HSOR History

How It All Started

In the fall of 1998 Staff Sgt Ed Hill of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police contacted Western Canoeing and Kayaking about putting on a 'canoe event' in the town of Gibsons, British Columbia. Hill had been heavily involved in the 'Vision Quest' paddling event, down the coast of British Columbia in First Nations traveling canoes the year before. This was a very successful spiritual healing and fund raising event between the RCMP and the various First Nations' bands up and down the B.C. Coast. Sgt Hill wanted to bring the excitement and feeling of community that he knew team-paddling could bring, to his town. The Howe Sound Outrigger Iron race was born. Since that time, Gibsons has started their own paddle club that is now over 200 members strong. We've hosted this event annually since 1999 and the town of Gibsons comes alive with all the excitement of the race weekend.

Race Quotes...

Great weekend, great race.
Hugh Fisher, Olympic Kayak Champion, Pemberton, B.C.

I've been enthusiastically promoting your race to all the clubs down here... I've been describing it as a 'Canadian kona'sort of vibe. I think the coolest thing was the kids seeking autographs myself! I can't tell them enough how enjoyable a trip that was... thanks again! see ya in 2K!!
Randy Nichols, Hui Wa'a OC&K Redwood City, CA

As an RCMP co-sponsored event, we are proud of our community and impressed with the Outrigger Paddlers that visited us this past summer. The event was first class on all fronts. Our red serge members will always be proud to serve at the awards ceremony.
Staff Sergeant Ed Hill, NCO I/C GIBSONS RCMP Detachment

Gibsons did an awesome job organizing this event. Absolutely beautiful course that was really challenging.
Don Irvine, PADDLER Comox, B.C.

The Legend of the Chatiyay Necklace

Ch atiyay (Squamish for Devils Club)

A Spiny shrub related to ginseng: considered to be one of the most important medicinal plants and protective agents for the aboriginal peoples of the BC Coast. In its protective guise Devils Club is said to provide protection, strength and endurance to paddlers while on the open seas. This is what our Devil's Club necklace is meant to provide.

The tradition came to Gibsons Paddle Club through RCMP Staff Sargent Ed Hill after he participated in the Vision Quest canoe journey down the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1997. The Spiritual Elder who originally presented the Devils Club to the Vision Quest paddlers gave specific instructions. Her story states that the necklaces are to be worn when paddlers are involved in any functions pertaining to ventures on the water. On the weekend of the Iron Race the tradition combines the spirit of giving and the wish that our outrigger visitors will also benefit from the protection of the Devils Club, each Gibsons paddler will meet someone from off the Coast and pass their necklace and the tradition on. The symbolism of the colors of the beads: four races, four seasons, four directions, the significance of the Devils Club and the spirit of giving.


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