The mission of the Whatcom Rowing Association (WRA) is to develop athletes in the sport of rowing in Whatcom County. WRA is a community rowing program and member of US Rowing that provides education, coaching, and training sessions to create an environment of teamwork, health, fitness and competition. WRA promotes access to rowing by offering classes to athletes of all ability levels and a wide range of ages. All athletes from beginner youths to experienced masters will have the opportunity and be encouraged to race and compete.
As a 501(c)(3) organization, we are qualified to receive tax deductible gifts under section 170 of the Code. We are therefore classified as a public charity.
CHF is a supporter of WRA
Rowing experience: Undefeated collegiate rower at U of W from 1958-1960. Began the WWU rowing program in 1969 and was head coach through 1976. Won several “small college” championships and several of his rowers went on to become nationally prominent, organizing and coaching at other community rowing programs. Inducted into WWU Athletic Hall of Fame. Competitive “masters” rower and has won several regional, national and international titles.
“Sharing my love for rowing through the Whatcom Rowing Association has been a dream come true for me. Rowing is the best way I know of remaining healthy — body, mind and spirit — for a lifetime.”
Director of Programs and Operation
The rowing bug bit me in the fall of 1982. I had joined the Green Lake Rowing Club and began the 10 year adventure of youth rowing, adult rowing and coaching. Four years at GLC brought several championship wins in the girls varsity 8. Sculling was also a joy and we took first at Nationals in 1985 in the girls quad. In 1985 I tried out and made the Junior Olympic team in girls 4+. We traveled to Louisiana and took second place. In 1985 and 1986, we took first place at the San Diego Crew Classic. The wins were great, but every day on the lake with a great team and the outdoors was just as wonderful. In 1988, I was hired on as Juniors Novice Coach. For the four years I held this position, I not only saw young kids love rowing, but love exercise. In 1992 I got engaged and moved to Bellingham to start my life with my husband Jack Bennett. Jack and I are now parent to John, 22, Emma 20 and Susie 18. I was beyond thrilled when I caught wind of WRA. I promptly emailed Lindsay and the fun began.
“I am so excited to help bring Junior rowing to WRA!”
Masters Head Coach
Courtney comes to WRA with a long resume of rowing, coaching and administrative accomplishments. Courtney began rowing in Bellingham with WWU. She was at the start of the long run of national championships. After completing 4 year of rowing with WWU, Courtney began a 9 year career of coaching all levels of rowing and helping with administrative work as Program Director with Sammamish Rowing in Redmond. At the 9 year mark with Sammamish, she heard rumblings from the George Pocock Foundation, that they wanted to start a rowing club in Renton. This being Courtney’s home town, she jumped at the chance to introduce the locals to rowing. Once Renton Rowing had found stability, she was offered the Assistance Coaching job for the WWU women’s team. This brought her full circle and she has enjoyed her two years with WWU. We bring Courtney on at WRA as an Masters Head Coach to help build the masters team, provide coaches training where needed and to help give our WRA Masters team a reputation in our community as a team that can help individuals grow as athletes, team members and community members.
Ben Rosenblatt was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He began rowing in high school with the nationally renowned Marin Rowing Association, made appearances at USRowing Youth Nationals and the Head of the Charles races, and in 2004 was recruited by Gonzaga University. After graduating, he also briefly rowed with the Spokane River Rowing Association before moving out of Spokane.
Ben received his BA in Music from Gonzaga and his MM in Piano Performance from Western Washington University with the intent of building and maintaining a private lessons studio; this passion for teaching, along with his passion for rowing and love of beautiful Bellingham, is what led him to the WRA.
Juniors Head Coach
Andrew began his involvement with rowing at the age of 18 at Western Washington University. He has since rowed and coached in several countries at the collegiate and club level. His involvement with WWU from 2009-2013 was a period of tremendous growth for the program, culminating in a 2013 Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Championship and establishing the foundations that the dominant small college program enjoys today. Career moves to Germany and Austria saw Andrew rowing for the Universität Göttingen in Germany, as well as coaching and rowing for the “Wikinger Spittal” Rowing Club in Spittal an der Drau, Austria. Outside of rowing, Andrew enjoys reading, cycling, playing music, and singing. He teaches German and Spanish at Squalicum High School.
Juniors Assistant Coach
I grew up on Bainbridge Island and rowed all four years there for Bainbridge Island Rowing Club. Senior year, my varsity four qualified for the youth national championships where we placed 10th in the nation. After high school I rowed for Lewis and Clark College in Portland for a year on their varsity squad. Since then I have stayed connecting to rowing through coaching back at BIR on and off as their head novice coach as well as the assistant varsity boys coach. I was volunteering last fall with WRA and I am very excited to come back and coach this Spring!