Marina del Rey Outrigger Canoe Club
was founded in 1967 by Sandy Kahanamoku and Steven Kekuewa.
Marina Outrigger Canoe Club was formed in 1967 when two clubs, Santa Monica Outrigger Canoe Club and Kai Nalu Outrigger Canoe Club, merged. Both Sandy Kahanamoku and Steven Kekuewa were the coaches for the club for many years. With the passing of our founders — Steve in 1997 and Sandy in 2003, we dedicate our efforts to preserving their legacy and racing in their honor.
Through the years, we have been proud to claim many “firsts”. Marina Outrigger is proud that the team's woman paddlers were the first to cross the 31-mile Catalina Channel in 1971. These bold women were required to bring both a doctor and a nurse onboard their escort boat. Their heroism and dedication to the sport ensured a place for women in long-distance canoe racing ever since.
We are also proud to have Calvin Hirahara as a lifetime member and a coach of our club. Working with canoe designer Sonny Bradley from Hawaii, Calvin builds the “Bradley” Lightnings for the entire West Coast. Without them, canoe racing in California as we know it would not exist. Marina Outrigger also races several unlimited canoes, a lighter version of traditional canoes, which were designed by one of the top coaches and boat builders in the country, John Puakea.