Since 1968, the Marin Rowing Association has focused on developing highly skilled, competitive rowers. The club’s focus on junior rowing has consistently resulted in nationally competitive boys and girls teams. MRA juniors often go on to become successful at the collegiate, national and even Olympic level.
The Marin Rowing Association is a non-profit organization with approximately 125 junior and 200 adult members. Memberships are open to the public.
The club is located in Greenbrae, California, near the intersection of Highway 101 and San Francis Drake Blvd., on the shore of the Corte Madera Creek. Its home race course stretches 2000 meters down the shoreline between the Larkspur Ferry terminal just beyond San Quentin point.
- World-class rowing facility on Corte Madera Creek
- 3 boat bays filled with dozens of racing shells from Vespoli, Hudson, Resolute and more. Most are under 5 years old.
- Workout room with rowing ergometers, stationary bicycles, treadmills, free weights
- Classroom for coaching instruction
- Mens’ and womens’ locker rooms with showers
- Accommodations for storing privately-owned shells
- Private dock and 6 coaching launches
- Boat trailers and trucks for bringing shells to regattas
- Beautiful rowing location at the foot of Mount Tamalpais
- The first 100% solar-powered rowing club in the country.
Founded in 1968 by Coach RC “Bob” Cumming, the Marin Rowing Association is located in Greenbrae, CA (Marin County). For its first eight years, the program was composed of high school boys from Redwood High School and what we called the “Cardiac 8”. The Cardiac 8 was a small group of men who had previously rowed in college and continued to row on Sunday mornings. That group of men, including Olympian Dick Draeger, held the facility and equipment together.
In 1977 Cal rower Jana Barto began a high school program for women from Redwood High and today both teams row under the name of the Marin Rowing Association. In 1982 Olympian Lou Lindsey joined Coach Cumming to run the men’s team. Lou took over in 1984 after the death of Coach Cumming.
The Marin Rowing Association no longer recruits junior team members from just Redwood High School – it is a club team that recruits from high schools throughout Marin County. The tradition of the junior program at Redwood, and now Marin, runs strong. The junior teams are well known for their speed and strength.
Numerous junior rowers from Marin went on to race for Junior National Teams, including Scott Munn, Fred Honebein, Tim Evans, Tim and Jerome Ryan, Tiffany Gomez, Mike Altman, Nito Simonsen, Maren McCrea, Kristy Wentzel and Chelsea Lucas. The junior men have an outstanding reputation in the rowing world and have won numerous State, Regional and National Titles. The junior womens’ program came on strong in 1991 and has since taken home 19 medals (11 Gold, 6 Silver, 2 Bronze) in the past 19 years at the Regional Championships and 2 National Titles (’08, ’09). Both teams are proud of the traditions started by Coach Cumming and Jana Barto, and remain dominating programs today.
In 1984, Jana Barto and Joan Corbett started a rowing program for adult women. Originally the rowers were moms of the junior women and men, but today that original program has split into beginning, intermediate and advanced levels for men and women, with the competitive/advanced level winning numerous gold medals at State Championship races, the Masters Nationals and the FISA World Regatta.
In 1979 the MRA set out to build a new boathouse. After finding a site, obtaining permits, raising money and negotiating with the City, construction of a new boathouse commenced. In February of 1993 Marin Rowing moved into the new $350,000 facility. This original facility was built by the members, led by parents of the junior program and other adult members with the skills needed. It stored 9 eights, 7 fours, 3 doubles, 13 singles in addition to 53 privately stored singles and doubles. There was a small upstairs area that held weight equipment and 12 ergometers.
In 2000, we had outgrown our new boathouse and plans were drawn up for an expanded facility including a 3rd boat bay, full locker rooms, workshop, expanded upstairs with room for 50 ergs, a large classroom and offices for the Director and coaches.
In June of 2003 we moved all the equipment outside and construction began. Fundraising efforts were impressive as the members and parents joined together to raise the full cost of $ 1.3 million and in June of 2004 we moved into the spectacular facility which is now our home.