News & Events

News/Events Detail Page

Dad Center Memorial Canoe Race sponsored by Outrigger Canoe Club

Race Information:

The course is 25 miles from Kailua Beach Park, around Makapu`u, Portlock, and finishing at Outrigger Canoe Club in Waikiki

Date and Time: Sunday, August 25th  Race Start: 8:30am / Coaches Meeting: 7:45am

Divisions: Clubs are encouraged to enter the KOA division to perpetuate the original sport of Hawaiian Koa canoe racing. Entry fee has been discounted for KOA entries.

  • Category A - KOA:Open
  • Category B - GLASS: Open, Masters 40+, Masters 50+, Masters 55+, Masters 60+, Junior 15-18yo
  • Category C- UNLIMITED-OPEN CLASS- Open (10)

Payment & Intent: Entry fee & Intent Form must be received by AUGUST 21st to be guaranteed a pareo. Enter Here to pay online -


  • $400 per crew for Glass Division and Unlimited Division
  • $300 per crew for Koa Division
  • $50 Late fee assessed for all entries received after August 24th, 11:00am
  • $30 Cancelation fee for cancellations after August 24th, 11:00am


  • Crew names submitted to OHCRA and must be done online via the registration link:
  • Changes must be made in person Saturday, August 25th 9-11am
  • On Site Registration:  Saturday, August 25th, 9:00am-11:00am at Kailua Beach Park.
  • Race numbers, Pareos & lunch tickets will be distributed

The following items must also be received:

  • Escort boat waiver (Form OHCRA 08)
  • Copy of Captains License & current insurance
  • Entry Fee (if not received by August 21nd)

All forms can be found at in the documents section.

  • Info - Dad Center Race (Event Flyer / Course / Intent Form)
  • OHCRA - Escort/Auxiliary Boat Waiver Form
  • HCRA - Personal Injury Accident Packet


  • OHCRA rules will apply. You must be a member in good standing of HCRA, (registered with HCRA)
  • Out of State clubs must provide COI with club name and OHCRA as additional insured (Paddlers names must be listed as club members)
  • Crews affiliated with an out-of-state club are subject to approval
  • Each crew must have their own escort boat
  • Crews of 10 must have escort boats 18 feet or longer
  • Crews of 12 must have escort boats 22 feet or longer
  • Escort Boat Driver Information and Escort Boat Waiver form signed (Form OHCRA 08)
  • Injury Report form must be carried on escort boat
  • Escort boat must have a mounted radio (VHF #72)
  • Escort boat must have their canoe racing number displayed on boat
  • Canoes must have their racing number displayed on the right front of canoe
  • Canoes must have a canvas racing cover
  • Crew Requirements:
  • Open, Masters 40+, Unlimited crews consist of ten (10) paddlers
  • Jrs, Masters 50+, 55+, & 60+ crews consist of twelve (12) paddlers
  • There is no permit for canoe trailers to park at Kaimana Beach Park
  • Escort boats may NOT come in channel at Outrigger Canoe Club
  • Your club is responsible for removing all tires and rubbish from rigging site to avoid a fine

Race History:

The George Dad Center Memorial Canoe Race was the first womens long distance outrigger canoe race in the world. It has been sponsored by the Outrigger Canoe Club since 1974. The race is usually held on the fourth Sunday of August each year as part of the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association Long Distance season.

The race is named for George Dad Center, Outriggers long-time swimming coach, Club Captain, paddler and steersman, who was a strong proponent of women athletes and coached the first womens crew in the 1933 Kona races. He was considered by most to be the father of local canoe racing. There had been few formal canoe races in Hawaii during the 1920s and early 1930s and the 1933 Kona races were an attempt to revitalize racing again.

The Dad Center race was started by Outrigger Canoe Club coaches Tom Conner, Mark Buck and Archie Kaaua who believed their girls crew was capable of races longer than the one-mile they were currently racing during the regatta season. While men had been crossing the Kaiwi Channel for 20 years, many felt women wouldnt be able to make water changes or wouldnt be strong enough to paddle such a long race.

The ladies proved the naysayers wrong and have since gone on to conquer the Kaiwi Channel, and other long-distance races.

The first Dad Center race was 10 miles long from Hawaii Kais Maunalua Bay to the Outriggers Beach at Diamond Head. Six nine-woman crews entered that first year and the Outrigger women easily completed the course in 1 hour 21 minutes and 6 seconds, just ahead of Healani Canoe Club, Waikiki Surf Club, Kailua Canoe Club, Lanikai Canoe Club and Hui Nalu Canoe Club.

The early races were in koa canoes, with a fiberglass division added in 1982. In 1989 a Masters Division was added. In 1999, the crew size was changed from nine to ten paddlers as all other long distance races leading up to the Molokai race had ten member crews. In 2001, to reflect the changing demographic of paddling, the Masters Division was changed to Masters 35 and Masters 45 divisions. In 2004 a Youth 18 & Under Division was added. In 2005, the Masters Divisions were changed to Masters 40 and Masters 50, and the Masters 50 were allowed a crew size of 12 paddlers. In 2014, a Masters 55 Division was added and allowed a crew size of 12 paddlers.

An average of 50 crews enter the race each year from Hawaii, as well as California.

The race has been held every year since 1974, except 1994, when the race officials opted to cancel the race for safety reasons due to 8-12-foot surf and winds of 25-30 knots. The course has been lengthened several times to its current distance of 25 miles from Kailua Beach Park to the OCC Beach.

There are four perpetual trophies for the race: one for the first crew to finish; one for the first koa canoe to finish; one for the first junior crew to finish, and one for the winning masters crews.

George D. Dad Center

No history of the Outrigger Canoe Club would be complete without inclusion of the name of George David Dad Center. He was one of the men who made the Club what it is today. He was a leader and a teacher. But to many of the boys and girls who later matured into Olympic champions, business leaders, and Club stalwarts, he was affectionately known as Dad.

Coach, Club Captain, Director and friend of the youth of our Club, he encouraged physical fitness, team effort, sportsmanship and loyalty in all. Although most often known as a swimming coach, he was thought by many to be the "father" of canoe racing as he tried to revive the sport in the 1930s. ÃƒÆ’ƒÃ†Ãƒ¢â‚¬â„¢ÃƒÆ’†ÃƒƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÃ‚¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡ÃƒÃ¢â‚¬Å¡ 

Dad was born at Kipahulu (Maui) on Christmas Day in 1886 during the reign of King Kalakaua. On the death of Kalakaua, Dad became a subject of Queen Liliuokalani. Next, a citizen of the Provisional Government and Republic of Hawaii with Sanford Ballard Dole as President. The American Flag went up over Hawaii in July of 1898 and Dad became a citizen of the United States and the Territory of Hawaii.

Educated in Hawaii and on the Mainland Dad distinguished himself as a school boy athlete in many sports. In his active athletic days Dad represented the Myrtle Boat Club in swimming, rowing and other sports. During the first half of the 20th century Dad was a swimmer, surfboarder, outrigger canoe paddler, canoe sailor, body surfer, fisherman, oarsman, yachtsman, volleyball player, golfer, basketball player, soccer player, track and field man, football player and expert participant in other athletic activities.

Dad missed becoming a charter member of the Outrigger Canoe Club by only a few weeks after it came into being in May of 1908, joining in June 1908. His first athletic endeavor for the Outrigger Canoe Club was in July 1908 in the Big Surf Contest (board) as the U. S. Atlantic Great White Fleet looked on.

To even list the contests in which Dad Center represented the Outrigger Canoe Club and the Myrtle Boat Club would cover pages. He was a familiar figure in early Regatta Days in Honolulu Harbor and at Pearl Harbor when he rowed for the Myrtles; but he was even better known later as a representative of the Outrigger Club in many sports, particularly in surfing events sponsored by the Club.

OCC Canoe Racing Team circa 1909

As early as Regatta Day of 1907 Dad was stroke of the Myrtle Freshman Crew which defeated Healani. On Regatta Day of 1909, Dad swung an efficient paddle (with Rusty Brown, Harry Steiner, Willy Knut Cottrell, Edmund Melanphy and Vincent Zen Genoves), in Prince Kuhios canoe, as it won the six-paddle canoe contest for the Outrigger Canoe Club. And while Dad had many early athletic thrills, one of his greatest was to captain the Maile-Ilima Soccer Team which won the championship of the Hawaiian Association Football League in 1909.

Babe Dowsett, Miss Beatrice, Dad Center, Helen Martin

Dad Center coached swimming teams as early as 1912 when Duke Kahanamoku went to the Olympics to return to Hawaii a world champion. Others like Sam, David and Sargent Kahanamoku, Buster Crabbe, Gay Harris and Mariechen Wehselau Jackson followed in Dukes footsteps.

Although his interest was primarily in swimming, outrigger canoeing was his personal love, and many a day he spent taking youngsters, tourists and all who could wield a paddle out to the surf in his koa canoe Miss Veedol.

Dad represented the Club in about every sport it took part in. Captain, coach, active-athlete, manager and adviser, Dad served on the Board of Directors of the Outrigger Canoe Club for many years. He was as much a part of Waikiki and the Outrigger as is the beach itself.

View All Articles