The first race of the So Cal Winter Outrigger Series kicked off in La Jolla this weekend, hosted by the San Diego Outrigger Canoe Club, and it was one heck of an event. This was my first race on the gifted Huki V1-X (which I won earlier in the year) and I was stoked to get out there and do a bit of racing on a perfect day – 75 degrees in the middle of November. What’s not to like?
First: a few quick reflections on the outrigger set. 1.) they certainly like their gear; no, seriously, they are the triathlon guys of the water – lots of colorful paint schemes, carbon fiber up the wazoo, and trick little setups for everything; 2.) tribal tattoos are not just for SUP guys after all; 3.) don’t take for granted the husky girl in the sun-bleached rash guard because she’s going to go by you like you’re standing still, and then she’s going to talk to you like she’s shopping at the supermarket and, all the while, you’re about to puke. Not that happened to me, but, well, that totally happened to me.
Pete B opted for the short course (4 miles) on his beautiful new OC-1, which might have been the smart option; however, I figured suffering through the long course (8.5 miles) would be perfect for a knuckle-dragging paddleboarder. Here’s another insight into the race: outrigger math is seriously whacked, because at 9.5 miles I could only just see the finish buoys and people floating next to their boats. In the end, the race was more like 10 miles, but I just couldn’t bring myself to complain – it was just too pretty a day. Oh, sure, I sniveled the first 4 miles when ‘husky’ went by and I noticed everyone was pushing BIG blades compared to my own; but, after the turn on the downwind run, I caught a few folks (no, not ‘husky’) and finished up in 1:31. Not great, but not bad either.
Next OC-1 race: Dec. 7th. Looking forward to showing up with a new ‘sponsor’ and maybe even a new low-rider paint scheme…it’s so on.