Ok so I know this subject was brought up awhile ago but now that the season is almost over, what are peoples thoughts on Regatta. Is it held at the right time of the year, is it to long, are we racing the right distances in them, should we have other races running at the same time. Are Regattas optimal training for distance season.

Submitted by Tpoppler01 on Wed, 07/15/2009 - 8:35am

Aloha Tyson,
It's always good to look at how things work, and how they might be better.
One of the areas HCRA looks at every year is how our sport can improve, but still maintain the family type atmosphere. Our sport is an activity that pretty much all age groups can participate in, and each island supports and promotes this activity.
It is essential we create and maintain a competetive, enjoyable opportunity for people of all ages and abilities interested in outrigger canoe paddling.
Because the popularity of oc paddling has created a year round calendar, with oc1/oc2, high school, and regatta and long distance seasons, the May to August regatta season has been established. This allows in particular, the 12 to 18 age groups to participate in a summer activity, and also allows friends, family, and anyone else to be involved. Regattas also give spectators the opportunity to view a tradition, a custom, and an exciting event for free.
For more serious paddlers, long distance is a goal, and another part of the sport to participate in.
Physiologically it is better to do longer workouts building up to the shorter, more intense, regatta type sprints, but the apportunity to do that is still there for the more serious paddlers. One man canoes, and long distance type oc6 workout programs are available for those wanting to train for long distance and still compete in regattas.
The current regatta season schedule benefits and involves many more paddlers than will participate in long distance competetion. The current season schedule also does not conflict with the existing oc1/oc2 and high school seasons.
Thats my mana`o.
Mahalo for bringing it up

#1 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 10:10am

Ok so the Regatta is to hard to move because of other conflicting events, what about the distances raced in these events, are they the right ones.

#2 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 10:58am

Without regatta season you would loose so many paddlers, in a sport so small, we cant afford that loss. Think about kids who start paddling and then eventually jump on onemans. Usually these kids have gone through regatta seasons. It is what the younger age groups and even new people to the sport need to get motivated or inspired by seeing others paddling. I mean how often do people who are just starting only start paddling for distance season? I know for a fact if i had not done regatta season, would not of known of one mans. It is a part of our culture and tradition. If you want to improve your team or your self for distance, get your coach to have a training program that uses regatta season as base training for distance or keep up the miles on the oneman.


#3 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 4:04pm

Look from a marketing stand point, and attendance base, Regatta the way it is now is done all wrong. I was once told that the set up drives paddlers to be better by training hard to try and make that one boat to race. Well what if you have a program that has fifteen to twenty people per age division, what then. You stand way more of a chance of losing people than you do gaining. My Point is that if the Regatta is meant for the kids and novices why is it that we have a lack luster return rate. If it truly is about them then why not hold a Regatta just for them, run more than one kids crew have heats so teams with a lot of novice and kids can race them.

Everyone talks about the perpetuation of the sport. The Regatta is not fielded for the everyday paddler it is designed to have the best paddlers race. Well little timmy over there isn't going to get to paddle and he is probably going to quit after a few years, shame cause his parents have a lot of money, and might have been willing to sponsor a team.

And competition wise everyone is behind what Tahiti is doing. heck we can't even keep up with their fourth team that they sent from their National try outs, and even the NZers have more of a structured Regatta than we do. You want to be competitive, Race the distances that are World standards. 500m 1000m 1500m. We are a step behind what our biggest competition is doing.

#4 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 6:34pm

In my humble not the greatest paddler opinion, I don’t think regatta was ever or will ever be meant as a means of training for the super competitive. Regatta is what it is, which is a way for families and kids to spend their summers doing something fun outdoors and oh yeah, there are clubs with great paddlers that are very competitive. Nothing wrong with that. Truth is, I would assume (don’t quote me, I don’t know anything and I’m just throwing out numbers from what I observe) at least 75% of those who paddle regatta have no thought about competing with Tahitians on their mind. I think that youth programs can be focuses of regatta, but not it’s only focus. I think that’s why there are SO MANY divisions during. Elite/super good paddlers can be found in your freshmen-senior races for some clubs, while the rest of the clubs in those same divisions are fielding uncle dick and aunt jane who are just their to be out with the fam and for a little friendly competitiveness in those same races.
I would assume (there I go doing that again) that most of the top paddlers realize that regatta doesn’t train them for elite competition and that getting that type of conditioning during regatta season needs to come through their practice. If Tahiti or other top competitions are the focus, maybe there needs to be a “super association” for those looking for top level competition more relative to “world standards”. (chance of that probably highly unlikely, but hey, just throwing stuff out) I think that would be great for our top paddlers as a way to keep them always on their games. I think that regatta format is suitable for most, but probably not for the top paddlers. Little Timmy may not be able to paddle for powerhouse clubs like Lanikai or Kailua, but there is a place in the regatta world for him.
To make a long story short, I think regatta is great for most. Not so great for top paddlers, but hey it’s something for them to do ALL DAY LONG on a Sunday. I think that regatta is the gateway drug that gave the paddling studs/studettes their love for the sport, but is also useful for me and other regular peeps. Just my opinion (remember I know nothing) peace out.

#5 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 8:08pm

Its hard to keep perspective on this matter because on one side we know that we wouldn't have paddling (as we know it in Hawai'i) if it wasn't for the culture kept alive through regatta, yet, as the sport progresses there is such a need for improvement and progress.
Are we at a tipping point?

#6 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 8:28pm

seems like the same grumblings have been going on for years. regatta season is a huge commitment and though the novice-b year is definitely the most fun, even they get burnt out at the end. someone made a valid point earlier in the thread about the low return rate. most likely because they can't handle the time commitment again, not because they don't like the sport. for kids, that's the expectation when playing competitive sports, but adults have other responsibilities. personally speaking, regatta season starts to become a source of stress trying to juggle the needs of 3 other family members, but i love competing. rec paddling doesnt quite cut it for me. if there was a way to have a distance "club within a club." the sprinters and distance folks still co-mingle and train together, but branch off on race day. and if you're a distance racer, then you might have to pony up more money for dues so more races could be held. thoughts?

#7 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 9:40pm

Look the two ideas that Im talking about are promotion and return. You make it a one day event and you get a few news people down. You cut the number of races but turn them into two day weekend events and you will get more coverage. Business' want to know what they can get in return. Marketing the sport to a larger crowd by having preliminary races and more kids races on day one so more people can race. Have the day two become an event final day where you see the best paddlers down there.

I know you need permits for venders, but getting outside people to come down to see the races is a good thing.

Right now people are basically paying for the chance to try out to be put in a boat. I hate telling a kid sorry there just isn't enough room in the boat. I never had a kid in Cali who showed up not race because of registration or the lack of a seat. There was a reason for being at the race if you were In it, not just for support.

#8 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 10:42pm

I have to disagree on the idea that regattas were not meant to be part of training for the super competitive. I may be wrong but it seems like lots of elite paddlers do regattas and they kick ass...It seems like a great opportunity to work on fast twitch stuffs. work on your sprints...on your paddling economy at extreme high intensity and maximum effort that may be hard to reach outside of a race environment. Sort of semi-inverted pyramid scheme of training where you develop speed/strength early in the season, then get into your base-building mileage while keeping speed/strength in check with some sporadic sprints/ fast finish and/or fartlek-type and then dive in to more distance-race specific speed-endurance type stuffs (long intervals, etc).

Are regattas really that much more of a commitment compared to long-distance training ?

#9 Wed, 07/15/2009 - 10:58pm

everybody has a good point on this one, however regattas are far away from what individuals think or want, by this i mean RAGATTAS IS FOR THE BETTER OF ALL.

the impresion i get year after year, is more people are into long races specially oc-1 downhill, and not to spent a full day to race a 7 minute one.

but check this out, regattas is OHANA day, where verybody share, and it takes a very generous heart to do so. not much of all this in the hectic lifestyle we live on ah?

i vote for regattas like it is!!!!good for grandsons,parents and granpas to have a day together! learn, teach, talk stories and try to make your club gain POINTS!!

my 2 cents.


#10 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 4:46am

Points, Ohana, Regatta is for the Better of All. Everyone here is so hard set on what they have, nobody is willing to try anything else to see if it can be better.

#11 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 9:11am

Tpoppler01, let me tell you i dont live in hawaii anymore, and while iam working introducing the sport here in Argentina i cannot find a better way to do it than regattas....

#12 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 10:29am

As a kid I used to like regattas. But what made paddling stick for me was the 3-6 mile ILH races. Something about ironing a bit longer race made it more fun and gave me a better sense of team.

It seems that one man canoes have changed the nature of the sport. Club loyalties go out the window and many people choose to paddle all star teams or crews that are hand picked. The better paddlers in a club want to paddle with others at an elite level, which they have the right to do.

Is this good or bad? I dunno cause I don't paddle competitively any more. But it would seem this dilutes the talent pool that clubs have available for regatta and distance races.

If the idea is to be competitive with other paddling nations, it is too late for Hawaii's adults. Todays kids must be trained at a higher level so when they reach adulthood they have a bigger and better training base to rely on. We've all ready seen that Hawaii's absolute best 9 or 12 guys will still be beaten in the biggest international competitions.

#13 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 10:40am

I always enjoy this discussion when it comes up every year. (Year after year.) The fact that it comes around every year is very telling. Despite all the positives regattas in their current iteration offer, there must be something "missing" or some "room for improvement".

Just to further the conversation and ease any possible tensions, think about how other endurance sports have addressed topics such as retention, growth, visibility, crowd participation, athlete enjoyment, sponsorship, etc. And see if any of those apply to paddling, specifically regattas. (I'm not saying these other sports necessarily compare to paddling, are directly applicable, or are what the majority may want paddling to be/become, but there may be some nuggets of merit that can be applied.)

Afterward (and this may be a little off topic), you have to ask what do paddlers want paddling to be?

#14 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 10:46am

Regattas give all paddlers a chance to train for something with a goal. Regattas give a much better chance of participation.
While we need to look at the benefits for all, young paddlers are our future. We can't afford to lose that.

#15 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 12:42pm

Is there something to be learned and applied from Track & Field or Flat Water Canoe & Kayak sprint formats (K2, C2, etc.)?

Both excel in the areas I mentioned above ("retention, growth, visibility, crowd participation, athlete enjoyment, sponsorship, etc.") as well as offer formats that are "youth friendly".

#16 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 12:46pm

Ok Ok Ok, Mar. YOU LOVE Regatta I get it. Since Im not going to change your Opinion about it, and you have nothing Productive to bring to the table. Im putting you on MUTE.

The Ideas I'm talking about are things that can make the day more enjoyable. Six has got the right Idea, growth of the sport can be more easily obtained if we are open to the idea of change. If something doesn't work than it can always go back to the way it is now.

If you want the idea to be about the racing than make the racing more interesting, by having heats where you have to race your way into the final. Instead of DQ a boat for being over the line, or downing flag, or finishing on the wrong side of a flag.... give a time penalty. You have someone announcing the races as they are going on. Get the race times up as soon as the teams finish. Have a presentation stage where you can give medals up to finishers. Have a kids awards ceremony in the middle of the day, while they are all there.

Ideas people ideas.

#17 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 1:09pm

We help because we want too not because we have too.

#18 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 1:17pm

Tp- What you should do is appraoch you association and make a suggestion as doing awards during the day for the kids. I think that is a great idea. Why wait for someone else to do it. Let us use you as our " Lab rat " and see what comes of it. Your topic of " regattas " and how to make it better is not as clear to us as you are seeing it in your head. The people here in Hawaii VALUE regattas as FAMILY time and not " I hope someone notices? me so I can be called for an All-Star crew.

Like Jc90 stated, some people in clubs feel that they are more than the club themselves and feel that they need an All-Star team to make paddling worth it. They use the club as a drive through for maintenance work and then head out for LD season.

I think Hui Lanakila/ Waikiki BB womens? and Outrigger/Lanikai men?s are and have been moving in the right direction to re-erect " club " and still compete at an elite level. We should look at them as how we can become better and not at Tahiti for the live too far away.

We do regattas because we want too not because we have too,

#19 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 1:36pm

Tp- What you should do is appraoch you association and make a suggestion as doing awards during the day for the kids. I think that is a great idea. Why wait for someone else to do it. Let us use you as our " Lab rat " and see what comes of it. Your topic of " regattas " and how to make it better is not as clear to us as you are seeing it in your head. The people here in Hawaii VALUE regattas as FAMILY time and not " I hope someone notices? me so I can be called for an All-Star crew.

Like Jc90 stated, some people in clubs feel that they are more than the club themselves and feel that they need an All-Star team to make paddling worth it. They use the club as a drive through for maintenance work and then head out for LD season.

I think Hui Lanakila/ Waikiki BB womens? and Outrigger/Lanikai men?s are and have been moving in the right direction to re-erect " club " and still compete at an elite level. We should look at them as how we can become better and not at Tahiti for the live too far away.

We do regattas because we want too not because we have too,

#20 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 1:36pm

Tpop, I hear what you are saying and I agree with it, But one thing to keep in mind as we dispute this topic, Hawaii regattas and California regattas are like apples and oranges.

1 Our venues suck for true regatta style turns.

2 our average commute is 1.5 hours each way, and can be as long as 4+ for Arizona and Avila crews.

3 Our race organization is less than ideal. Although I can see why a starter boat would want to wait for the crew to get of the beach, The reality is that 25+ events, waiting 2+ minutes each adds up quick.

In So Cal racing the regattas have always had less attendance than Distance, for many reasons. I think we should except that fact, rather than begrudge the teams/individuals that don's show up, They are not obligated to race sprints just because they race Distance.

on another note, what would happen to the races if we allowed lighter boats, Faster times, quicker turns, More excitement, easier for the kids to paddle.

Also with another argument, why are teams so determined to have all their paddlers race every style of race (long, sprint, 9man) Each has it's own benefits and draws. A team could benefit by focusing different paddlers in their club to the specific style of racing they prefer.

#21 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 1:48pm

Actually you do regattas not just cause you want to but because you want to make a good boat come LD.

I don't like All-star teams during Regatta. It's fun to go fast, and look at the open guys from Kailua how many All-star guys do we have. Look if i wasn't getting noticed during one-man season then i don't think I'm going to get noticed during a regatta with five other guys that are pulling my ass around. When I start seeing recruiters down at the regattas looking for me... Focus here people I'm not here to BASH Regatta, I'm trying to see if it can't be better.

I don't have the answers any. I opened up a form to put out Ideas.

#22 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 1:57pm

As far as the low return rate goes, I think a lot of people try paddling for a season or two and don't continue. This is a hard sport, and even though we've all caught "the fever", the majority of people who try the sport don't. I grew up paddling in Hawaii, and even there I was constantly asked throughout my youth and later on why I did it so much. Like Nappy said in the video "people ask me why I paddle, it's because I like to paddle". This is almost impossible for many people to understand, even other athletes, and no amount of marketing or advertising will change that.

#23 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 3:27pm

Tpop is correct about racing the international distances, I think.

#24 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 3:31pm

Don't shoot the messenger here, but I think that regattas should be more about competition than participation. Because all clubs now have equal votes, the regatta format is broken. Clubs should be encouraged to grow, not hide in smaller divisions racing only enough crews to win the smaller division. There was no reason to let OHCRA grow to 18 clubs, which sets up heats in races that should be eliminated anyways. For this one Island there are too many clubs between OHCRA and Hui Waa competing for paddlers. The emphasis should be on age groups, open, and masters. The open 4 and all mixed divisions should go. That would lessen the schedule by 7 events, and over 10 races due to heats. If clubs can field open 4 men, women, and mixed, that is enough to enter some upper division events.

Just another opinion!

#25 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 4:04pm

"Like Jc90 stated, some people in clubs feel that they are more than the club themselves and feel that they need an All-Star team to make paddling worth it. They use the club as a drive through for maintenance work and then head out for LD season."

i perhaps didn't mean to make it sound as derogatory as you phrase it there anykine. i didn't say anyone is "using" a club or are "more than" a club. i'm just saying with all the select crews out there, clubs are depleted. everyone has a right to paddle where they want. it is just that the focus has shifted a bit from 6 person club paddling to single person paddling. As I said before, not sure if this is good or bad. Perhaps this signifies that paddling as a sport and it's events must evolve in some way. I am also unsure what way things should change.

#26 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 4:30pm

Didn't have any strong opinions on the discussion until I read mbsski's comment.

I second that motion - out with open 4's and mixed crews!

Looking ahead, with the way lifespans are going, we'll be having divisions for 70's, 85's and 100 year olds.

We need to start making room for those blessed folks. Bless their hearts for being so healthy and strong.

Yes, out with open 4's and mixed - and to those who race these events, just imagine how much sooner you could break open that cool mouth watering bottle of beer!

Another idea - drop the open 4s and mix and add some exhibition V-1 sprint races in the middle of the day to liven up the crowds.

#27 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 5:40pm

kamamakakaua, I liked your idea, "add some exhibition V-1 sprint races in the middle of the day to liven up the crowds" and ohana I liked, "focusing different paddlers in their club to the specific style of racing they prefer".

What if regattas had multiple events going on during the day like a track meet? You've got various different events scheduled through out the day (some concurrent, some sequential) and offer-up a little something to everyone. That way paddlers can specialize in what they like or excel at. Look to the pre-existing international distances (500m, 1000m, 1500m) and add some more, like a 3200m, a 10k, as well as add some V-1 events. Let people race in the events they qualify for and involve the strategies of having to juggle your own schedule through multiple events. Give kids and adults more opportunities to paddle.

You can keep all the things that you say make regatta great and include elements that spark those that may not be as fond of it in its current presentation.

But it really comes down to what do paddlers want/expect paddling to be and who is going to make the effort to put that vision into practice.

#28 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 6:07pm

OPEN 4'S IS AWESOME!!! Keep it!!! Drinking beers earlier does sound appealing though. As far as regatta distances go, 500m, 1000m, and 1500m isnt much different than our current 1/4, 1/2, and 1 mile races. I guess changing it would make it easier to compare to international times (although a simple calculator could do that as well).
Getting more kids a chance to race on race day would be a great, cuz telling them that they didnt make crew sucks especially those that are on the bubble. At states it's even tougher especially with everyone in Hawai'i needing to fly to the different islands to race that race. As a coach, you always want to put the best crew out there, but which kids do you tell to buy plane tickets? especially with inflated prices? I guess thats why they have Specials right?

#29 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 9:58pm

These are the inputs I was hoping for. I like the V-1 racing I mean how cool would it be to watch a V-1 or (OC-1) sprint in between some of the Long Races. You have something to Look at while your waiting for the big boats to come in and change paddlers. You could have one paddler per age div. per team enter as a racer. COOL...

Six mans get people interested One mans get people hooked. Especially the younger kids, you show them that not only can they strive to make there team go fast. You can put a drive in them to make themselves go fast as well.

On a side note the more we keep our kids interested in a heathy good environment, the less likely they are going to be able to get in trouble. They are not only the Future of paddling but of everything.

#30 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 10:32pm

Tp- I respect your thoughts and desire to find ways to help elevate our racing regatta situation. What it might take is take a position at your club where your voice can be heard at the annual meeting that re-looks at race rules and race events. Then perhaps from there, take a position that overlooks the whole state of Hawaii regatta?s. I don?t know if that is the way, but the people who are in these positions, that are stated above, feel maybe we are fine where we are at????

I remember when the kids age group would have 12A?s and 12B?s along with a 12 mix. What ever happened to that?

Like I stated before in another form, have alternating weekends ( kids one weekend and then adults the following weekend ) to do regatta racing with heats that leads to a final. Maybe I need to take a position?

#31 Thu, 07/16/2009 - 10:34pm

Yo T-pop, we need not look further than our Na Opio winter season here to see kids oc-1 races intermixed with the kids 6-man races. Some of the kids even raced v-1 this past season. The exact format you speak of. The base is already there, it's just building upon it.

#32 Fri, 07/17/2009 - 7:42am

Any- thats exactly what needs to happen, but with the position I'm in right now in my life it would not be a good idea. The every other weekend thing might be a little harder, but the heats to make it to finals would be cool and would get people to work hard to race a prelim to get a good lane in the final. Races are for the paddlers aren't they. Not for the officials.

#33 Fri, 07/17/2009 - 8:19am

how about seed the lanes according to time so that way there arent those boats comming down late and screwing the faster boats up at the turn. i hate to see the 1st place boat get DQ because the last place boat came down wide and there was some form of bullshit interference (SUPPOSEDLY ) by the 1st place boat. DQ the last p[lace boat or have them get the hell out of the way

#34 Fri, 07/17/2009 - 8:46am 2 cents.
Regattas are important for all the reason Ryan d said. There is no replacing the start of so many paddlers interest in the sport. Also, what other sport allows a Kupuna (Grandparent) to race the same day as their Grandkid? Regatta is never a training tool in itself. I try to run BEFORE the regatta to make sure I get a workout that day! But it is great for crew bonding and making the crew do the sprints that will help in the LD season.
ON A SIDE NOTE: OHCRA has become a dictatorship. We can't drink beer, discreatly and quietly, at the regattas anymore. Do they follow me down to the beach, when there is no regatta, when I go with family to make sure I don't break the law and drink a few? Their treats are horrible and paddlers think badly of OHCRA for it.

#35 Fri, 07/17/2009 - 9:39am

It is difficult at times to believe, but the majority of officials actually want to make regattas and ld races fun and fair. Nearly all of them still are or have been paddlers themselves.
Try to imagine a canoe race without some type of rules.
I wasn't over the line, the flag didn't hit the water, we weren't second, we won that race, I didn't interfere with them, they were in my lane. Who can accurately respond to these situations? Someone who's performance or results will be effected, or someone who's trying to make a call based on the rules?
One of the things HCRA, OHCRA, and big island association Moku O Hawaii are doing is utilizing a video camera that allows freeze frame photos to be seen by officials. These photos can be used to confirm or change an officials decision.
The videos taken will eventually be shown on a monitor during regattas. Similar to screens at major sporting events, it allows spectators and participants to see the action as the officials do. This can help the regattas be more entertaining.
While most of us like to have a cold one or two after our race,
the insurance and legal ramifications of alcohol consumption at an organized event do not allow it.
Someone drinking during a regatta gets in an accident while driving home. Someone is hurt or worse. Who gets sued and screwed? All of us.

#36 Fri, 07/17/2009 - 10:42am

Regatta has brought our family together on Sundays for the last 3 years. This is our kids' 3rd regatta season, and our second season. At last night's practice, 2 (Nov A Wmn) paddlers were literally crying because they won't make crew this weekend. They will paddle LD but can't earn a regatta seat. (?) With both our kids in school and both of us working, it would be hard for both of us to paddle distance, but we are going to try to alternate years so one of can paddle LD every other season until the kids are on their own.

Rules! There are 61 pages of rules at OHCRA 2009 Race Rules
It would take a lot of effort for anyone with progressive ideas to move into the organization and affect any lasting significant change, but it can be accomplished by anyone with sufficient motivation if the change ideas are constructive for the sport.

I know some 70 year old paddlers who would love to have a 70's age division - why not now?

No rules will stop people from having an incognito liquid refreshment after their race day is pau. Just keep it low key so no one gets hurt, legally or otherwise.

Just my rambling $.02

#37 Fri, 07/17/2009 - 11:28am

Aloha All,
As a current regatta paddler this is my 2 cents on the matter Tpoppler01 brought for discussion.
1. The regatta season is fine, (OHCRA) for the most part during the summer months for a total 7 regattas to include the OCHRA championships. Kids and adults (families) are readily available to participate together and the weather great for water events (no treat of hurricanes)
2. Change the race distances to no less than 1/8 mile and no more that 1 mile sprint/races. The distances can be increased by race class. And yes there is a way to run some of the races simultaneously, (especially the races with no turns).
3. I would dare say that sprint racing and LD racing is very different due to physical requirements and psychological mind sets, but I can't see any negative causes why regatta racing would hurt the LD season.

This spirited forum also addressed other issues outside of the original questions for discussion, for which I have a few of my own, but I hope to see this issue addressed by some if not all canoe clubs...and that ALL dues paying paddling members of a club, paddle in at least 1 regatta event according to their classification.It's unfortunate that many paddlers pay dues, practice as scheduled, but not even race during the season. This is the main reason why many paddlers leave the sport and why some clubs cannot field enough crews for competition. In my humble opinion, Hawaii's Official Team Sport, Outrigger Canoe Paddling should by based on participation and fun by all paddlers in regatta racing arena. (we can take some pointers from the Pop Warner league on how to accomplish this).

Mahalo for your time.

#38 Fri, 07/17/2009 - 11:49am

Speaking about clubs and people stayin together with their club ... here's a nice article about Lokahi CC's men 50s crew by Dayton Morinaga in the Honolulu Advertiser.

#39 Fri, 07/17/2009 - 2:23pm

another great OHCRA season good job everyone. long distance.....yahhhh boyyy

#40 Sun, 07/19/2009 - 11:00pm

One article says Waimanalo CC won the A division and the other says Waikiki Surf Club won so not sure who won the A but congrats to Kailua(AAA), Hui Lanakila (AA) and da A's

Star Bulletin;

Honolulu Advertiser

#41 Mon, 07/20/2009 - 1:22pm

tpop has re-ignited a popular debate that we should have every year, it's important to the pastime we love.

For what it's worth here is some data to chew on:
1. HCRA membership grew by 4% year on year in 2008 and by over 10% this year over last year.
2. Of the 9500 registered paddlers (including coaches, etc.) in the state over 7700 (81%) raced at least one regatta.
3. Approximately 1/3 of registered paddlers do not return the next year (assuming that the 20% that don't race don't return that implies about 15% don't return for other reasons).

Every Club Secretary has access to the names of non-returning paddlers and I have encouraged clubs in our association (Moku O Hawai'i) to use that information to identify the reasons folk do not return. Feedback shows that a larger portion of the falloff is due to graduation, work or family.


#42 Wed, 07/22/2009 - 9:45am

Those are some interesting numbers JJ. With a feedback response system like that you can get right down to the problems on a very large scale.

19% of paddlers don't even get to race one race. Sorry that just sucks. If the Regatta truly is about the Ohana then was is it (sorry for the corny line) that "someone is getting left behind"

#43 Wed, 07/22/2009 - 4:37pm


Bear in mind that some of those 19% probably gave up before the first regatta.

Associations are incented to register paddlers as their total registered paddlers is used to determine the number of lanes that they get at the next State regatta. The downside is that they have to carry a heavier insurance burden the next year.

Only one association allows paddlers to "un-register" and those numbers are small.

It is interesting that you thought the number high, I was surprised by how low it was. We all need to dig a little deeper to determine the causes of disillusionment.

One other thing - there is quite a disparity in retention rate from club to club, which may well indicate some root causes, but that is up to the clubs in question to fix. Furthermore, it makes our job harder identifying "meta" causes.


#44 Wed, 07/22/2009 - 5:49pm

Yes and No, JJ.

19% would be for at least one race. I bet the number for two races is a lot higher. And I think it high because I was a kids coach in Cali. In the few Regatta's we had, every kid raced, in some cases more than once. The point system wasn't like out here if a club had more than one boat entered than you would only count the top boats point finish. Every kid that needed a seat to race would get a shot, even if we only had three kids in one age we would go to another club and see if they had three kids to partner up to make a boat. Age divisions rules stated you couldn't race down in a lower age division but nothing saying you couldn't race up. I once had a twelve girl who paddled in 12s and got second, then steered in 14s won, steered 16s won, and steered 19s and got second to our other boat.

I would go to say that in Cali the participation rate in Regatta would be almost 100% in at least one race in the season.

I don't see why in some of these races why we couldn't put extra boats in if there is room for them. Given that we race Koa out here and most clubs only have one Koa so they couldn't field another crew because they didn't have a boat for them to race in. Maybe have a race where we race glass racers idk.

#45 Wed, 07/22/2009 - 9:56pm

I also like the idea that "kamamakakaua" and "six as one" suggested for some exhibition sprints during the day to liven up the crowds.I also like to see the open 4's re-structured to allow more paddlers to "actually paddle" in a regatta. Here are some of my humble suggestions:

  1. Create a V-1 AND OC-1 AND OC-2 AND SUP, point scoring sprint events. This would be really cool since the
    OC-1/OC-2 and SUP is now part of our sports water culture.
  2. Create a "SUMO" sprint event. (limited to paddlers weighing no less than 240 lb. ...hehehe).
  3. Create a "Celebrity or VIP" sprint event. Whereas, each club would field a boat with at least 2 non- club member celebrity types and 4 club members for a sprint race. (This event could include folks in the entertainment business, government, local companies and the media.)
  4. Create a "super makule" spint race for club members over 70 years of age. (this will be a crowd pleaser)
  5. Drop the open 4's race format (sorry) redesign it with 6 specific paddlers (call it the Ohana race) with the following 6 paddlers from the following divisions (example - 1-Novice, 1-Freshman, 1-Sophomore, 1-Junior, 1-Senior, and 1-Masters.(this race could produce some really fast times).

Again, this is my humble opinion and suggestions (without any financial considerations) but it would be really interesting to see these events incorporated in a regatta.

Mahalo for your time.

#46 Thu, 07/23/2009 - 8:05am

Gotta keep Open Four.

#47 Thu, 07/23/2009 - 9:51am

Jim's aight: gotta keep Open Four!

#48 Thu, 07/23/2009 - 10:25am

Given each of our associations uses slightly different rules for the regatta season some of the ideas suggested are being tried and we can take a quick look at the results.

For example, Maui uses glass canoes for regatta, so one might expect there to be more clubs per capita than an association that uses koa. Yet there are only 9 clubs in an association of 1644 paddlers as opposed to 15 clubs for the 2111 paddlers of Moku O Hawai'i.

Maui also allows "unofficial" crews to participate in open lanes. One would expect that would increase their participation rate, and yet it is 82% compared to Moku's 81%

It seems that participation rate varies widely from club to club. The four largest clubs in Moku O Hawai'i have participation rates that vary from 70% to 90%

Perhaps changes at the club level might make the most difference to participation rates?


#49 Thu, 07/23/2009 - 11:05am

Jonathan -

thats great you and your group are looking at trends and stats in general - not sure whose been running the number crunching - but those are some interesting numbers you've been providing in the various threads

I'm curious if you or anyone else would know - what are the time differences between the Koa canoe and fiberglass canoes in the same race distances - I'm wondering if the times between Hui Wa'a, which uses fiberglass canoes can be compared with OHCRA, which uses Koa for the given races or is there a time differential that needs to be applied in order to make the comparison more equal.

#50 Thu, 07/23/2009 - 12:03pm


Great question, and a tough one to answer definitively.

If you take a look at the "Fastest Times" you will see that Hui Wa'a are not over-represented but that their historically fast crews are listed.


#51 Thu, 07/23/2009 - 12:58pm

Time comparisons are quite difficult, as courses vary from one to another. Also given courses even vary from day to day and hour to hour. Large gusts of wind can come and go during a regatta, so it would even be hard to compare all 1/2 miles or all 1 mile races.

#52 Thu, 07/23/2009 - 2:22pm

Found this thread to be among the best of 2009, wanted to raise it again.
Wondered if people, heading into the regatta season, might have a different set of thoughts.
Am not aware of any changes to the conduct of OHCRA regattas for 2010 (did not expect any).
Many great ideas shared last July...([props to Tpopp, Team 76, jjgrayson, anykine, kamamak...]), including:
70+ race?
Open 4?
Adult Beverages?
V-1 Demo Sprint?
Scoring system?
Shorten the regatta day--eliminate/shorten which races?
"Unofficial crews use open lanes" --increases participation?

Discuss amongst yourselves...

#53 Tue, 06/01/2010 - 10:28pm

Open class would be cool. V-1s, also. Adult beverages, of course.

#54 Wed, 06/02/2010 - 9:06am

Too many regattas, 2 regattas take longer than all long distance races combined.....not good. Cut it to 3 or 4 regattas.

#55 Wed, 06/02/2010 - 5:07pm

Actually have an All Kids regatta were it is actually All about the Kids. Where Every kid gets to race. It shouldn't be about a kid making a crew, but about Making crews for kids to race. Have heats and for multi-races in each age division. Allow kids to change age divisions and if there is problems about kids winning more than one age division then just don't count them in the point scheme at the end of the day. Have awards for the kid that races in the most events. Have OC1, V1, OC2, SUP, OC6, V6 if you can get enough, have different distances for each age division a 500m and a 1000m just like worlds.

Get Venders down there and try to get media coverage. Have someone over the PA announcing the races like at a surf contest. Make the awards something that are better than ribbons with small medals. Have a band at the end of the day playing for everyone.

Don't DQ boats just give time Penalties, hate to see fast boats DQed for stupid reasons and when a time penalty could have kept them in the race and still be a fare punishment.

#56 Wed, 06/02/2010 - 5:57pm

how bout, when the team in 1st turns the flag, comes out and wins only to have official boat say they interfered with the last team three changes out of their turn and get dQ'd. then the last place steersman goes up to the officials and said nothing happened and that if it did it was his fault, only to be told that they cannot overturn the official boat. i love that one whoooohooooooo. some of the rules got to change.

#57 Wed, 06/02/2010 - 9:38pm

if regatta season is all about culture,family,fun,competition,etc., then all the kids who come to practice should be able to race. not just the six kids who make the crew, have more crews race in each division if need be. competition is good, but why the hell should a kid attend practice, go and spend all day at the race and just watch from the beach? the top clubs who are super competitive and vying for state champs run the associations and i doubt it's gonna change. currently, this benefits only a few rather than the majority. example: 15 twelve year-olds show up for practice and work hard but for whatever reason only six get chosen to race! screw that! i'm all for competition and i'm super competitive, but leave that one crew only format for the adults. the sport can grow so much if the clubs let all the kids who practice hard paddlle in the races.. as for tpoppler, who cares if little timmy's parents have money and can sponsor a team? is that what's important? to me the main thing should be little timmy getting to race and paddle his ass off and have fun!! if that was the case and i was little timmy's dad, i'd go and buy him an oc-1 and have him train and race that instead. sometimes, as adults in our quest to be the best, we lose sight of what's most important; the happiness of a kid. the sport is gonna change, the eono hoe is just the start. manny and the kamanu boys are visionaries and while they respect tradition and culture, they know that change and innovation can be refreshing and exciting. the oc-1 manufacturer's should really think about sponsoring youth races and programs. sponsor the races and provide boats for the kids to race in. in the longrun they would benefit, i,e; selling more canoes. have the races be flat-water sprints at keehi, ala-wai?, stream by lulu's and etc. can you imagine the crowds it would generate? family members cheering and screaming for little timmy! my 12yo ran track last year, the meets were held at UH and the kids who participated could sign up and enter ANY event they desired. big,small. fast,slow. they all had the chance to race. the cheering,yelling and screaming from the crowd is nuts! hundreds of people there! canoe racing could be so much more in hawaii, it's stagnant and that's why there's no big corporate sponsorship. there's really no benefit for the corporations. let all the kids participate, friends and family will show up to support and corporate sponsorship and media coverage will surely follow.

#58 Wed, 06/02/2010 - 10:37pm

with kids its all about the fun. add some fun races. maybe toy prizes

#59 Thu, 06/03/2010 - 4:51am

I vote to eliminate Sophmore or Junior race, OPEN Mix, 40 Mix, and Nov B Mix. Mixed races are too ad-hoc, they do nothing to improve crew performance/timing, and there is no way to know how you do relative to another club across the year.
Add 2nd heats for two, three, or four kids divisions, depending on where the rosters are the thickest, to expand the number of teenage paddlers who get to participate. Of course, the drawback is that this probably only serves the AAA and AAAA clubs, and makes the day longer for A and AA clubs who would be less likely to have paddlers in those second heats.

#60 Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:08am

@ secret totally agree. but hey you can field a second team just to have a kid race, or race them up and down to fill a boat, just dont count those points at the end of the day.

#61 Thu, 06/03/2010 - 2:30pm

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