HROCC Safety Pledge and Racing Schedule and Racer Criteria

Hood River Outrigger Canoe Club is committed to the Safety of all paddlers .

Hood River Outrigger Canoe Club Safety Pledge 

The Hood River Canoe Club (HROCC) is special because of its world-class water, its gorgeous location, and the amazing people who participate as coaches, steers people and club members. Grateful for our unique combination of people and place, HROCC is committed to a culture of safety, inclusivity, and support, which helps all paddlers enjoy and safely participate in the sport and community of outrigger canoe.

Preparing to Paddle

  • I dress for immersion at all times. This means I wear a neoprene wetsuit and full PFD (i.e., no belt packs or inflatables) when the river temperature is below 50 degrees F.
  • I have learned and understand how to recover from a "huli" (when the boat flips) including the responsibility of each seat and crew member.
  • I have learned what safety gear is on the canoe and I check before I paddle.
  • I ask questions when I don't understand or feel comfortable, and I know there are people at HROCC happy to help me at any time.

On the Boat

  • I will alert the steers person of any physical limitations that may affect my paddling or Huli recovery before I enter the canoe, e.g. I'm injured , I'm unsure I can get back in and may need assistance, or I don't know how to swim.
  • I will follow all commands of the steers person promptly and quietly.
  • I know how to re-enter the canoe and am prepared to do so, whether on my own, or with partner assist, or with a Huli strap. If I can't swim 25 yards, I wear a full PFD.

Off the Boat

  • If I feel unsafe or unsure about something, I will raise my concern with a steers person, coach, or Board Member.
  • Ideas to improve water safety and skill building are always welcome and encouraged.

Because we are committed to safety and teamwork, we do amazing things in a beautiful environment, and remember

the Five P's: proper prior planning prevents problems !

Mahalo and Aloha


Interested in racing with HROCC in the 2024 season? 

We'd love to have you! 

The cost is $75 and includes scheduled race practice on Tuesday morning at 6:45am-8:30am in addition to the regular, club paddle sessions. This is a fun, all inclusive group of paddlers that welcomes anyone interested in racing.

You must have one or more full years of paddling experience with HROCC, or another paddling club, and a willingness to commit to two or more of the regular seasons races.

Practices will be rigorous with endurance drills, technique critiques and practice races.

HROCC is committed to taking as many 6-man teams as possible to at least 6 of our area races. These include:

April 20 - Rusty Iron

April 27 - Race Around the Island

May 11 - Sprint Race - Spanaway Lake

June 29 - Rooster Rock 

July 6 - Gorge Downwind Race

August 10 - PNW Challenge

August 24 - Bellingham Bay

These races range in distance from 4 to 13 miles.

Seating crews for race boats is always a puzzle, but our coaches try to follow established criteria.

We strive to seat as many boats as we can with club members that are available, motivated, and qualified to paddle a safe and inspiring race.

All racers will be expected to help with the loading and unloading of boats for races in which they participate.

If you are motivated to go to an out of area race (Queen's Race, Catalina, PNW Challenge, Da Grind, etc.. ), we encourage you to pull a HROCC team together on your own, which includes a qualified steers, and paddlers who have the skills to paddle in expected conditions. HROCC coaches can help make sure you are able to practice together at some practices, help with registrations and canoe transport or rentals. 

             View the full PNWORCA Race Schedule here: 



Level 1 (Rusty Iron, RATI Races)

  • All levels of paddler from novice to experienced.
  • Commitment: All racers are encouraged to sign up (early in the season) and attend early season practices.

Level 2 (Rooster Rock Race, PNW Challenge, Bellingham Bay

  • Age group
  • Technique: Consistent, correct use of the club designated, Puakea Tahitian technique (video evidence)
  • Blending: Timing, body movement, power and teamwork meshes with other crew members (video evidence)
  • Commitment: Evidence of commitment through regular attendance to club and race practices and effort to always improve.
  • Attitude: Maintain a positive attitude and spirit of O'hana at all times, with all members.

Level 3 (Gorge Downwinder Challenge)

Four to five highly competitive crews will be set early in order for the crews to practice downwind techniques together for two months prior to the race.

All LEVEL 2 criteria

  • Physical fitness for endurance evidenced.
  • Seated for best results by May 5 with crews that blend well in strength, timing and skill.
  • Time trials in an OC-1 or OC-2 if needed for final selection.
  • Three or more races completed within the last few seasons.
  • Proven strength and ability in high wind conditions.
  • Successful bracing and huli experiences and ability to easily re-enter the canoe from the water.
  • Commitment: Average three practices a week throughout the summer and all race practices the week or two prior to race day along with crew up practices on Thursday mornings and special downwind runs.


If you are motivated to go to an out of area race (Queen's Race - Kona Hawaii, Catalina - Long Beach California, NaPali Challenge), we encourage you to pull a HROCC team together on your own, which includes a qualified steers and paddlers who have the skills to paddle the expected conditions.HROCC coaches can help make sure you are able to practice together at some practices, help with registrations and canoe transport or rentals. ALL logistics for these races including crew selection, seat assignments, registration and boat rentals are the responsibility of the paddlers who commit to participating and the specific team leader.

We look forward to a safe and exciting year on the water, with our incredible HROCC. Ohana and camaraderie !

"When we are in the canoe, we are one paddler, one heart and one spirit. It is rare to achieve this, but when it occurs,

effort becomes effortless and one transcends the limitations of the ego. All becomes one and the

true essence of paddling is experienced."

Coaches  Bonnie Fromm, Dan Bubb, Sue Sutherlin and Andrew McElderry


How to set for turns in Outrigger Canoes by Gabriel Jaramillo article

Race Sprint Turns video by Coral Sea OCC Steering Clinic

1500 Outrigger Canoe World Sprints Finals technique video

Hood River Outrigger Canoe Club is a 501(c)3 all volunteer non-profit organization 

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