HROCC Steers Definition

Steers – Roles and responsibilities

Purpose – The purpose of this document is to define the roles and responsibilities of the steersmen and steerswomen (referred to as steers) piloting the outrigger canoes owned by HROCC. The steers hold an important role providing a reasonably safe experience and good judgment during a club event, while also working to meet the objective of the event and promote an environment that is fun and builds o’hana, a close, respectful, supportive family of friends.

Regular Member Paddler
Definition– Any HROCC member can try steering a “spec.” OC6 if they have experience in all five seats, have an interest in steering, have intermediate paddling skills, and weather conditions are suitable as determined by the group steers.Criteria– Sufficient paddling skills to attempt steering, an understanding and experience in all 1-5 seats, interest in learning to steer, weather and water conditions are suitable for a beginner. The group steers must approve each time and a level 1 or level 2 must be in seat 5 to assist.
Responsibility- Follow instruction of senior paddlers and the level 1&2s, and stay within hearing distance of the boat with the group steers, ask questions and enjoy the experience of steering.

Level 1 - Support Steers
Definition–A support steers serves to provide steering for all additional boats as dictated by the group steers and coaches during an HROCC group paddle and club events. While a level 2 is in command of the multi-boat event the level 1 is in command of their individual boat and follows the plan and direction of the level 2. A level 1 may substitute for a level 2 group steers during club events when specifically requested by a coach or the board under specified restrictions on course, conditions, crew, equipment, etc.
Criteria– A support steers is a HROCC member nominated by a level 2 steers, coaches or approved by the board to have personality, responsibility, temperament and growing knowledge and skills to provide regular steering support for HROCC events. They need to have several hours of prior steering experience under supervision of a level 2 steers, reasonable skill and knowledge of canoe management, and commit to regularly steer during HROCC paddle group workouts as needed. A new level 2 is expected to own a steering blade and comes to practice prepared to steer.Responsibilities– Be an active and supportive member of the steers community, provide steers support to all schedulers of club events, learn the hazards in the waters where you paddle, do your best to provide a reasonably safe experience, communicate risks and modify the plan to avoid hazardous situations. When substituting for a level 2 (leading a group without a level 2 present), the level 1 must have stay inside the Nichol’s Basin unless the board approves otherwise.

Level 2 – Approved Steers and Group Steers
Definition– An approved steers leads groups of 1 or more boats as the primary person in charge, ensure the safety rules are followed for the members and equipment, and support the club and board as senior members of HROCC.
Group steers are also approved steers with the additional role of being the assigned leaders of a paddling group.
Criteria– Approved steers are selected and approved by the HROCC board, senior in knowledge, skill and experience. A level 2 must be a person that has demonstrated responsibility, leadership, solid judgment and the ability to command multiple boats thru the course of a paddling event. Additionally, a level 2 is expected to provide additional leadership within to club as requested by the board.
Responsibilities– Lead paddle groups in a safe and equitable manner for all members of the club. Organize attendance, seat assignments, safe dress, and transport of canoes. Have an organized plan for the day ready when members arrive. Ensure all equipment is clean, stowed correctly and ready for the next user. Provide training and instruction to attending paddlers during their paddle group sessions. Lead paddlers in the “art” of O’hana by example and extolling the objectives of the HROCC mission as defined in the By-Laws.

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HROCC Steers Definition

Level 3 – Master Steers
Definition– The master steers title identifies people with an extraordinary history, talent and knowledge base in outrigger canoeing. They are mentors, role models for all paddlers.
Criteria– Approved by the board and other level 2 steers
Responsibilities– Be a leader for all members and a resource for the board. Openly share information and work to improve the club in all ways possible.

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Skills, capabilities, responsibilities

Member Paddler

Level 1

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Level 2

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A member paddler has the opportunity to steer during a group paddle with Level 1 or 2 in seat 5. The group steers must approve each time and a level 1 or level 2 must be in seat 5 to assist.

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Has experience paddling in seats 1 thru 5 with understanding of the role of each position.

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Has the leadership skills to organize and direct a paddling crew of 4-5 people

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Has strong verbal skills to clearly articulate the plan and actions to the crew

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Has the personal ability to respond appropriately in stressful conditions or during emergencies

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Has the appropriate health and fitness to steer and respond to issues in demanding conditions and during emergencies.

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Ability to command a 5-6 person crew thru all aspects of boat maneuvers.

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Ability to safely pilot an OC6 and direct a crew in wind conditions up to 35 mph with strong opposing current and challenging seas.

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Ability to spot and avoid hazards within the reaction time of the boat and crew’s ability.

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Has demonstrated huli skills as a steersman in charge.

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Takes command and directs a crew during a capsize, man-overboard, and emergencies.

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Responsible for adapting the plan due to weather and team capability.

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HROCC canoes may not interfere with a commercial vessel, or cause the operator of a commercial vessel to be concerned in any way, regardless of any horn blasts he/she may give.
HROCC canoes may not get closer than 5-7 boat lengths (200-300 feet) to the side or astern of tugs, barge & tug combinations, and tour boats. No canoe may cross ahead of said vessels closer than 1/2 mile. At a minimum, canoes must position themselves such that they can clearly and easily see the bridge of said vessel at all times.

This rule also applies to privately owned craft whenever they are participating in an HROCC sanctioned event, race or practice.

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Knowledge of all terms and verbal commands used as steersman.

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Knowledge of the waterways currents, obstacles, hazards and weather.

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Knowledge of OC6 components, assembly, terminology, limitations, and history.

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Responsible for all aspects of boat care, launching, landing, transport and storage.

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Ensures all safety gear is in all boats, all paddlers are wearing life jackets and are appropriately dressed.

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Steers a boat during a racing event sanctioned by HROCC if requested by a race coach.

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In advance of a race, learn the course, marks, starting sequence, obstacles, weather and water conditions in order provide the best and safest steering possible for the team.

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Knows the HROCC by-laws and instructs those that don’t know the rules or fail to follow.

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As a representative for the club, always be inviting and friendly to new members, guest paddlers and bystanders. Our reputation in the community should be highly valued. Be an example for all.

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Will commit to frequently steering for group practices with Level 2 at event, to support HROCC need for steers.

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As a member of the steers community, please support the Level 2s and the HROCC board on activities beyond paddling to make the club more successful

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Understand the mishap process and ALWAYS report ALL mishaps on the Boat Damage Report

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Proven by time and action to be a highly responsible person, a trustworthy leader, strong judgment, capable of making difficult/unpopular decisions for the safety of all.

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Will routinely conduct an event that is organized, prompt, fulfilling, educational and inclusive of all members. Be mindful of people’s busy lives and be ready to start as people arrive. Be a leader and champion of O’hana.

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Has the ability to organize, safely guide and maintain leadership of multiple OC6s, steers and crews during a club practice or event in all water and weather conditions

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Be available and willing to substitute for other group steers, coaches and lead multi-boat paddles as needed to support HROCC.

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Organize new club paddling events that improve the club’s offer to the membership. Leading a regularly scheduled paddle group made available to the paddling membership titles you a group steers.

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Know and follow the by-laws. Use club methods, scheduling calendar, equipment and approved members. If guests are allowed verify all waivers are completed.

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As stated in the by-laws, all HROCC owned equipment including boats are for club sanctioned events and must be approved by the board.

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As senior members of the club, your knowledge, experience and understanding of the members in your groups is extremely valuable. Please support the HROCC board with projects and activities beyond group steers duties.

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Has demonstrated the ability to properly assemble the OC6 for different conditions, properly lash oma securely in place, and can conduct common repairs needed while afloat.

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A level 1 steers advancing to a level 2 steers must demonstrate to a board appointed approver(s) selected skills and knowledge from the following categorize: boat handling, terminology, boat rigging, proper transport, proper storage, required safety gear, huli drill, local waterway hazards, local weather and condition knowledge. Additionally, the advancing steers should agree to read the club bylaws, mission and this Steers Definition.

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Updated March 11, 2019 by Jeff Castleberry

Hood River Outrigger Canoe Club is a 501(c)3 all volunteer non-profit organization 

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