The Outrigger Canoe Club has sponsored the OCC Invitational Swim each summer since 1979. The event is an open ocean race. Since 2012, the race has started at Sans Souci Beach, goes out through the Kapua Channel, around several buoys, and finishes at the Outrigger Beach, a distance of 1.2 miles. The original course was 2 miles for the long swim, and 1 mile for the short swim for those 50 and older.
The event was originally a challenge by the Outrigger’s Swimming Committee to swimmers of the Waikiki Swim Club but has since been opened to other swim clubs. Swimmers compete in age groups from Junior to 80 and older. No race was held in 1994 or 2000.
The most winning swimmer is former lifeguard Chris Moore who captured the title in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1993.
The record for the 2-mile course was set by Rick Heltzel in 2002 with a time of 40 minutes and 28 seconds. The record for the 1.2 mile course was set by Steve Allnut in 2012 with a time of 22 minutes and 51.2 seconds.
Following the OCC Invitational Swim all participants enjoy brunch at the OCC and the awards ceremony.
In 2017 the Swimming Committee began dedicating the swim to Diane Stowell, the Club’s first woman Winged “O” and a much honored OCC swimmer who set national and international masters swim records.
After the swim is over, in honor of Diane, the committee bestows a plaque to the Most Inspirational Swimmer in that year’s race. The first winner was Liloa Stowell, Diane’s grandson, who was the youngest competitor in the 2017 race at age 11.