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Saturday’s Company Challenge at the Harbor to Benefit Santa Barbara Outrigger Canoe Club

At 10 a.m. this Saturday, June 14, approximately 70 employees from 10 local businesses will gather at the Santa Barbara Harbor to compete in the 17th Annual Company Challenge and raise funds for the Santa Barbara Outrigger Canoe Club.

SBOCC trains individuals and teams to enter national and international outrigger canoe competitions. The Company Challenge is a way to introduce the Santa Barbara community to SBOCC and the sport of outrigger canoe racing, which has origins in Austronesia and today is the state sport of Hawaii. It’s become a popular sport across Southern California, and SBOCC teams are often found on the winner’s podium.

Outrigger races range from sprints (500 to 2,000 meters) to distance races of over 10 miles. SBOCC typically competes six-man canoes in Southern California Outrigger Canoe Association races from May through September.

In the Catalina Channel crossing competition in September, teams of nine compete in six-man canoes and must complete in-water paddler changes throughout the race. This is an exciting sport with deep cultural and heritage roots. “Ohana,” which means “family” in Hawaiian, is the heart of this water sport. Community participation is welcomed and encouraged, and the Company Challenge in one way that SBOCC engages the community.

"The Company Challenge is a fun way for people to come together outside their work environment and have fun learning about our sport,” said Fred Williamson, SBOCC club president. “There are some friendly rivalries between companies and even different departments within a company. Regardless of how the teams place in the friendly races, it's an excellent team building experience and a great day out on the water."

Businesses coming out Saturday to learn, compete and support SBOCC include Allergan, Village Properties, American Riviera Bank, Savoy Café, Hollister & Brace, The Nugget, Fish Market, Santa Barbara County Alcohol, Drug & Mental Heath Services, Deckers Outdoor Corp. and URS.

The Company Challenge will take place quite near shore in the Santa Barbara Harbor, providing unique accessibility to this team water sport. Don’t miss an opportunity to take some great pictures and capture the fun! Awards for first, second, third and best costume.

Click here for more information about the SBOCC and the 2014 Company Challenge.

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