The New York Times, July 1998

The New York TimesHawaii at Home: Outrigger Races

To the bikers, bladers and joggers cruising along the path next to the West Side Highway, it had to look like a scene from the Elvis film ”Blue Hawaii,” as directed by Fellini. More than 200 paddlers in bikinis or baggy print shorts, sandals and shades milled about a flotilla of 45-foot outrigger canoes on Pier 25, which juts into the Hudson River in the shadow of the World Trade Center. A fiberglass iguana, as big as an outrigger and mounted to a trailer where a Brazilian artist sculptures the wood pilings he finds floating in the Hudson, stares ominously over the West Side Highway.

This aquatic anomaly — urban outrigging — was nonexistent in New York City until three years ago. But the Liberty World Challenge, a 15-mile paddling marathon, now in its second year, has already become the sport’s premier event on the East Coast, drawing dozens of teams from outrigger hot beds like Hawaii and California, as well as Vermont, Maine and Canada, where outrigger sightings were once as common as U.F.O.’s. Read the completed article on

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