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Masters Program


The goal of program is to allow each athlete to develop her potential. We value:

• Competitive experience
• Fitness and strength
• Rowing skills
• Self-esteem
• Teamwork

Our coaches endeavor to train every rower to reach her full potential, regardless of her initial level of skill and/or fitness. Rowing builds strength and fitness which in turn leads to a more positive rowing experience for all. All rowers are encouraged (but not required) to participate at the competitive level.



Inexperienced rowers are asked to complete a Learn To Row class prior to their participation with the team.

ZLAC also welcomes experienced rowers in the Open Age Group (18 – 21 yrs.) and in the Masters Categories (21+). All rowers may be boated for regattas after two months of participation with the team. The coach will individually assess new experienced rowers and will take into account prior experience, including on-the-water observations. Coxswains are welcome to begin working with ZLAC at any time, at no cost.

Our hope is to encourage women athletes to continue rowing beyond college by offering them excellent coaching and a team experience.

All rowers must fill out the ZLAC Waiver before being allowed on the water.  


Rowers are identified for participation in regattas based on interest and skills. Some competitions will include a variety of line-ups composed of all interested rowers, while others, identified as select regattas, will be comprised of the most strategic line-up.

Interested rowers should indicate the regattas in which they would like to participate. Prior to signing up for a regatta, rowers should consider the following:

  • Commitment to attend practices (often including extra works-outs)

  • Availability (work/vacation schedules)

  • Positive attitude and flexibility (any boat, any seat, anytime!)

Boat line-ups are generally determined 2 to 6 weeks prior to the event and practice together. Rowers not participating in the competition continue to come to practice for a regular coached workout.



  • ZLAC Members Quarterly Coached Fee: $240 plus annual dues.

  • Non-members Quarterly Guest Fee: $355

  • Dedicated coxswains are exempt from fees.

  • Discounted coaching fees are offered for rowers under 27

Quarterly fees are paid in Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct. Fees can also be paid monthly ($90/members or $130/non-member).
For more information about rowing fees, please contact us.



We have the opportunity to practice 5 times a week on the water:  

  • Monday through Thursday from 4:50 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.

  • Saturdays from 8:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Mondays and Wednesdays are usually technique practices and are open to everyone including our novices (this is how our novices transition into the coached rowing program). 

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are practices geared towards our intermediate and advanced rowers. There are Friday practices that focus on erging or are for sculling and small boats practice. 


Coaches & Board

+ Chris Shannon, Head Masters Coach

A member of ZLAC since 2003, Chris first started rowing at the Mission Bay Rowing Association and has always been a club rower. Shortly after learning to scull, Chris was invited to sweep row with SD Police Crew, USD women varsity, and then MBRA Competitive Women’s team. She raced for over 25 years, winning gold medals at Women’s, Masters and FISA nationals in all rowing disciplines. Chris has taught rowing for MBAC and SDRC, coached at MBRA, and with UCSD Women’s Crew. She has run many local regattas, served on SDCC and MBRA Boards, and has been a USRA Referee for more than ten years. In 2014, after retiring from finance, she started to coach at ZLAC. She is very excited to be working with a great club and wonderful women.


+ Kelsey Taylor, Assistant Masters & LTR Coach

Kelsey started rowing her junior year of high school in Virginia. She continued to Washington College in Chestertown, MD, where she rowed DIII varsity for two years. After graduating from Washington College she rowed with Chester River Rowing Club and Prince William Rowing Club. Kelsey started coaching in 2009 for C.D. Hylton High School in Woodbridge, VA. From 2014-2016 she was assistant women’s coach at Westfield High School in Fairfax, VA. Kelsey has been with ZLAC since summer of 2016 and is settling into Southern California living.


+ Charlotte Pittman, Athletic Chair

Charlotte started rowing in college at State University of New York Maritime College in Bronx, NY. After college she joined the Coast Guard and rowed for a year with Alexandria Community Rowing (ACR) in Alexandria, Virginia before taking a 13 year break from rowing due to her duties in the Coast Guard. During this time, she competed in triathlon and water polo. Moving to San Diego and missing her original sport, Charlotte began rowing again in 2013 with ZLAC Rowing Club. She has been rowing with ZLAC for the past six years, apart from a year and a half back in Alexandria, rowing again with ACR. She is an active member of the Masters Competitive Rowing program and serves as the Athletics representative on the ZLAC Board.


+ Dianna Woods, Assistant Masters Coach

Dianna started rowing at the University of Puget Sound as a freshman, first learned to scull while completing her Masters at UC Santa Cruz, coxed and rowed with the mixed and women’s teams at the Texas Rowing Center in Austin, and started rowing and coxing at ZLAC shortly after discovering the club during strolls along the Mission Bay boardwalk. She became a member of ZLAC in January 2015, and though she never wanted to leave again, necessity brought her to Virginia for a short time. During her brief stint there, Dianna coached the Novice Junior Girls at TC Williams in Alexandria, while coxing with the masters women’s team, Alexandria Community Rowing. Thrilled to be back in San Diego, and back at ZLAC, Dianna feels truly grateful to have the opportunity to work with the masters team.


+ Deanna Groark, Assistant Masters Coach

Deanna began rowing her Junior year of high school for San Diego Junior Crew at Mission Bay Aquatics Center. She rowed as a freshman for UC Berkeley’s Varsity Team, transferred to UMASS, Amherst and was 7 seat of UMASS Women’s Varsity 8+ which placed 2nd at the very first NCAA Women’s Collegiate Regatta. She has sculled at the Olympic Festival, and started racing internationally with the U-23 National Team. Deanna was a member of the Women’s U.S. National Team from 1997-99. She raced at World Championships in the 4- in France and was an alternate at World’s in the Women’s 2- in Germany. She has coached SDRC Juniors, ZLAC Masters, and was Head Coach for ZLAC Learn To Row junior programs. She and her family have been long-time fixtures at the San Diego Crew Classic; managing the Weigh-In Tent. Deanna is full time Broker Associate with Willis Allen Real Estate. She is excited to share her love of rowing with ZLAC Masters!


+ Michael Shannon, High Performance Coach

Mike specializes in working with innovative coaches and motivated athletes to reach the next level. Using current Best Practices and technology, Mike uses the lessons learned from working with coaches and athletes at the Olympic Training Center to improve the performance of athletes at any level. He started working with U.S. National Team coaches in 1989 and joined the U.S. Olympic Committee as a sports performance consultant in 1994. He worked with elite athletes from a wide variety of sports, specializing in endurance sports, from both summer and winter sports training for National and World competitions, including the Olympic Games and Pan American Games. Mike served as a member of the Olympic Team Staff for numerous Olympic Games to help support Team USA and retired from the USOC after 20 years of service. Before working with the Olympic Committee, he served as Head Men’s Rowing Coach for the University of California, San Diego from 1985-93. Prior to joining UCSD, Mike worked for the Naval Health Research Center as a research physiologist from 1991-94. Currently, Mike continues to provide athlete performance services and coach education to National Team Programs in variety of sports. He provides consulting services with college/club rowing programs interested in sustained competitive performance. Mike works with US Rowing Coach Education for Level 2 and Level 3 coaches, combining coaching experience and sport science background. He also serves in the faculty of Drexel University, teaching graduate courses in training and biomechanics for the Sport Coaching Leadership program in the Department of Education.



+ I'm a male, can I row at ZLAC?

Sorry, we are a women's rowing club! However, we have one open water double that is available for men to use with a ZLAC member.

+ It’s raining, do you still go out and row?

Yes — we row in the rain! Learn To Row classes meet as scheduled, rain or shine. If severe lightning, fog, wind, or storms are present, rowers will not be permitted on the water. Instead the class or practice is moved into the boathouse where we can get a workout on the ergs or using weights.

+ I’m coming to row at ZLAC, what should I wear?

We recommend you dress in layers. San Diego can be cold in the early morning or after the sun sets. Dress appropriately for the weather, including a windbreaker if necessary. It's easiest if you are able to shed layers quickly as you begin to warm up. Your rowing clothes will likely get dirty and wet. Your outfit should be comfortable and snug. It should allow you to move freely but should not be baggy. Be sure to bring socks with you to wear once the boats are launched.

+ Where should I park?

ZLAC has a small parking lot that is for rowers and club members only. If your car is left in the lot past practice times and is not recognized by the resident manager (or there are no ZLAC stickers present on your car), you may be towed. When the lot fills up, there is always free street parking within the surrounding blocks. Please do not park in the lot if there is a black and yellow checkered flag at the entrance to the lot (this means there is an event at the clubhouse).

+ Can I rent your clubhouse for my wedding/party/memorial/event?

Yes! ZLAC is located on Sail Bay on the north shore of Mission Bay in beautiful San Diego. Our clubhouse offers a unique setting for your next event. The clubhouse, built in 1932, is a traditional Craftsman style designed by Lilian Rice with a unique redwood interior, historic rowing decor, and a scenic view of Mission Bay. More info here.

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Upcoming Learn to Row Classes

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