Our Club

Pittwater Outrigger Racing Canoe Club was formed in 1995 by a group of enthusiasts who appreciated how lucky we are to have such easy access to the beautiful waters of the Northern Beaches.

The club has a number of committed and long term members who ensure that everyone is given a range of opportunities to paddle, to improve their fitness, stamina and technique or for a leisurely paddle to enjoy the stunning scenery, flora and fauna around Pittwater.  Our members range in age from early 20s to late 70s and compete in age divisions including Open, Masters, Senior Masters and Golden Masters in Men, Women and Mixed divisions.

Due to our strong membership the club is able to continually assess its canoes to ensure that members enjoy well maintained and in some cases state of the art craft.

Safety is of paramount importance and the club adheres to the Safety and Risk Management Policies of The Australian Outrigger Canoe Racing Association AOCRA

The Committee

  • President: John Woods
  • Vice President: Sharyn Whitton
  • Honorary Secretary: Peter Watson
  • Treasurer:  George Floth
  • Head Coach: Gary Finnigan
  • Women’s Captain: Vanessa Henderson
  • Men’s Captain: Paul Flynn
  • Registrar:  Gary Finnigan
  • Regatta Co-ordinator: Paul Higgs

What is Outrigging?

Outrigger canoes originated over 3,000 years ago and were used as the principal form of transport by the people of Oceania, Polynesia and other island cultures.  Traditional canoes were carved from a single koa tree-trunk.

Lieutenant James Cook saw an outrigger canoe on the 3rd June 1770 as he sailed the Endeavour through the Whitsundays on his voyage of discovery.  Outrigger canoeing continues to be an important cultural activity and also provides competitive and recreational opportunities to sport and outdoor enthusiasts around the world.

The Canoes

The canoes used today are based on the traditional Hawaiian canoes which have changed little in shape over thousands of years. Traditional canoes are made from wood from the Koa tree, whereas modern outrigger canoes are made of fibreglass and a six person canoe (OC6) is approximately 13m long with a hull weight of around 155kgs.

Attached to the canoes are the Iaku “e-a-ku”, which attach to the Ama (the float) which traditionally sits on the left.

In an OC6 the crew is numbered from the front (1) to the steerer (6) at the rear of the canoe.  Seat 1 sets the pace or rating, seat 2 copies their stroke on the opposite side of the boat and usually calls the huts which indicates the change of paddling side, seats 3 and 4 are the power seats, seat 5 is also a powerful paddler but needs to be surf and steering aware particularly in the ocean.  Seat 6 steers and paddles.

Our club has 2 x OC1s, 2 x OC2s and 7 x OC6s.

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