricane Igor, missing members and some severe surf that caused the normal circumnavigation of Kent Island to be altered.  

Hurricane Igor


 Our team arrived in Kent Island and had a wonderful meal together at the Kent Island Yacht Club.  After that it was off to sleep as we rested for the big day ahead.  

PreRace Meeting


Race time was scheduled for 7:30 am with boats hitting the water at 7. 


The Start


Our first group of Julie, Liz, Heather, Paul, Dave and P.J. headed south as the winds increased in velocity and the waves responded by growing ever larger.  Our team was in the front of the pack as we circled the bouy but was soon surprised by an ama that chose to move to the other side of the boat!  HULI!!!  

We should have read this before the race!!


Some great work by the team had the boat upright and bailed before the entire field had passed us.  The next 4 miles where a bit dicey as we traveled back to Kent Island with the waves hitting our ama straight on.  The team quickly made it back and changed out with our second leg team.  Blair, Cookie, Tracey, Cynthia, Bill and Paul where excited to be paddling but did not realize what awaited them when they left protected water and ventured out into the Chesapeake Bay.  The water in the bay was gnarly with 3 to 4 foot swells that, again, were hitting the ama broadside.  The crew struggled mightily in these conditions of high wind and swells and where more than happy to make the turn.  The downwind run was fantastic and fast as we passed 2 boats and came in for the change out with a third.  Team 2The crew hit the beach and were glad to be on dry land but also concerned as the first group headed out into the same water.  The third and fourth legs went off without a hitch and we were all soon sipping cold beers and preparing for the luau.  

The next morning all tents were packed and we made an annual breakfast stop at Holly’s and then a small group headed into Annapolis for some sightseeing and a snack a McGarvey’s Saloon.  

Huge thanks to all team members especially Matt for climbing in and doing a leg which was his second time ever in an outrigger.  Also a big mahalo to Blair’s parents for the blue crabs and a place to sleep as well as the Kent Island Outrigger Club for throwing such an outstanding event. 

Liberty 2010 World Outrigger Competition

Race Course
Liberty GPS Track

July 31st marked the day that Cayuga Outrigger Canoe Club was hoping to erase the events that occurred the previous year at Liberty World Outrigger Competition.  What were those events?  Four COCC members headed to New York City and met up with Ben (steersman) and Ray(paddler) to take on some extreme conditions in New York Harbor and the Hudson River.  After more than 2 hours of paddling it was discovered that the boat had missed a turn, ended off course and was given a DNF.  The crew was tired and dismayed and wondered if it was worth ever coming back.

Sunrise - Race Day

Watching the women's finish
Waiting our turn with Brooklyn Bridge in background

Saturday morning found our team of Julie, Dave, Cookie (Paul C.), Paul W. and P.J. walking across the Brooklyn Bridge for an 11 o’clock race time.  Our canoe, courtesy of the Washington Canoe Club, need to be rigged and a portion of the morning was spent lashing the the ama, iakos and wa’a together.  A nervous morning was spent getting in some last food and water as we waited for the women’s race to end and for our Men’s Open to start.

Launching the boat
Boat Entering Water for Men's Open Race

Finally at 10:30 we launched our boat and paddled to the starting line under the Manhattan Bridge.  The current was flowing strong against us with considerable chop but we were more than ready for the challenge.  The race start was crazy but with some masterful steering P.J. kept us upright and ahead of another boat  which was a cause for excitement.  We quickly made our way to the tip of Manhattan, avoided getting run over by the Staten Island Ferry and were headed into some of the roughest water of the day.

NYO ReMixed Nutz and field
Gnarly Water at Battery Park

As we headed north on the Hudson we faced a slight tidal current behind us the flow of the Hudson in our face and massive boat wakes that were reflecting off the shore.  Our ama spent some time in the air but due to an awesome team we were soon making the turn at W 29th Street and heading to the west side of the Hudson.  Padding was almost enjoyable as we headed toward Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.  At the Statue of Liberty things again grew interesting as tourist gawked from the Circle Line Cruise Boat and wakes again threatened the seemingly inevitable huli.  After what seemed like forever, it was actually only a mile, we found safe haven behind Govenor’s Island and were paddling our way to the finish line.  Not only had we finished the race but we came in ahead of another crew!

Men's Open Results

We were greeted at the shore by MHanh offered us relief in the form of PIZZA and BEER, are you kidding me, she is invited to all events from here on out!!  A big Mahalo to her.

Pizza and Beer Post Race


We finished off our day with the luau at the Frying Pan and ate  to we could not fit any more.  The luau also had women performing hula, a raffle and many great recaps of an awesome and exciting day.


Hokuho’okelewa’a Blessing

Cayuga Outrigger Canoe Club welcomed and then blessed our new canoe, Hokuho’okelewa’a, which is translated to a canoe’s guiding star, at a blessing on Friday July 17.

Lei on front of wa'aLei on the front of Hokuho’okelewa’a

IMG_3462Decorated Iakos

Linda served as the master of ceremonies and did an awesome job as well as Blair who made the offering while paddling the new wa’a.

The BlessingLinda performing blessing

This was also a monumental event for the COCC as more than 25 people attended the blessing, which when compared to our first blessing of A’no:wara showed how much our ohana has grown.

IMG_3488Placing Hokuho’okelewa’a into Cayuga Lake

Out for the offering
Paddling out to test Hokuho’okelewa’a and to make offering

Mahalo to all that participated in the blessing and the growth of the club.  It was inspiring to see us all come together and help in growing the club.

July 080Cayuga Outrigger Canoe Club Ohana

Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival

Cayuga Outrigger's Community Team

July 10th found the Cayuga Outrigger Canoe Club participating in the Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival in beautiful Ithaca, New York.  We had fifteen club members in attendance and a cowgirl from Montana as our drummer as we set out to compete in a boat few of us had paddled in the past.  We competed in the Community Division against five teams including Tompkins County, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Glimmerglass Dragons from Hartwick, NY.


Our race day started with a 250 meter time trial that we won with seconds to spare.  This was followed up by a second heat which we again finished out in front of the pack but were penalized for finishing in another lane.

As we waited for our final race some of the men from COCC were racing with the Ithaca Gorges Men sponsored by the Ithaca Dragon Boat Club.  Although we struggled to come together as a team in the early rounds we were in contention for a medal as the last race was held.  Some disqualifications in the final race had the men seemingly in position for at least a bronze medal but some questionable officiating found us in a 2 team race for third.  Although the Gorges Men gave it their all, the race was decided by less than a boat length which sent us home with a fourth place finish.


Finally the BIG RACE!  COCC was set at the starting line with lane buoys shifting and our steersman nervous to stay in our lane.  As we were given the start call we paddled as hard as possible and quickly surged into the lead.  As we crossed the finish line we were happy to see that not only had we finished in first place but we had also stayed in our lane.  The gold medal was ours!

Cayuga Outrigger in motion!!!

Mahalo to all of the Cayuga Outrigger members who paddled on Saturday and a extra special mahalo to our captain Paul C., “C is for Cookie” for putting it together and remaining such a positive force on a very long day.

See more photos here!

Success at our Open House

The day started with some questionable weather but as long as we don’t have lightening the Cayuga Outrigger Canoe Club is in action and so it was today.  Club members arrived early and prepared to welcome interested people and future members to try the awesome sport of outrigger canoeing.  Julie and Cynthia planned this event and the results were tremendous.  We had Gimme! Coffee, Ithaca Bakery as well as fruit, P.O.G. and other tasty treats.

Open HouseWelcome Tents

As the first of our new paddlers arrived the good weather did as well.  The wind subsided and the sun and blue skies greeted us so we were soon paddling on beautiful Cayuga Lake.  We were fortunate enough get our new paddlers on the water and they quickly saw why this sport is so great.

Ready to goWaiting to Launch

Everybody ready?On the Water

We were able to get 6 new paddlers on the water before a cold front moved into the area and the temperatures started to drop and the wind gusted to 30 mph.  We quickly lowered the welcome tents and pulled the wa’a from the water.

Radar MapRadar the Open House

However we continued to get interested paddlers who wanted to paddle but settled for some good food and great conversation.  The keikis however took advantage of some of the largest waves we will see on Cayuga Lake while the adults planned for future adventures.

The waves keep getting bigger

Keikis Lovin’ the Waves

The end of the day

If you attend our Open House or planned to and couldn’t make it down feel free to stop by during one of our regular practice times.  We paddle Tuesday and Fridays from 6 to 8pm and Sundays from 9 to 11 am.  Thanks again to everyone who showed up especially our club members for making this such a successful event.