Joined OCC: May 21, 1954
Elected to Winged “O”: February 28, 2005
At the Outrigger Canoe Club annual meeting in February 2005, Joe Quigg was elected to the distinguished Winged “O” for his dedication to the Club’s athletic program. Quigg has given his talents, prowess, time and loyalty to the Outrigger’s water sports programs in keeping with the principles set forth by the Winged “O”.
Joe joined the OCC on May 21, 1954. He has devoted his life to developing fast, light, efficient water sports equipment that has changed construction, shapes, and riding styles around the world, including surfboards, race-winning paddleboards, one-man canoes, catamarans, and Hawaiian racing canoes.
He has used his skills to help members of the Outrigger Canoe Club excel in their water sports competitions. It is for his painstaking endeavors to produce excellent equipment for the Club that Joe has received this prestigious award.
In the 1970s, fellow Winged “O” Cline Mann asked Quigg to design and build a paddleboard that would help revive paddleboard racing. Quigg designed a 12-foot board. This length has endured and 12-foot boards are still used today in races throughout the islands, as well as internationally.
When the Tahitians came to Hawaii to compete in the Molokai Hoe Canoe Race in the 1970s, they brought with them their long, light Tahitian canoes. The Tahitian canoes were considerably swifter than the Hawaiian canoes. The Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (HCRA) recognized that if they wanted outsiders to compete on an equal basis, they would have to revamp their rules. In 1981, Outrigger Canoe Club’s racing chairman Don Mailer asked Quigg for some sketches of a six-man canoe that would incorporate the most extreme limits of the newest HCRA rules for canoe design.
Quigg’s design sketches prompted the Outrigger Board of Directors to have him make two, 12-foot canoe models, which were to be tested in the towing tanks at the Steven’s Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NY. Jeff Kissel, Walter Guild and Joe Quigg took the two models to New York where they were towed and tested in the Institute’s tanks.
After the tests at Stevens, the Outrigger asked Joe to completely remodel their fiberglass canoe Mana Ula, up to the maximum limits of the new HCRA rules. In the newly-remodeled Mana Ula, the same Outrigger crew that had just come in a distant fourth place in a recent race came in a full mile ahead of the next boat in the Lanikai race.
In 1983, the Outrigger Board of Directors commissioned Quigg to remodel the Club’s Koa canoe, Leilani. He added three feet to the Leilani’s length, narrowed the canoe by two inches, constructed a new front manu, and installed new, lighter seats. In August 1983, paddling the newly-remodeled Leilani, Outrigger paddlers won a Koa log for having accrued the highest points in the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association regatta season. Also in the Leilani, in the 1984 Molokai Hoe, Outrigger’s number one men’s crew set a new record finishing time of 5 hours, 18 minutes and 29 seconds.
In 1983, the Fiberglass Shop began production of a new fiberglass Quigg canoe design, quite close to the new HCRA rule, though a little shorter and wider. This fiberglass design played a significant role in the growth of canoe paddling. The first boat was christened the Kai’o’lino. The production model was labeled the Hawaiian Class Racer. The Hawaiian Class Racer became the standard fiberglass canoe class for distance races, and clubs from around the world purchased them. Crews came to Hawaii to compete in the distance races, often borrowing a Hawaiian Class Racer, with the knowledge that the boat gave them an equal chance of winning.
Paddling the Hawaiian Class Racers, Outrigger senior men won the Molokai Hoe races in 1986 and 1987, and in 1988 they set a new record. In 1992, Outrigger’s women came in first paddling the Hawaiian Class Racer Iwalani, beating the four time winners from California’s Offshore Canoe Club, and bringing the women’s Na Wahine O Ke Kai trophy back home. In these three Quigg designs, the Mana Ula, the Leilani, and the Hawaiian Class Racer, OCC paddlers won an all-time number of gold medals and regattas.
In January 1985, the Outrigger Board of Directors commissioned Joe to design and build a canoe from the Koa log the Club had won in 1983. Quigg built the Kaoloa, and the new canoe was launched in July 1986. In Kaoloa’s first season, Outrigger teams paddled and won the State Championship Canoe Regatta in Hilo. In the 1990 Molokai Hoe, paddling the Kaoloa, Outrigger’s senior men finished first overall, even beating the livelier fiberglass canoes.
Over the past half-century Joe has designed watercraft that have been enjoyed by the watermen of the OCC as well as Hawaii and the world.
Joe Quigg feels he has been extremely fortunate to have had so many outstanding paddlers who were so eager to paddle his designs. Joe credits the Outrigger Canoe Club athletes for bringing such glory to his efforts.
Joe passed away on June 20, 2021 at the age of 95.