OWRC Coaches


Chris Dadd, Coach

Chris Dadd began his rowing career with the Humboldt State University Lightweight Crew, while earning a degree in Natural Resource Planning. He returned to rowing with the Lake Merritt Rowing Club in Oakland in the mid 1990s and began working with the Summer Youth Rowing program, which he still directs. He joined the Berkeley High staff in 1999 as the Men’s Novice Coach and became the Men’s Head Coach in 2002. He also coaches the Women’s Masters Team at Lake Merritt Rowing Club and has coached at Open Water Rowing Center since 1993.


Ellen Braithwaite, Coach

Ellen is as fond of teaching sculling as she is of sculling herself. She came to the sport late in life and that has helped her to recognize where people are in their athletic careers (even if they don’t know they have one) and then to build on that to help them develop a new skill or reactivate an old one. Ellen learned to row on a tranquil lake in New England, but she find the bay much more exciting. Her competitive career (with varying success) includes everything from 1000 meter racing in buoyed lanes to rowing 36 miles from Marina Del Ray to Catalina Island. There’s pleasure in the process, whether that be learning, competing, or just being alive in a beautiful place!


Rachel Jackson, Coach

Rachel learned to row as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, competing for 3 years on the national level in 8s, 4s, and the pair. She began rowing a single out off OWRC in 2000, and quickly fell in love with open water rowing, competing in local races as well as in the Catalina Crossing and the Around Catalina Row. She continues to enjoy long challenging rows here on San Francisco Bay. In her coaching she emphasizes skill and confidence in the boat, understanding the territory, and enjoying the challenge.


Stefan Benton

Stefan began rowing in 1983 on Lake Merced with Saint Ignatius High School. He then went on to row as lightweight for UC Santa Barbara. Stefan started racing open water in 1992. He has won numerous races, including the Catalina Crossing, Monterey Bay Crossing, Bridge to Bridge and the Open Water Regatta. In 1986, Stefan began coaching and teaching rowing at OWRC and has been doing so ever since. He currently coaches the Rough Water Clinic, a class designed to redefine your definition of rough water and reveal the best technique for successful rough water rowing.

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Arianna pilram, Coach

Arianna has been rowing on the bay and coaching at OWRC since 2008, specializing in Novice coaching. She graduated from UCSD in 2006 where she was an accomplished scholar athlete and 4-year varsity rower and coxswain. Outside of OWRC, Arianna also rows at the South End rowing club in San Francisco and recently represented the USA in the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Vancouver, BC.