May 13, 2011

WBRC Alumni's Paddling Club Makes the News

A Makapo Canoe Club crew paddling during a 2010 open ocean competition

WBRC Alumnus, Richard Worlitz, contacted us to let us know that the paddling club he is involved with has made the news.  The club, called the 'Makapo Canoe Club', is an Orange County based non-profit group through the O.C. Makapo Aquatics Project which provides training and competition support to persons who are legally blind.  'Makapo' is a Hawaiian word with the meaning 'blind' and is actually made up of two words, 'Maka' (Eye) and 'Po' (Dark). 

The group trains and competes in several styles of outrigger canoe races throughout the West Coast and is hoping to to travel to Kona to compete in the Queen Liliuokalani Outrigger Canoe Race later this year.  These races are completed on the open ocean and range in distance from 3 miles to over 25 miles.  The outrigger canoes are manned by crews of 5 paddlers (who all have visual impairments) and a sighted steersman.  The Makapo Canoe Club crews compete in these races against crews from other teams who are fully sighted.

The Makapo Canoe Club was featured on their local Orange County news station, KTLA, on May 4th, 2011.  Several clips aired which covered the club, the sport, the crew, and the challenges of paddling blind. 

CLICK HERE for a link to the MAKAPO Canoe Club website

CLICK HERE for a link to the KTLA NEWS clips

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