Oahu, Hawaii

Jimmy Austin

Growing up at Outrigger Canoe Club, Jimmy was immersed into all things water at a very young age by his father. Starting with canoe surfing and prone paddle boarding around 15 years old, he soon picked up flat water kayaking, where he met Johnny Puakea, with HCKT. He loved kayaking, but it was not out in the open ocean, so he moved to ocean kayaking. After losing his job in 2009, Jimmy went all in training OC1 paddling with the mentorship of Johnny Puakea. In 2012, Jimmy achieved his goal of winning Molokai to Oahu, setting the course record. Currently, Jimmy and fellow team rider, Kaihe Chong, hold the record for the Molokai World Champion Relay. His favorite record might have to be winning M2M 3x in a row! He has accomplished victories in OC1 solos, relays and OC6 iron races. His paddling has taken him across the Kaiwi channel over 60 times and all over the world, winning multiple major events. Now, Jimmy is looking forward to competing in the 40s division and new canoe designs on the horizon with Puakea Designs. He is stoked on this new fire to get on the water and see what the evolution of the sport will bring. 

Southern California

Danny Ching

At 30 years of age Danny Ching solidified himself as the premier paddle sports athlete in Southern California, and is recognized worldwide as a skilled waterman. By 15 he was racing with Lanakila’s top men’s outrigger team, leading them to top finishes locally and in Hawaii. At 16, he took up Olympic flat water kayaking winning multiple national titles and setting himself up for a path on to the Olympics. His kayaking carrier culminated in 2007 when he raced on the USA National team at the Pan-American Games in Rio Brazil. At 18, Danny entered his first distance OC1 race and in less than a year he had climbed to the top of local competition, capping off his run to the top by winning the Outrigger World Championship in 2010 and 2013. Danny’s stand up (SUP) career started in 2009 with a 1st place in the Hennessey’s Championships. He then backed that up with a 3rd place in his second race (the Battle of the paddle California 2009). In 2010, Danny founded 404 Sup Boards and launched his new company by winning both Battle of the Paddle races in Hawaii and California and going undefeated for the year in SUP competition. Since then, Danny has also founded Hippo Stick Paddles and recorded multiple SUP victories, his most memorable coming at the prestigious Battle of the Paddle California and Hawaii, including 3 BOP Elite victories, 6 BOP distance victories, 7 Overall BOPs. 

Southern California

Leah Ching

Leah grew up in a pool in northern Virginia, racing since she was 5. She fell in love with paddling a few years after moving to the LA area, and has been with Lanakila in Redondo Beach since 2009. Since then she has competed in many channel crossing races including several Molokai Solos placing top 10 several years and first-third a few years in her age group. She has also competed in the Molokai Relay, Na Wahine, Pa'a 'Eono, Pailolo, and Maui to Molokai, Wild Buffalo Relay, and Catalina 9 man, not to mention taking the podium twice in Carolina Cup, once in Olukai, Gorge OC6 and Na Pali Challenge, placing 1st in both with her Lanakila teammates. She loves competing in local SoCal races, ranking first in the State Champs in 2014 and 2015. 

In 2016 and 2019 she became the mother of 2 amazing girls. She and her husband, favorite training partner and teammate, Danny Ching, enjoy taking them out on the water more than anything in the world. A close second are their downwind dates. 

Leah is now back in the swing of things, she is balancing her life as a mom, registered nurse in the Operating Room, and a training schedule to get ready for whichever race may be next on schedule. 

Oahu, Hawaii

Kaihe "Kai" Chong

Growing up in Hawaii Kai on Oahu, Kaihe started outrigger paddling when he was 8 at Hui Nalu, the local canoe club down the road. At 13, he joined the Hawaii Canoe and Kayak team. At 15, he made it onto the Junior National Team for Olympic flat water kayaking, the same year he crossed the Molokai Channel on a Surfski. When he was 19, Kaihe really started to take up OC1, and his paddling career slowly started to build from there. Maui to Molokai was the first major race that he won. That was in 2012 at 22 years old and he has been coming in top 4 every year since. That same year he came in 2nd in the Olukai race, also placing in the top 4 every year since. He has consistently placed in the top 10 for the past 4 years in the OC1 World Championships, but still haven’t managed to crack the top 5. Most recently he won the Kanaka Ikaika Molokai challenge, as well as, the M2O Standup Championship with teammate Danny Ching. Currently, Kaihe and fellow team rider, Jimmy Austin, hold the record for the Molokai World Champion Relay.

Oahu, Hawaii / Southern California

Ryland Hart

Ryland has been paddling since the age of 5, starting at the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, CA. The biggest race he has done to date is the 2016 Molokai Solo, he placed 1st junior men and 16th over-all. One of his favorite races is the WaterWalker Gorge OC-6 downwind race because he gets to share waves with five of his buddies and go as fast as possible in a canoe. The paddling lifestyle brings a sort of family to everyday life, for Ryland, it is all about making connections with people you otherwise would never even have met. His goals for the coming years are to continue to grow his water knowledge and break into the top 10 in the Molokai Solo. While working towards that goal, Ryland has been taking on the bigger names in paddling at the Gorge Downwind Champs, Hawaiki Nui, the Catalina Crossing and Kanaka Ikaika Race Series.

Southern California

Brandi Cumin Baksic

At 46, Brandi can honestly say she has been competing at something longer than the rest of the team riders have been alive. She started competitive swimming at 8 years old, and since then she has competed at an elite level in Volleyball, Ironman Triathlon, SUP and over the past 5 years Outrigger Canoe. Her SUP accomplishments won her several 1st place finishes at BOP, and 3 Golds at the ISA's World Championships in Peru 2014. As a paddler at Dana Outrigger, Brandi and her team have won 3 Catalina US Championship crossings, and look forward to making it a 4th in 2019! Brandi looks forward to returning to the Columbia Gorge this year for some epic conditions, she has placed 2nd, 3rd, and 3rd over the past few years. Paddling and the lifelong friendships she has made, with people who love to play and compete on the ocean, is her favourite. Brandi juggles a lot, she is a full time Firefighter, Real Estate Agent, Wife, Mother, and thank God paddling sure gets in the way of all of that!

Washington

Brent Campbell

Brent has been paddling competitively since 2007. His first goal was to beat his dad, Dennis Campbell, but by the time he achieved that goal he had found he loved the sport and the people involved. Brent’s biggest accomplishments are Hawaiki Nui with team NAC, Olamau with team 404, Worlds Tahiti, and Team USA Dragon Boat. He also paddled 24hrs straight, unassisted, on his Ehukai completing 148 miles from Santa Barbara to his hometown of Newport Beach. For Brent, success is identifying weakness and changing what we know to improve oneself and what we think capable.

OAHU, HAWAII

Anella Kamaleialohaokeakua Borges

Anella started paddling in high-school for the Kamehameha Schools under coaches Auntie Rosie Lum and Kelly Fey. These two women continue to inspire Anella to this day. Those days represented what it was to go fast, win, work hard, and have fun. That has always stuck with Anella, and continues to drive her passion for paddling and being on the ocean. She has been fortunate to have had a lot of great coaches over the years (Guy Wilding, Jim Beaton, Johnny Puakea, George Wilson, Pat Dolan, just to name a few…).

Anella has raced with the Outrigger Canoe Club on Oahu since age 18. She has been fortunate to be a part of winning crews that have raced abroad, some of which include:  various Catalina races, Tahiti World Sprints in 2018, World Sprints in Windsor 2022, and Hawaiki Nui 2022 Women’s Champions. She has also been able to compete in various local Hawaii 6-man regatta and distance races over the past 20+ years. Winning the Senior women’s Macfarlane Regatta race three years in a row, steered by fellow Team Rider Jimmy Austin in 2018, 2019 and 2022, was another highlight of her paddling career 

Yet another highlight of her paddling career was placing top 5 women OC1 overall in the Molokai to Oahu Solo in 2023 (the top 5 women that year were all in their 40s)!

She enjoys competing in the Kanaka Ikaika and PA’A Hawaii OC1 races. These races are always a good challenge, and provide another way to get out on the ocean and have fun.  

In her spare time, her other favorite thing to do is surf! If ocean conditions aren’t the best, you’ll find her at the Wai Kai Wave Pool in Kapolei, where she gets her surfing fix in.

OAHU, HAWAII

Miles Orr

Miles, born and raised in Southern California found paddling at the age of 10 years old at the infamous Newport Aquatic Center. At the age of 15, he crashed a canoe into a bridge and was told to fix it in the NAC shop. Here Miles found a deeper connection with paddling, understanding the backbones of what goes on behind the scenes at races and within construction of canoes. At 18 Miles had been paddling with the NAC mens program every morning and afternoon when he decided to move to Hawaii to attend university and compete in paddling. Miles has competed in multiple IVF world championships and other prestigious races around the world. 

In Hawaii, Miles has found a new love for paddling as the open ocean conditions of Oahu are much more rough than California. He has found love beyond paddling, and can be found diving, surfing and being in the ocean nearly every day. Currently Miles is finishing up his finance degree at the University of Hawaii and is amped up on the upcoming winter OC-1 season. Miles loves paddling his Volare as he has found it to surf much better than any canoe he has paddled. Miles aspires to be one of the top paddlers/watermen in Hawaii and plans on doing that by competing in paddling and pushing himself in big ocean conditions.

Southern California

Grace Holmberg

Corn-fed and Midwestern raised, Grace fell in love with the water from summers spent on Canandaigua Lake in upstate New York. She found her groove and competitive edge when she joined her swim team in high school. After college, she moved to Oceanside, California and discovered the existence of Outrigger, beginning her novice year in 2016. She quickly fell in love with the community of the sport, along with a shared love of water, sunshine, hard work and healthy competition. She went on to start competing in the local SoCal OC1 races, borrowing anyone’s canoe who was kind enough to lend to her. 

She competed in the V6 IVF World Distance Championships in Australia in 2019, took a close second in the Catalina Crossing in 2020 and helped score a win with Dana Outrigger for the crossing in 2021.

Grace enjoys chasing fellow Team Rider, Brandi, around during workouts, who always pushes her to be better. They took 3rd place together in the 2022 Wild Buffalo Relay. During the day, Grace enjoys working for a non-profit that trains Service dogs for people with disabilities. Grace can’t wait to see where paddling takes her next and who she will meet!

OAHU, HAWAII

Donna Kahiwaokawailani Kahakui

Kahiwaokawailani Kahakui has been paddling for well over 40 years and has traveled to Tahiti, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, New York, California and to other Hawaiian islands to race. She has placed 1st in over 60 races, most notably, Hawaiki Nui Va’a, Queen Liliu’okalani, World Sprints, Catalina Channel Crossing and Na Wahine O Ke Kai for team racing and the Molokai to Oahu Relay and Solo OC1 and various Kanaka Ikaika races in her single person wa'a. While breaking solo paddling records and earning awards in paddling, Donna has become an esteemed coach, mentor and honored athlete.

In 2022, Donna won the Wild Buffalo Relay with partner April Zilg, was the overall points winner for the Kanaka Ikaika Long Distance Series, won Hawaiki Nui Va’a as a member of Outrigger Canoe Club and has been inducted into the Hawaii Waterman Hall of Fame!

The name Kahiwaokawailani (the chosen one of the heavenly waters) was given to Donna and has provided her with a greater understanding of her responsibility in taking care of our oceans. This set her on the path to pursue her passions for helping others, youth mentorship and preserving the ocean’s ecosystem. Donna founded Kai Makana which is a non-profit organization that takes an active role in educating and mobilizing the public to better understand and preserve marine life and the ocean environment. Through educational youth mentorship and community-based programs, Kai Makana motivates people to protect, preserve, and respect the ocean as an ecosystem central to our health, wellness and happiness. You can find out more at http://www.kaimakana.org/.

Oahu, Hawaii

Wyatt Egbert

Growing up in Kailua, Hawaii, Wyatt has been in and on the water since the day he was born. You can say that the ocean runs in his veins. Wyatt started paddling with Ka Lahui Kai at age 12 and found his passion. At 13 Wyatt is the youngest OC1 solo paddler to cross the Kaiwi and pailolo channels. With a growing list of accomplishments to include CA Outrigger Champs, Gorge Downwind Champs and many local races in an OC1, OC6 and paddleboard, Wyatt looks forward to a future of racing and comradery. Beyond the paddling, Wyatt is grateful for the paddling community, his mentors and coaches that support his path forward. With big goals and dreams…if you’re in the front of the pack don’t look back, the future is coming.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Ali'i Youderian

Ali'i grew up surfing, body boarding and paddling in the waters of Kailua Kona, Hawaii. His 'ohana are one of the original founders of Kai 'O Pua Canoe Club. Ali'i has paddled OC6 off and on from age 8, but his true passion is being in a V1 or OC1. He started paddling a V1 at the age of 5 and gradually progressed to an OC1 at age 13. Ali'i has raced V1 races such as Race Around the Hat and Aloha Aito, and successfully defending his age division. He currently races in the HIPA and Kanaka Ikaika Associations and does fairly well in the long course, junior division. He has raced at the Wild Buffalo Relay and the Gorge Downwind Champs placing in the top 3 of the junior division. One of his greatest opportunities and accomplishments have been traveling to Tahiti and training with some of Tahiti's top paddlers and racing amongst the best junior V1 paddlers in the Te Aito 2022, which he finished in the top 20. Followed by placing 6th in the world in the u19, V1 division at World Sprints 2022 in London. He loves traveling, meeting new people and spending time with family and friends and being able to paddle and race in places we can only dream of. Ali'i's love of paddling stems from his parents and his love for the ocean. When he was younger his parents would dream of days when they could just drop him off and to do a downwinder on his own, or the day when Ali'i would beat his Dad in a race. Well that day has come! 

North Carolina

April Zilg

April has been paddling SUP since 2011 and added a Puakea Outrigger to her quiver in 2016. She went from paddling a SUP with her paddle backwards in 2011 to becoming the East Coast SUP Surf Champion and the World Paddle Association Champion in 2014. Paddling for Salt Life and Hobie Stand Up Paddleboards the past 4 years, April maintained top finishes in major SUP races internationally, including the Carolina Cup, Pacific Paddle Games, and the Euro Tour. 2018 was really her first year Outrigger Racing - and she loved it! April has won the Graveyard at the Carolina Cup, had four 1st place finishes in the SoCal Winter Series, won the Wild Buffalo with my partner Jen Fratzke. She then tackled the Gorge Downwind Champs for the first time in 4th place - which is HANDS DOWN her favorite place/race to paddle (aside from obviously the Carolina Cup, which is her hometown race). In 2018, April also made the USA SUP and Paddleboard Team and represented our Country in China at the ISA World Championships as well as in Peru at the Pan American Surfing Games - where she took home a Gold Medal for the SUP Technical race. April looks forward to continuing to grow as a paddler in both disciplines, and has dreams of tackling some bigger mileage and bigger water (think Hawaiian races). But no matter where she paddles and competes, whether she is sitting down or standing, she loves meeting up and paddling with new and old friends! The paddle community is the most welcoming and encouraging group of people April has ever been a part of, and would have never found the success and healthy lifestyle she did without everyone she has met along the way. 

Hong Kong and Oahu, Hawaii

Jack Seymour

Jack was born and raised in Hong Kong where his dad was a surfski paddler and organizer of local races in Hong Kong. He started paddling SUP when he was 12 and would travel to races all over Asia, as well as in North America. At the 2019 SUP World Championships, Jack came in 3rd in the junior division. He started paddling outrigger at the VRC (Victoria Recreation Club) in Hong Kong when he was 13. Here he found a passion for outrigger and decided to shift his focus away from SUP towards outrigger. Fast forward a few years to 2021 where Jack moved to Hawai'i to attend the University of Hawai’i and started paddling with KLK (Ka Lahui Kai). In his first year with KLK, Jack and his team won the 2021 Catalina Channel Crossing: US Outrigger Championship Race! Jack is also proud of consistently placing top 10 in his first year racing OC1 in Hawai’i.

Canada

Leanne Stanley

Growing up on Georgian Bay in Canada, Leanne has always been drawn to the water. Though not introduced to paddling until 1998, the water has always had a calming yet invigorating influence on her. Over the past 20+ years in competitive paddling, she has won numerous National titles (marathon canoe, outrigger, SUP, surfski) as well as several World Dragon Boat and Outrigger Sprint Championships with Team Canada, along with a win at Queen Lili, 4th at her first Na Wahine O Ke Kai, and never finishing lower than 4th at the World Outrigger Sprint and Distance Championships in V1 since 2008. You can regularly find Leanne on the podium at the Gorge Downwind Champs and various winter races throughout Southern California and Hawaii. 

When you meet Leanne, there is no doubt that she loves sharing her passion for paddling with others. She is happiest when helping others become more effective and efficient, recognizing their potential and striving to be their best. She does this in all avenues of her life: in her day job as a Special Education Teacher, as a role model in the Type 1 Diabetes community and as a leader in the Canadian Outrigger Racing Association.

With all the travelling, coaching and racing that Leanne has done, her favourite paddling experience has been helping with the development of the Kelowna Paddle Centre. The unique combination of outrigger, surfski and SUP programming, paddling excellence, social events and ohana has put Kelowna on the radar of many of the world's paddling elite. 

Northern California

Noam Elroi

Noam moved to California from Colorado when he was six years old and immediately jumped into the ocean. Starting with sailing, then surfing, stand up paddleboarding, and swimming, his love for the ocean only grew. He joined Lanakila occ in Redondo Beach, California at 12 years old where he has trained under Danny Ching since. Becoming best friends in the process, he, Ryland Hart, Keoni Defries, and Blake Rorbach trained day in and day out for years, getting to travel to two IVF distance world championships, placing second U19 in Australia in 2019. He also competed in the Kaiwi Channel Solo at 16 years old and placed third junior. He will be attending UC Santa Cruz next year and is very excited to try new waters and challenge the NorCal paddling scene. 

Singapore

Janus Migalbin

Shortly after moving to Singapore in 2007, Janus joined Singapore Paddle Club (SPC) and has been racing in both dragon boat and outrigger canoe events locally and overseas. Cross training in both disciplines led to winning medals in Dragon Boat Club Crew World Championships in Macau, Hongkong, Italy, Australia, Hungary. She loves the challenge of competing in outrigger canoe races in Hong Kong, Australia, Hawaii, knowing that there are always bigger challenges (waters!) to aspire to.

After a year of recovering from a huge shoulder surgery, she now enjoys paddling her Kahele, which helped her slash minutes off her time trials, consistently lead the pack for females, and made her fall in love with ocean paddling all over again! Janus is looking forward to joining virtual races, as well as training in the tricky waters of Singapore leading up to the Hong Kong Dragon Run and Singapore Ocean Cup.

One thing that fires Janus up is drawing her wider community to ocean paddling and the healthy lifestyle it brings. She is a founding member of Philippine Outrigger Canoe Club, the 1st and only ocean paddling club in her home country. Janus is also an organizer for Singapore Ocean Cup, the country's premiere ocean racing event, which has grown in participation with paddlers flying in from all over.

The ocean paddling community, with its openness and encouraging culture, has pushed her well out of her boundaries while enjoying paddling in the ocean, coming out as a better and healthier person -- the ethos that Janus is passionate to share with everyone, and hopes to continue doing for many, many years to come!

Lake Tahoe, California

Jay Wild

As paddler and co-owner of Waterman’s Landing on Lake Tahoe, CA and Co-Funder of Lake Tahoe Waterman Association, Jay has always believed that, “balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.” Jay uses his own, hard-won experience to help others discover what it means to live like an athlete. “I have learned everything through trial and error, experiences and mentors.”

Since Jay has picked up a paddle, he has qualified to compete with some of the top men’s outrigger canoe crews in California helping clubs win numerous races. 2nd in the US Champs, Jay represented the USA at the stand up paddle World Championships (bringing home individual and team medals), dominated Northern California paddle events and pushed his boundaries as a paddler and water athlete by placing 3rd overall in the prestigious and rigorous Ironmana race in Bora Bora.

These days, Jay religiously holds true to the lifestyle he dreamt of and made a reality. Now added to that dream is the ever-changing role of being a father and husband. But truth be known, while Jay does his best to break up training routines and surf the challenges of  life, he finds constant sanctuary on the waters of Lake Tahoe. “Paddling is where I feel most alive,” he says. “Working my body with nature is freedom.”

Southern California

Joe Naholowa'a

Joe’s love and respect for the ocean came at a pretty young age. His stoke and passion for canoe paddling started as a teenager in his hometown of Ewa Beach, on the southwest side of Oahu. Of all the sports and activities he grew up playing, the ocean kept calling and took over as his favorite playground. He was instantly hooked after his Uncle took him on his first Hawaii Kai run at 14. He then started competing in the High School Na Opio OC1 sprint series on Oahu, and eventually introduced paddling to his high school friends in order to form a 6man racing crew.

After high school, Joe enlisted into the U.S Coast Guard and got stationed near San Francisco, CA. Moving from Hawaii to a big city at 18 was a major adjustment, so he sought out canoe paddling and found San Francisco Outrigger Canoe Club. The folks at SFOCC made him feel right at home and they made a huge influence in the paddler and person he is today. In 2019, he moved down to Orange County, CA and has been a part of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, CA for the last couple years.

Paddling has given Joe a tremendous amount of joy over the years. It’s the best team and individual sport there is, in his opinion. Through competition, to catching ocean swells, to local races and international events, it’s offered so many thrills and accolades. As he continues to keep the glide going, his overall goal is to perpetuate the lifestyle and share the stoke like his family and friends did for him.

New York

Katie Peck

Paddling since 2006, Katie started her paddling career in a community dragon boat team, and later moved to Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association’s Youth Team. She currently paddles with Wanda Canoe Club out of Ridgefield Park, NJ focusing on marathon and outrigger canoe. She has competed in five World Dragon Boat Championships, and in 2019, made the Premier Team in both women’s and mixed crews that competed in Thailand. In 2019, she won the Chattajack race in the women’s OC-1 division. The community and friends she has around the world through paddling is her most cherished part of paddling. In 2020, Katie will complete in the AuSable River Canoe Marathon for the first time and is looking to make the podium again at Chattajack. So look out for Katie in her natural habitat on the East Coast U.S. or anywhere else in the world. Stop, say hello and make a new friend!

Singapore

Kong Tecklee

The first contact Kong had with paddling was back in 2015 when he joined the National University of Singapore Sprint Canoe varsity team, where he picked up flatwater canoeing under Coach Denes Szaszak. Paddling soon became his new-found passion and he took on team captaincy barely a year after he first set foot (or knee, to be exact) in the C1. It was also during his years with NUS that Kong discovered the world of ocean racing and its community on the outrigger canoe. To achieve his goal of paddling competitively at the international level, he has moved to within 15 minutes of cycling from the sea to clock in as much mileage as he can while balancing a full time job in the Singapore public service. Kong is currently training with the Singapore Paddle Club and is actively involved in helping budding paddlers like himself improve on the single craft. For him, the most rewarding part of the paddling lifestyle is the opportunity to connect with nature and the people who enjoy the same thrills of surfing the waters!