Saturday, September 11, 2010

O2H wins at U.S. Outrigger Championships

The women's team from the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club, competing as part of Ocean of Hope, won first place today in the U.S. Outrigger Championships. What a great day for the team and for sarcoma patients.

Today's 27-mile, open-ocean race launched from Newport Beach and ended on Catalina Island. First held in 1959, the Catalina race is the ultimate outrigger canoe race in California. Teams compete from all over the state, plus Canada, Hawaii, Guam and Japan.

"As members of the Ocean of Hope, we focus our training, racing and fundraising efforts on the Catalina Crossing," captain Aimee Spector says. "Every stroke of those 27 miles to Catalina is dedicated to the sea of people affected by cancer."

Other team members are: Katy Arnold, Tanya Muhle, Lise Fernow, Lisa Wilson, Kim Lanie, Jessie Kennedy, Kate Eveleigh, Jill Schooler, Jeane Barrett, Heather Suskin, Dawn Suskin, Dani Hart, Alice Haas, Laurie Parker, Lorie Vos, Jean Geddes and Maki Myazaki.

For more history, see this page. You can give a donation on behalf of the team or click on the names on the team page (at the previous link) to donate to individuals. It's not too late.

The members' pages explain their involvement. An example is new member Jean Geddes, whose photo is on the right. She says:
I have been paddling since I was a little kid. I have always loved being on the water, training hard, and competing. It has brought so much joy to my life. But training and racing are not the only reasons for paddling. I am a team member of the Ocean of Hope (O2H), a group of paddleboarders and canoe paddlers who give back to the community by dedicating our time to helping others.
O2H was created to support the Sarcoma Alliance, a nonprofit group that is the gathering place for those affected with sarcoma, a devastating cancer that is difficult to diagnose and even harder to cure. People who suffer from the disease and their families have a place to find guidance, education and support, as well as finding current medical information and treatment options, and to network with others.
My Aunt recently lost her battle with cancer. I saw the devastating effect of cancer not only on my aunt but my whole family. I hope that my efforts to raise money through training and racing will bring help, hope, and some day a cure.

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