Marina Outrigger opened the 2014 race season on Saturday 10 May at the Crystal Pier Challenge in Mission Bay, San Diego. The annual event drew over 2,000 participants from throughout Southern California and Arizona to what proved to be an exciting start to the summer of outrigger canoe racing. Eighty five canoes lined up for the staggered start at the beginning of the short course traversing Mission Bay as the crowd of spectators gathered on Crown Point watched with anticipation.
Marina Outrigger’s Bradley Division men’s novice team stormed across the finish line to a second place victory in the short course action. “It felt really good to get the first race out of the way,” said Dan Fagetan after the race. The club showered its novice crews in the Hawaiian aloha spirit, welcoming them ashore and presented each paddler with a colorful lei of tropical flowers after the race.
Some of the novice paddlers pulled double duty and quickly joined a coed crew for the long course in the open ocean, while others relaxed and soaked up the festive carnival atmosphere and enjoyed the camaraderie permeating among the paddlers. Eighty one canoes marshaled offshore for the 10 mile women’s and coed race. The sea was choppy on the way out and one of a competing club’s canoes hulied while transiting to the start line.
The club’s Unlimited Division women’s team finished seventh in the fierce competition as the boat from Dana Outrigger claimed line honors. Later in the day, the men of Marina battled to a hard fought sixth place finish in the Unlimited Division as the club’s Spec, Bradley and Master Division canoes each made respectable accomplishments on the water.
The Marina del Rey Outrigger Canoe Club (MDROCC) is a member-run 501(c)(3) organization with a long and storied history as one of the first outrigger clubs in Southern California. The club has been based in Marina del Rey for over 40 years and is one of the original founding members of the Kalifornia Outrigger Association – now known as the Southern California Outrigger Racing Association (SCORA).
For complete race results from the 2014 Crystal Pier Challenge visit the SCORA website.