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AVALON, Calif. – The U.S. Championship Catalina Channel Crossing is the pinnacle race of the Southern California Outrigger Association. Where paddlers from all over California to Tahiti come to race. It has been over 15 yrs since Avalon has had a representative in the race. With the backing of the City of Avalon’s Community Service Department the Catalina Island Outrigger Canoe Club (CIOCC) was reborn.
The CIOCC has 30 SCORA registered race team members and 45 total members. CIOCC filled a Men’s and Women’s 9 man spec division teams for the U.S. Championships. The women’s team paddled from Newport Harbor to Catalina. As they finished the 26 mile journey the entered the harbor with all 9 members in the boat to a roaring applause from the locals.
The Men’s team got to a great start only to Huli (flip a boat) twice. It look like the men were out of it, but they bounced back, paddled hard, and after 30 miles from Avalon to the shores of Newport Harbor they snuck into 3rd place. The Club as a whole received the Ho’e Bill Pettit Memorial Perpetual award the “most inspirational” team.
Overall Avalon should be proud of the Locals who have decided to bring back the Aloha spirit of Canoeing. The CIOCC is inviting everyone out this weekend Sat. Sept. 16th to paddle a canoe. Location will be middle beach; 11-12 pm 6-8th grade; 12:15-1:15 9th-12th grade; 1:30-3pm Adults. Does not matter the age, gender, or social background there is always a seat for you in the Canoe. Malama da Aina!
Avalon is situated on the easterly portion of Catalina Island, 22 miles south/southwest of the Los Angeles Harbor breakwater. Avalon is a little over 2 2/3 square miles in size. The island itself is 76 square miles in area, 85% of which is in a conservancy area to be maintained in its natural state in perpetuity. The picturesque and leisurely seaport village of Avalon has a permanent population of around 3,500, with an annual visitor count of close to one million. The Island’s primary industry is tourism.
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