August Member of the Month: Isa Hastings

| September 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

We at NYO aim to bring you more opportunities to get to know our fellow paddlers better and also want to recognize the contributions of our members in making our community so special. So we are excited to award our very first Member of the Month to Isa Hastings!

In the words of Jason:

One of our favorite additions to the NYO ohana this past year, Isa reached out to me in early spring to ask about paddling on the mighty Hudson River. She humbly noted, “I am hoping I will remember how to hold a paddle after all these years!,” downplaying her past experience paddling and steering canoes in Hawaii. Following an impressive trajectory that landed her halfway across the globe, now entrenched in professional pursuits and the hustle of NYC, she began to realize that being so far from the islands didn’t have to mean leaving the local culture behind. Never would I have imagined mere months later, she and I would be on Kauai with an incredible NYO team, sharing her old high school paddle for most of a stunningly beautiful ocean change race (only complaint, wish her paddle was slightly longer, heh). Isa, we’re all so glad you took a chance and came out to try paddling in your life again. You’ve generously said NYO enriched your remaining time here in NYC, but in turn you’ve brightened our season by joining the family. We’ll miss you on your (temporary, right?) adventure abroad, and look forward to your return to Pier 66 whenever the winds might bring you back!

In the words of Laura Fisk:

We’re so lucky Isa joined us for the 2018 season before she moves to London for school. She was endlessly positive and committed during practices, often running to the boathouse before and after to be sure she was in the best shape for her team. Always wanting to share her love for paddling, Isa volunteered and introduced a number of her friends to the club through novice and growth sessions.

While in Kauai for the Na Pali Challenge, Isa shared her home-grown experience with us, demonstrating her knowledge of ocean conditions and making her a key player during our race. It wouldn’t have been as great of an experience without her. Isa has been a friendly, caring, hard-working team player, and we’re going to miss her dearly!

From all of us at NYO, Isa, we wish you luck at school in London and your NYO family will be waiting for your return. Keep reading to learn more about our August Member of the Month.

Name: Isa Hastings
Age: 24
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Occupation: Student

How long have you been with NYO and how did you find us?
I have been with NYO since May 2018. I joined NYO in an attempt to escape the usual workday grind. My dad suggested I join NYO after I told him that I was starting to resent the city lifestyle. I was frustrated with long work hours and a general lack of nature in my everyday life. I grew up canoe paddling in Honolulu and NYO seemed like a great opportunity to get back to my roots. Not only did I fall back in love with the incredible sport but I also befriended the amazing people who create the New York Outrigger community.

Tell us about your recent races with us:
I had the opportunity to race in both the Washington Monumental race in DC and the Na Pali Challenge in Kauai this summer. Monumental was my first outrigger race in 6 years! I had no idea how many people in the northeast had heard of outrigger canoe paddling let alone how many participate in the sport! Racing in DC was a surreal experience. From afar the outrigger canoes looked so unnatural in our nation’s capital. That said, the race embodied everything that the aloha spirit stands for. Plus, the post-race luau was delicious (they had POG).

The Na Pali Challenge was easily one of the best days of my entire life. The Na Pali coast on the island of Kauai has views of some of the most spectacular shorelines in the entire world. Pair that with dolphins, turtles, great weather, and an awesome crew, and you’ve got 5 hours and 53 minutes of fun. My time in Hawaii with NYO was filled with food, smiles, and laughter. We are a group of like-minded individuals who came together for the love of a sport. I had never been to the island of Kauai and I cannot imagine a better group to have shared that first experience with me.

Tells us more about what racing in Na Pali Challenge meant to you:
Kayaking along the Nā Pali Coast State Park had always been on my bucket list. I tried to get a group together to kayak and camp along the Na Pali coast this summer. When it looked like none of my friends would be able to make it this year my dad told me about the Na Pali outrigger race. He suggested that it would be a good opportunity to see the coastline and participate in an exciting race. It just so happened that NYO was planning to put a team together for the Na Pali Challenge! As we were getting closer to race day, another outrigger team posted on the race website that they were in need of a steersman. My dad stepped in and ended up steering for a Canadian team in the race! The day itself was unbelievable and made even more so with the presence of my dad who encouraged me to join both NYO and the Na Pali Challenge!

Greatest accomplishment in an OC:
The Na Pali Challenge was easily my greatest accomplishment in an OC.

Advice for someone looking to join NYO:
The beauty of NYO is the way that it has been set up for newcomers. People are encouraged to hop into an open seat and experience everything the Hudson has to offer. The opportunity to try something new is what brings people to NYO. The friendships that develop as the season progresses are what makes people stay.

Rapid Fire Questions:

When you’re not paddling, where are we most likely to find you?
If I am not on the water with my NYO family, then you can find me hunting for my next adventure. I am always looking for opportunities to experience new places, people, and ideas.

Something we don’t know about you:
I am excellent at saying the alphabet backwards.

Hidden talent:
I’ve got some serious knitting skills. I’m not nearly as good as John though.

Favorite post-paddle meal:
Hawaiian luau, of course! Kalua pig, chicken long rice, haupia!

Most important item you carry with you in the canoe:
My team! I would get nowhere without them… literally!

Favorite show to binge watch:
New Girl

Last picture you took on your phone:
I took a picture of my dogs in the ocean!

If you could have one superpower:
If I could have one superpower I would speak to animals!

Secret guilty pleasure:
My guilty pleasure is napping. I love it.

A great paddle makes you feel:
A great paddle makes you feel whole. I don’t know if it’s the water, the people, or the sport, but the feeling is unbeatable.

Category: Homepage News, Member of the Month

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