February 20, 2020
Dear Port of Hood River Commissioners,
Let us begin by once again offering a warm Aloha and a sincere Mahalo for all the support the Port has provided to the Hood River Outrigger Canoe Club (HROCC) over these past seven years. As the Port develops its five- year plan I would like to take this opportunity to share some of our accomplishments and our future goals for our club.
Over the past seven years our club has grown from a small group of less than 30 members and one Canoe to over 110 members and 5 Canoes in 2019. Part of this growth has been fueled by the phenomenal growth of Outrigger Canoe paddling in the US; this trend has migrated from Hawaii to the continental U.S. The outlook for this sport continues to be strong with participation from the West Coast through the Midwest and onto the East Coast.
But an equally important factor in the growth of our club has been the extraordinary enthusiasm, dedication and know-how of our Founders and the residents of the Gorge who have extended their welcome and experience to all people who have an interest in participating in this awesome activity!
Several years ago HROCC began a very competitive race program. Last year we competed in most of the Northwest Regional races but also sent teams to Kona, Hawaii and Catalina, California to compete against stellar fields of International racers. Hood River was fortunate to bring home many race awards against these incredible competitors.
Last year we realized one of our most important goals, with the addition of our Junior Program known as Keikis. Operating through the auspices of the Community Education Program we had 30 Keikis participate for 12 weeks, 2 days a week and 1 ½ hours per session. The curriculum included:
Basic paddling skills (it's difficult to get 6 kids in a boat paddling in sync!),
Water safety including how to right a boat that has HULI (i.e. flipped),
Hawaiian culture, which is the rich history of Outrigger Canoeing as a family endeavor known as Ohana, and most important, having fun!
A big shout out to our Keikis and to all the Mom’s and Dad’s who not only got their keikis to practice but helped with the many logistics needed to get the boats on the water. Based on informal surveys and feedback we are expecting to have over 60 youth members participating in 2020.
Many of our members just enjoy paddling with HROCC for the sense of camaraderie, health and fitness. HROCC has had a thorough beginners introductory program since its inception which is designed to quickly bring the uninitiated paddler up to speed. This year the beginners program will be expanded by also running it under the auspices Community Education. This will allow our club to reach new members other than by word of mouth and will continue to grow our diversity to reflect our Gorge community.
Our current location at the Basin and Frog’s Beach is critical to our continued success. The three canoes that reside at Frog’s Beach weigh approximately 400 lbs. apiece and are 45 feet long. Realistically to be able to get them to the water requires a great deal of muscle power and technique that would not be possible if they were located further away.
The canoes in our Hale are newer and much more expensive carbon fiber which are more easily moved but must be protected because of their light weight from the famously raging winds in the Hood River Gorge. The Hale also acts as our team gathering location as we host at least one Ohana Day per month. These days are designed to build our community as we invite members and non-members to partake in our Ohana pot-luck celebrations.
Despite keeping our club dues at a reasonable rate we have judicially managed our finances and have been able to dedicate a specific fund for the purpose of building a more permanent Hale (i.e clubhouse) in the future. We sincerely hope that as the Port continues its plans to develop the waterfront that HROCC is given the opportunity to enter into a more long-term agreement and build a permanent facility in keeping with the overall use and esthetics of our beautiful Hood River Waterfront area.
Hood River Outrigger Canoe Club Board of Directors
Alina Iofciu, President
Bernie Boglioli, Past President
Becca Sanders, Treasurer
Terese Roeseler, Secretary
Wayne Robson, Sergeants at Arm
Joan Martocello, Member at Large