Outbound 2017 kicked-off in emphatic style with Outrigging Canoeing at Altona Beach.

On Sunday March 26, 12 eager La Trobe residents embarked on an exciting adventure as they traveled to Altona beach for the first Outbound event of 2017. We were anticipating a great day as the weather forecast looked amazing, and certainly delivered with a beautiful Melbourne day.

Outrigging Canoes are traditional canoes that usually measure to about 14 metres in length, with a smaller outrigger for stability. The canoe usually accommodates 6 paddlers, each of which use a single-bladed paddle. The control of the canoe is left to the paddler in the 6th seat – the steerer – who uses their blade in a similar fashion to a rudder to control the direction of the canoe.

Outrigging Canoeing and Sailing have been an important part of Polynesian Culture for thousands of years. Polynesians have traditionally been great voyagers and explorers and have used these outrigging canoes for the transportation of goods and people, and for fishing.

Sam is our Social Engagement Coordinator and has been an avid Outrigger for 20+ years, being involved at clubs in New Zealand and in Melbourne. “It was an honour to be able to share my Polynesian cultural roots as part of an Outbound event with our residents” Sam said.

Many of the residents who attended weren’t even sure what Outrigging was, but were extremely surprised by the amount of fun they had. We had international and domestic residents  all getting involved in the exciting races and traditional Polynesian ‘Huli’, which involves having the paddlers tipped out of the canoe and then swimming underneath to the other side.

Here is what one of our Student Leaders, Cass, had to say about the Outbound activity – “When I first heard about ‘Outrigging Canoeing’, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. And, despite being sore the following day, it was such a good day and it was fantastic to experience the traditional Polynesian mode of transport.”

As you can see from the video below, out La Trobe residents absolutely loved this activity. Outbound is designed to create exciting memories and expand the reach of our social activities and events. We can’t wait to experience the rest of our Outbound events and activities for 2017 – especially our marquee trip to Uluru in August.

Watch our video below and check the events calendar for more exciting events in 2017.