Outrigger Canoe Club was one of the founders and original members of the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association when a regular series of regattas began in the early 1950s. Prior to that, regattas were held several times a year and the only regular regattas were the Maritime Day Regatta in May, King Kamehameha Day Regatta in June and the Walter J. Macfarlane Memorial Canoe Regatta on the 4th of July. With the formation of HCRA, two new regattas were added, the Oahu Championships in July and the State Championships in August.
The OHCRA regatta season currently consists of eight regattas; six are sponsored by Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association-member clubs, and the final two are the OHCRA championships and the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association state championships. Regattas are held on Sundays beginning the first Sunday of June, and finish with the State Championships on the first Saturday of August.
The Walter J. Macfarlane Regatta is the only wave race on the schedule and is sponsored by the Outrigger Canoe Club and held on the 4th of July at Waikiki Beach, the home of the original Outrigger club. It has been held every year since 1943.
There were ten to twelve events in the early regattas (depended on the race): Boys under 13, Boys 15, Boys 17 and under, Novice Men and Women, Freshmen Men 6, Junior Men and Women 6, Senior Men and Women 6, and Junior and Senior Men 4 with race distances of one-quarter to three miles. Today there are 45 events on the regatta schedule, ranging from boys and girls 12 and under, to masters men and women 70+, with race distances of one-quarter mile to two miles.
Outrigger’s winning record over the years is quite an accomplishment. Although the Club usually started the season slowly, by the time the Oahu and State championship races were held, Outrigger was usually at its peak. Clubs’ fortunes rose and ebbed over the years depending on the number of paddlers available to them, the state of their equipment, and the skills of their coaches and paddlers.
Race rules also changed over the years, adding new races (meaning clubs needed more paddlers to win), changing the point system for scoring races, and how clubs qualified for the state championships.
As a private club, Outrigger paddlers must be members who have gone through the initiation process, been voted into membership by the Board of Directors and paid an initiation fee. This limits the number of paddlers, especially in the novice divisions, for the Club to select from each season. Despite the limitations, Outrigger has an enviable record and has won more regattas than any other club.
Here is how Outrigger crews performed in these regattas.