PNWORCA is the association for outrigger canoe clubs located in the Pacific Northwest. Clubs are located in Washington State, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. Individual clubs provide children and adults of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities instruction in the techniques of outrigger canoe paddling. Everyone is welcome – no paddling experience is necessary.
Whether you want to paddle recreationally or want to experience the fun and excitement of racing, there is a place for everyone. Within PNWORCA there is a full season of sprint and distance racing events. Outrigger canoe paddling is a great way to spend time on the water.
To unite all outrigger canoe clubs organized in the Pacific Northwest
(Outrigger clubs are located in Washington State , Oregon , Montana , and Idaho )
To organize, encourage, maintain and perpetuate outrigger canoe racing in the Pacific Northwest
To set standards of equipment and safety for outrigger canoe races
To represent PNW ORCA member at international forums for Outrigger canoe racing
To teach, train, instruct and expose children, men and women in the ancient culture and history of Hawaiian canoeing
What is an outrigger canoe?
Outrigger canoes are approximately 40 feet long, about 1 foot 4 inches wide at either end and up to two foot wide in the middle. Seating up to six crewmembers, the canoe is made of fiberglass and weighs around 400 pounds. The stabilizing framework consists of two spreader bars or Iakos that are attached to the canoe hull by means of traditional lashing techniques using cordage. The two Iakos then attach at the outer end to an Ama or float.
Learning how to paddle
An outrigger crew is a combination of six individuals working together in unison. It is the perfect technique and timing of the paddles through the water, not necessarily the physical strength of members, which truly makes the canoe fly.
Each seat in an outrigger canoe has a different objective. Paddlers have a chance to rotate through all positions to find the spot that is right for them. An accomplished paddler can jump into any seat in a canoe.
On of the great aspect of outrigger paddling is racing. Racing gives everyone the opportunity to experience competition in a supportive environment. Races are held throughout the season. Sprint races are typically held over 500 – 3000 meters. Iron distance races typically are held between 9 –18 miles, while change-out races can be as long as 40 miles.