Larry Connell, the president of the Viking Rowing Club, has a long history of coaching in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area. He has coached at nearly every level from youth rowing within the Viking Rowing Club, high school level in various South Jersey high school programs and at the collegiate level at University of Pennsylvania and LaSalle University. His leadership and extensive knowledge of rowing is unparalleled in the South Jersey area.
Ward Holland, one of the original members of the Viking Rowing Club and current Vice President, is instrumental in keeping the boathouse and programs running smoothly. His experience in rowing lifeguard boats (the original type of racing that occurred within the club in the early 1960s) led to the birth of rowing and racing as we know it today. A decorated Marine Corps Captain and helicopter pilot, Captain of the Margate City Beach Patrol and all around water lover, Ward has continued the tradition his father, Dr. John Holland, began over 60 years ago. Ward has raised a family of rowers, manages the boathouse upkeep, contributes to the running of the Chicken Dippers and still gets out on the water in his lifeguard boat every chance he gets.
Ray D'Amico, the Treasurer of the Viking Rowing Club, has been a member since 1973, an original chicken dipper. A former Atlantic City High Rower from 1974-1977 under the esteemed Bob Garbutt, Ray continued his South Jersey rowing career at Stockton University from 1977-1981 under Mike Hughes and has been an original Masters member since 1982. Some of his fondest memories of 'the good ol days' were rowing doubles and quads out of the old tin boathouse on Harvard Ave with Bob Kerstetter, Tony Mazzo, Steve D'Amico, Scott Jones, Larry McCabe, Drew McCrosson and coach Bill Subin. Ray took over the Chicken Dippers program in 1990, a summer program that he still runs today, and has built one of the most successful high school rowing programs in the area as the Head Crew Coach of St. Augustine's Preparatory School.
Scott Jones, the Secretary of the Viking Rowing Club, was introduced to the club in the summer between 7th and 8th grade by two classmates at a sign up meeting in Doc Holland's driveway. Scott went on to row at Atlantic City High School and was coached as a senior by Bob Garbutt in his inaugural year. Scott went on to row for both Atlantic Cape Community College and Marietta College. A member of the Ventnor City Beach Patrol for 8 years, Scott transferred his skills from a crew shell to lifeguard boats, representing VCBP in both doubles and singles in the South Jersey Lifeguard Championships, Margate Memorials and Dutch Hoffman Memorials. He has gone on to coach at VIking Rowing Club at the high school and novice levels and continues to row at the Masters level, competing primarily in sculling events around the country, including the prestigious Head of the Schuylkill and Head of the Charles regattas.
Meghan Holland has been a member of the VIking Rowing Club board since 2013 and a rower since she began as a Chicken Dipper in the early 1990s. Meghan went on to row at Holy Spirit High School from 1997-2001 where she competed and medalled in the JV and Varsity 8 events at both the Stotesbury Regatta and Nationals under coach Joe Welsh. She continued her rowing career as a 4year member of the Varsity 8 and 2 year captain at Drexel University under coach Lou Renzulli, where she helped her crew earn a bronze medal at the Dad Vails Regatta and a bid in the Women's Henley Regatta in Henley, England. Meghan has been a member of the Ventnor City Beach Patrol since 1997 and is currently a Lieutenant on the patrol. She has competed in lifeguard boat races for nearly 15 years and has helped broaden the tradition of ocean racing to women throughout South Jersey. She continues to help run the Chicken Dipper program in the summers, a program she has remained involved in since she was a chicken dipper herself.
Bob Kerstetter, a member of the Viking Rowing Club board since 2013, has been a rower since the days of walking into the freezing water at the Harvard Ave boathouse. Now our resident boathouse Construction manager, Bob has utilized his stellar skills built through his successful construction company to keep the boathouse building safe, secure and up to date.
Jim Ireland, a member of the Viking Rowing Club board since 2013, is one of our finest Masters rowers. Jim is the bridge between our Masters rowers and the board and his efforts are invaluable. A skillful oarsman himself in sculling, Jim happily spilts his time between the sunny Florida weather and our Ventnor back bays.
John Kelley, a member of the VIking Rowing Club board since 2018, has transformed the boathouse as Boathouse Manager and keeps the masters programs organized and well run. He has coached at the high school and novice level and is an accomplished rower himself.