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Kahanamoku Klassic takes center stage in Marina del Rey

MDROCC's open men's Spec Division crew powers across the water.
MDROCC's open men's Spec Division crew powers across the water.
Chris Silvester

Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey was bursting with activity this past Saturday when the Marina del Rey Outrigger Canoe Club (MDROCC) hosted its annual Kahanamoku Klassic outrigger canoe race. Over a dozen outrigger canoe clubs from throughout Southern California descended upon Mother’s Beach, turning the typically dour piece of real estate into a colorful and enchanting display of canoes and paddlers.

“It was great to see an energetic and vibrant Marina community,” said MDROCC President Shelley Taniguchi. The Kahanamoku Klassic is one of the largest outrigger canoe races in Southern California. Many of the visiting clubs arrived Friday evening towing trailers filled with canoes neatly stacked three by three. The early arrivals were able to strategically pick their club’s section of the sand and unload their canoes onto the horseshoe shaped beach.

MDROCC’s crews competing in the men’s Unlimited Division and women’s Spec Division each recorded third place finishes in front of their home crowd of spectators. The club’s novice men’s crew took home third place after being edged out by the perennial rivals from Santa Barbara and Dana Point, while the men’s open crew delivered another podium spot with their second place finish in the short course. The club’s novice women’s division rounded out the day finishing first in the Bradley Division.

In addition to the excitement on the water, several vendors ranging from industry leader Quickblade Paddles to local stand up paddleboarding gurus Pro SUP Shop were on hand to lend additional color and excitement to the day long affair. The Kahanamoku Klassic boasts the best raffle and silent auction in all of Southern California water sports and this year’s top prizes included three new SUPs generously donated by Pro SUP Shop to assist in raising funds for their neighbors across the sand.

The Kahanamoku Klassic received additional support from numerous local sponsors and MROCC members worked hard in the weeks leading up to the race to coordinate the logistics necessary to put on the event. MDROCC’s next race is the Ventura Outrigger Challenge hosted by the Hokuloa Outrigger Canoe Club in Ventura on June 7. For a complete list of results from the Kahanamoku Klassic, visit the Southern California Outrigger Canoe Association (SCORA) website.