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Rowing Section Coaches Biographies


Carolyn Thompson - Saturday Masters

A person smiling for the cameraDescription generated with very high confidenceI began rowing in 2004, taking Learn-to-row, then Novice at Vancouver Rowing Club. My passion for racing started in 2005 at local races and I soon graduated to competing at national and international regattas for Masters Rowers.  There were a number of successful Canadian Masters Championships, but my rowing highlights were two gold medals (1x and 2x) at the 2008 US Masters and another 2 gold medals (1x and 2-) at the 2013 World Master Rowing Championships in Torino, Italy.
I love rowing and I love competing, and it is with this passion for our sport that moved me to take the RCA coach training in 2015/16 after sustaining an injury.  I have been coaching the Saturday Masters program since 2017.


Richard MacDaniels – Novice Program

Born in Winnipeg but raised in Vancouver, Richard has been a member of VRC since 1976.
Previous to Rowing, Richard was a member of the running (which no longer exists) and Field Hockey sections.
Richard and his wife Barbara met at VRC and Barbara still plays and umpires for the VRC Jokers Field Hockey section.
Richard took Learn to Row in 1984-85 and has been rowing ever since and has been coaching the Novice Program since 1998.
Richard’s passionate about coaching and loves see Novice grads move on and participate in the club both in racing as well as contributing at the executive level.   


Angus Dinsdale – Novice Program

Angus adds an international flavour to VRC’s coaching team. Born in the UK Angus discovered skiing in his mid teens. He moved to Austria and set about making the sport he’d fallen in love with his profession. After gaining the top Tyrolean ski coaching qualification he transferred to coaching young, up and coming, ski teachers to excel not just at instructing but also in their own skiing ability.  After moving to Canada Angus ‘found’ rowing (at Vancouver Rowing Club) and fell in love all over again! Captivated, Angus threw himself into understanding and perfecting everything he could about the sport of rowing. During seven years representing VRC at national and international regatta’s Angus collected medals of every hue.  In 2010 Angus hung up his competitive oar’s turning his hand – and knowledge - to coaching. The adult novice program is where he plies his trade these days: “Coaching the adult novice program is most rewarding; I take great pleasure helping folks develop their rowing ability and enjoy watching their confidence grow.”  Angus is an RCA level 3 coach (trained).            


Tricia Riley – Novice Program

A person smiling for the cameraDescription generated with very high confidenceTricia first started rowing in high school back in the Paris of the Prairies (aka Winnipeg). After a long hiatus, she picked up the sport again in her last year at Queen's University. She then rowed at the Glebe Rowing Club in Australia while undertaking a very serious semester of study abroad. Tricia finally found her home at the Vancouver Rowing Club in the fall of 2011. She went on to compete with VRC in regattas along the west coast, all the way to down to San Diego, and made a trek out to Italy to compete with the crew.

Tricia started coaching the Novice Program in 2017.


Annette O’Shea – Recreation Program

Annette learned to row at the Vancouver Rowing Club in 2004.  Annette has since competed as a masters rower nationally and internationally in Europe and the U.S. and recently in the World Championships of Coastal Rowing. 
Annette loves coaching rowing as she has the privilege to watch rowers gain new skills and confidence in their abilities. It’s a sport of grace and power, of strength and teamwork. Annette is endlessly motivated to share this sport with others. Rec provided a place for skills and friendships to develop.   


Corey Chan – Recreation Program

A person posing for the cameraDescription generated with very high confidenceCorey has been a rower for many years and started in the Learn to Row program at the Vancouver Rowing Club. He now competes in rowing competitions around Canada and the US and has won several medals for his accomplishments. Corey coaches the Learn to Row program and the Recreational program at Vancouver Rowing Club and strives to create a fun and educational experience for his participants. He has also started to develop his coaching skills around Para Rowing helping people with disabilities learn how to row. Corey's coaching style focuses on developing good rowing techniques early on while adapting to the unique needs of the rower. Corey enjoys working with participants of all ages in order to spread the joys of rowing.

Mary Rusak – Juniors Program

Mary started rowing in Ontario at the Muskoka Rowing Club in 2009. MRC gave Mary the resources she needed to become an adept rower and the coaching experience to be able to pass these skills onto others. During Mary's high school rowing career, she was led to opportunities such as participating in the 2010 Ontario Summer Games, and attending a rowing camp led by Brian Price (the coxswain for the Olympic men’s eight).

Mary's experiences at MRC made her passionate about the sport of rowing and allowed it to continue to be a point of significance in her life. After rowing there and instructing learn to row for a number of years, Mary moved to Vancouver. She joined VRC in May 2017 to instruct learn to row and coach with the junior program.

After receiving training in 2018, Mary also began coaching para-athletes. This opportunity has allowed Mary to grow further as a coach to adapt her coaching style to each unique athlete. This allows her to work with any type of athlete regardless of skill or experience.

Dr. Wesley Ma - Junior and Sunday Masters Programs

Dr. Wesley Ma, MD rowed for the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Rowing Club in British Columbia, Canada since the early 2000s.

He has coached all levels of rowers for more than 15 years. This great sport and his coaching has brought him to various rowing clubs around the world -- in Canada, the United States, Australia, and England. Coach Ma began coaching at New York University in 2015 and is the Associate Head Coach for the men and women's college team in NYC. In Vancouver, he is a Masters Program Coach and helps with the Junior program at the Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park. He also began coaching coastal rows at the Salish Sea Coastal Rowing Club in 2020 at the Jericho Sailing Centre on English Bay.