Pale Kai, a local outrigger canoe racing club launched its racing season with its first combined practice at Avila Beach on Saturday, Mar. 25.
The racing club is a non-profit organization located in Avila Beach and is a member of the Southern California Outrigger Racing Association offering canoe racing for men and women.
The launch event featured a traditional Hawaiian ceremony followed by a team potluck on the beach.
"I think people are ready to kind of rejoice on the backside of wintertime," Pale Kai president, Paul Worthington said. "We're coming into the spring and we're going to be enjoying, now mixing it up with what we call our Ohana family with all the other outrigger clubs in southern California."
Pale Kai's official races begin in May, with the first five races taking place between San Diego and Santa Barbara lasting through the end of June.
All paddlers must be proficient swimmers and must pass a water safety test that includes drills recovering from an overturned canoe, treading water, and a 100-meter swim test administered by a coach before the competitive season begins.