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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.
 
Jessica Lowe – Sunday Masters
Jessica Lowe started her rowing career at Boston University after a friend stated, "you should try it out, you're tall." After university she spent most of her time with her first love - horseback riding. But rowing never left her system and after a 10-year break joined the Pocock Rowing Center's women's masters team. For 10 years, Jessica was part of a W8+ team, as stroke, or 5 seat (yes, bi-sweptual!) that garnered many medals including a bronze in the Head of the Charles W 8+ Club event, gold at the San Diego Crew Classic, multiple medal wins at US Rowing Nationals, NW Regional Champs, Seattle's Opening Day Regatta and Canadian Masters Championships.

Jessica met her husband, Simon Litherland, at a regatta, married him, moved to Vancouver BC, and competed as a sculler for 2 years. Lonely in a 1X, she switched over to coaching in 2015 as Head Coach of Simon Fraser University's club team. In 2017 she became a head coach for the VRC Masters program and shepherded the W4+ 40+ boat to a second-place finish at the 2017 Head of the Charles Regatta. Jessica is passionate about teaching solid technique in sculling or sweep and working with any level rower to help him/her achieve her personal goals. She has RCA Coach and RCA Learn to Row certifications.
 
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.


Viktor Djurasic - Junior Program
Viktor was introduced to rowing while visiting his home city of Belgrade, Serbia, where the sport is very popular. There he joined the Red Star Rowing Club and quickly developed an appreciation for the sport and the kind of person it creates. He saw first hand the dedication, passion and love, that was given to the sport from all it's athletes, and in return, he also saw the lessons the sport gave back. Hooked on rowing,

Viktor came back to Vancouver where he joined our very own Vancouver Rowing Club. After years of competition as a junior, his interest naturally shifted toward coaching. As a coach of the same program, Viktor now hopes to teach his athletes the same lessons that his coaches taught him

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.

Jonathan Rose - Junior Program

Jonathan started rowing in Nanaimo as a junior athlete as a opportunity for off-season training for Rugby and loved it so much he stuck with it!

Over the years Jonathan transitioned into coaching through a love and appreciation of the sport and the excitement of seeing athletes realize their potential. Jonathan pursued sport, health and physical education in university while coaching junior rowers and has developed as a coach with experience working with youth and senior athletes from a variety of different clubs and teams in a recreational and competitive setting.

Highlights have been coaching varsity athletes for Simon Fraser University, taking two teams to the BC Summer Games, and traveling with athletes to the CSSRA Championships. Outside of rowing Jonathan enjoys watching movies and exploring the trails around the lower mainland with his dog.