1. Our History – A Tale of Two Clubs
2. Respecting Your Outrigger
3. The Spirit of Aloha
4. Canoe Blessing
5. Hawaiian Outrigger Traditions
6. Hawaiian Phrases
OUR HISTORY A Tale of Two Clubs:
Mountain Home and Cascadia
Mountain Home Canoe Club (MHCC) was formed in 1993 as a co-ed dragon boat racing team with a primary focus of competing in the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races. The team was comprised of members of the Kaiser Hospital dragon boat team of 1992 and various friends and associates. At the ALCAN races in Vancouver, BC, in June of 1993, the team was required to register a team name. On the spot, Adam Kramer, team founder and coach, chose Mountain Home, the name of the water district where he was living near Scholls, Oregon. Under Adam ‘s leadership, coaching, and management, the team trained hard and competed successfully that first year in dragon boat races in Portland, Iowa, British Columbia, and Alberta. Encouraged by success and inspired by the competition, MHCC members were determined to be competitive at the highest levels of racing and agreed to train year round, on and off the water. The team continued to grow and improve and in 1996 placed 2nd in the top competitive division in the ALCAN dragon boat races held in Vancouver, BC. Two weeks later, Mountain Home returned to Vancouver to place 6th in the World Championship Dragon Cup, where Mountain Home was the only team representing the USA among a field of teams from China, Germany, New Zealand, and Canada. In 1997, MHCC took 1st place in the competitive division of the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races, finally beating their Portland nemesis of five years, Wasabi Paddling Club.
While concentrating on dragon boat racing, MHCC members also enjoyed other paddling sports including kayak, marathon canoe in classic two-man canoes, and outrigger canoe in six-man Hawaiian style canoes. In 1994, MHCC had obtained their first OC6 and began a transition from dragon boat to outrigger. By 1996, the primary focus of Mountain Home had shifted to outrigger canoe training and racing. In fact, during the 1997 season, MHCC practiced only a handful of times before taking the blue in the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races. After the success in the Portland Rose Festival, interest in dragon boat waned rapidly and MHCC began to concentrate fully on developing highly competitive outrigger racing teams. By this time, MHCC had developed a close relationship with several competitive Canadian paddlers, most notably Peter Heaver and Calvin Chow, who had been providing a lot of support in training. In 1999, Peter moved to Portland and became the head coach for Mountain Home.
As Mountain Home grew through the 1990s from dragon boat to outrigger, another Portland dragon boat team was making similar transitions. Early in the history of the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races, the Dragon Flies had formed a competitive women’s team. This team was the first in Portland to purchase voyager canoes and train year around. They built the sport of dragon boat paddling by conducting the first paddling clinics, coaching other teams, and developing successful paddlers. The Dragon Flies soon became well known for their success in competition, winning the women’s division in the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races each year. They traveled to California, Canada, and Australia. When the Dragon Flies became the first team from the northwest to compete in the International Dragon Boat races in Hong Kong, their coach was Diane Kadolph-Ray. Diane had been involved in dragon boat since the beginning of the sport in Portland in 1989. As Athletic Director for Portland Community College (PCC), she had worked with the founders of the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association to put together a PCC team for the first dragon boat race in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races. A few years after the formation of the Dragon Flies, Diane had joined this women’s team while continuing to coach the PCC team.
During this time, Diane had the opportunity to paddle Hawaiian outriggers through her summer work with Disneyland. After realizing how this paddling sport would enhance dragon boating, she brought back her experience to the Dragon Flies, and shortly afterwards Columbia River Outrigger Canoe Club (CROCC) was formed. When CROCC moved its location south to Wilsonville, OR, in 1996, Diane and fellow paddler Karen Anderson bought three OC6s and formed a new outrigger club they named Pacific Outrigger. Shortly afterwards, Diane and Karen split, leading Diane to form Cascadia Canoe Club (CCC). On June 30, 1997, Diane and her husband, Tom Ray, met with a group of paddling friends at the Portland Brew Pub to discuss the formation of this new club, Cascadia, which would provide training and participate in racing in dragon boat and outrigger canoes. CCC drew its members from the dragon boat community, largely from the team Pulp Friction that Diane and Dan Hinojos had started. The members of Pulp Friction continued to paddle under the umbrella of Cascadia Canoe Club for five years until CCC decided to shift its primary emphasis to outrigger.
From 1996 through 2002, Cascadia Canoe Club formed successful dragon boat teams winning competitions locally and in Canada. CCC continued to help the local dragon boat community by conducting clinics and coaching other teams. The outrigger side of CCC continued to grow as well by focusing on competition through ohana (family relationship). Boy Chun Fook and the outrigger club Kikaha O Ke Kai from the Tacoma area taught Cascadia Canoe Club the traditions of the Hawaiian outrigger culture. Kikaha helped CCC by transporting and lending canoes for CCC teams to use in races, until a trailer was built in 1998 and a second canoe was purchased in 1999. While Cascadia Canoe Club was developing as a prominent Portland paddling club, Mountain Home Canoe Club was growing as an outrigger club, enjoying successes in competitions from California to Canada, and from New York to Hawaii. Rapidly, Mountain Home developed premier outrigger racing teams, entering women’s, men’s, and mixed OC6 teams in iron races ranging from nine to 18 miles, and in change races ranging from 18 to 41 miles. MHCC teams also competed in the sprint race regattas of the Pacific Northwest Outrigger Racing Canoe Association (PNW-ORCA). In 2002, Mountain Home sent eight paddlers to represent PNW-ORCA in the World Sprint Championships in Bora Bora, Tahiti.
During the development of outrigger racing, individual members of Mountain Home Canoe Club continued to participate in dragon boat racing on various teams, including Jammin’ Salmon, Sync or Swim, Prudential Dragons, Cascadia, Wasabi, Pulp Friction, Dragon Flies, and Kai I Kai Ka. In 2001, MHCC assembled a mixed dragon boat team that competed and won the silver in the top competitive division of the ALCAN festival in Vancouver, BC. In 2002, after a five-year absence from the Portland dragon boat scene, Mountain Home entered the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races and placed first with their mixed team in the top competitive division. Following this success, MHCC gained several new members from other competitive teams, including Wasabi, Kai I Kai Ka, and Cascadia.
By 2002, the members of Cascadia Canoe Club had split into two groups: those who loved outrigger and understood the advantages of outrigger canoe training and those who did not. This split in paddling philosophies prompted the outrigger paddlers to seek other more competitive outrigger paddlers. Following the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races in June 2002, the Officers of the Boards of Cascadia Canoe Club and Mountain Home Canoe Club met to explore the possibility of a merger of the two clubs. At this time, MHCC was interested in growing its numbers. MHCC recognized Cascadia as a community of diverse individuals with high interest in outrigger paddling, as well as a cohesive community that best represented the spirit of ohana characteristic of traditional Hawaii outrigger communities. Cascadia recognized Mountain Home as a successful outrigger club with quality coaching and equipment. After a summer of paddling together, the two clubs finalized a merger. Mountain Home Canoe Club joined Cascadia Canoe Club, after which the members voted to change the name of the club to Mountain Home Canoe Club. The merged clubs consolidated their equipment at the MHCC moorage on the Columbia River.
At the date of this writing, August 2003, Mountain Home Canoe Club embraces a community of nearly 70 men and women who share a deep interest in canoe outrigger paddling. Our members come from diverse cultural backgrounds and from diverse regions around the world. Members bring to the Club their traditions from Great Britain, Guam, Samoa, Malaysia, the Cook Islands, Australia, Hawaii, Canada, and all regions of the United States. Our members represent a cross section of society with members employed in the fields of construction, engineering, computers, real estate, marketing, architecture, research, finance, education, law, medicine, and fitness, to name a few. We range in age from 27 to 57 years old. The common thread that runs through all is desire to train, compete, and have fun doing it, while promoting the tradition of outrigger paddling.