Rowing The World Team
At Rowing The World TM, we have a philosophy of partnership and collaboration. We are proud of our amazing team, especially our rowing guides, many of whom are local rowers. Meet our team!
Founder & President
Ruth Marr is the founder and President of Rowing The World™ and The Rowing Concierge™, Rowing The World USA and The Thoughtful Rower. Ruth started rowing as a graduate student in Saskatoon and has been a long time member of Prairie Fire Rowing Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She has enjoyed rowing in dozens of beautiful destinations around the world, both on the trips that she operates and on other rowing travel experiences such as FISA World Rowing Tours and private tours organized by friends.
Ruth is a passionate traveller with more than 25 years’ experience in the adventure travel and tourism industry. She was the co-founder and owner of Randonnée Tours Ltd. for 15 years, specializing in self-guided cycling and walking trips in Europe and North America. Ruth also has extensive experience as a consultant specializing in tourism, active transportation, public consultation and environmental assessment. She is the author of two guidebooks and an active volunteer, especially in organizations supporting outdoor adventures, such as the Trans Canada Trail. She has been a speaker at Rowing Canada and USRowing conferences, as well as tourism conferences and workshops. www.marrcc.com
Travel Programs Manager and Administrative Assistant
Russian born, Anastasia is a University of Manitoba Master’s grad, focusing on studying community tourism development. She travelled around the world before settling in Canada, and now she enjoys bringing her international background and education into creating memorable travel experience for others.
Andrea Katz & Allison Gervais
Social Media Team Members
Since inception in 2013, Fit Communications has been dedicated to building stronger and healthier communities across Canada. Healthy Bodies. Healthy Minds. Healthy Communities. We are committed to strengthening individuals and their communities through positive action. While working in sport in various capacities for over two decades, we have managed to have a deep understanding of how the sport world works in Manitoba and across Canada. We are very passionate about introducing sport to young girls, ensuring they stay in sport, and have as much success as their male counterparts.
We develop intelligent, strategic marketing and communications plans and tactical solutions to help businesses and organizations reach the next level of excellence. We listen. We partner. We share your passion and your dreams. We love what we do and it shows in our work.
Web Design & Development
For over 15 years, Christine has been bridging the gap between business and technology, making the web simple for organizations looking to maximize their online visibility. Starting out as a web developer, she worked her way into project management and business analyst roles.
She wanted to turn her passion for web technology and customer service into further serving businesses and so, in 2014, she started The Web Gecko. The Web Gecko provides professionally designed websites that attract and engage your target audience along with powerful web marketing strategies that get you noticed on the web. We are your partner in success.
Cathy Senecal is Rowing The World’s content strategist. Amassing a career of pushing boundaries through global media relations strategy in domestic and international markets, Cathy Senecal has mastered content and now advises destination and experiential entities on rich media relations and content strategy by combining curiosity, tourism experience and boundless creativity.
When she isn’t busy with her company, Senecal Travel Marketing & PR, she is travelling or writing, something she did as a freelance writer in the 90s. Cathy has travelled to every continent and has visited more than 40 countries, covering culture, outdoor adventure and wildlife experiences. She authored the bestselling wildlife book Pelicans to Polar Bears, and has written hundreds of articles for dozens of outlets including The Washington Post, The Globe & Mail, enRoute, Michelin Guides, Reader’s Digest Atlas and Expedia.ca.
Our Rowing Guides
Alper Ertubey – Turkey, Istanbul & South Aegean
Alper is an active member of the adventure travel community since 1988 and the only active member of ATTA from Turkey, and a founder of the World Heritage Guides Unesco Club. He hosts travelers of small groups and families in Turkey and in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece for active experiences such as hiking, sailing, culinary, sea-kayaking, and also for botanical, cultural, and historical trips. He designs his itineraries with the principles of Slow/Responsible Travel.
He is a wildflower enthusiast and shares about 1150 wildflower images categorized in 60 plant families at his site www.floraofturkey.com He also has a travel blog at www.hikeandsail.com/blog, where you can find a lot of insight into what he does and why.
Nikos Gkountoulas – Greece, Aegean and Ionian Seas
Nikolaos Gkountoulas is a Greek rower from Thessaloniki.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, he competed in the men’s pair with his twin brother, Apostolos Gkountoulas. They also won men’s lightweight pairs at the 2008 World Championship and the open weight pair at the 2009 and 2011 European Championship. He works with his twin brother, Apostolis to promote all types of rowing in Greece. His move from 2k rowing into Coastal and Beach Sprint Rowing is an opportunity he thinks other athletes could enjoy.
Nikos is a leading world Coastal Rowing coach.
Julien Bahain – Canada, British Columbia
French Canadian – 3 time Olympian – Competed for France in 2008, and 2012, then for Canada in 2016 – Olympic medal winner – Rowed successfully across the Atlantic Ocean in 2013 – Motivational Speaker, Project Manager and Senior Associate at Partnerships BC, Victoria, Canada
Born in France to a Canadian mother and French father, Julien grew up in Angers. After competing for France at the World Championships and two Olympic Games, which included winning the bronze medal in Beijing, 2008, Julien turned to ocean rowing. In 2013, he rowed across one of the most challenging bodies of water on Earth: the Atlantic Ocean. After a successful, yet harrowing 49-day crossing, Julien went back to calmer water. Permanently crossing the ocean this time, it was in Canada that the next chapter of his adventure was written, and in 2014, he moved to Canada with his wife Katie and joined Canada’s National Rowing Team. In 2015, Julien experienced a major medical setback, and was told he would never compete again. However, through intensive rehabilitation, he defied medical opinion by going on to compete one final time in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. In 2018, Julien co-organized the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships in Victoria, Canada and won the Men’s Double Scull with his brother-in-law. He now lives with his family on a small island off Vancouver Island, and, together with his wife, he is a coastal rowing guide including their own tours in the Gulf Islands. Julien’s motto: “The Adventure goes on…”
Vivien Jackson – England, Thames
Viv has been rowing since 1994. She is a member of Weybridge Ladies ARC which is situated in Surrey at the southernmost point of the River Thames. The club was formed in 1926 by pioneer of women’s rowing; Amy Gentry and is now supported and sustained by the members who are extremely proud of the club’s history. Viv has held a number of key roles on the club committee over the years including Vice Captain, and is currently Regatta secretary and a British Rowing qualified coach.
Viv has participated in the Vogalonga in Venice, in both rowing boats and dragon boats. She has taken part in rowing tours and events in France, Germany and Finland and on home waters enjoys rowing and coxing in long distance races such as the Head of the Dart in Devon and the Great River Race in London and has enthusiastically shared these experiences by organizing the participation of her club crews in many of these events. One of her favourite rows ever, has been as a member of the crew rowing the Queen’s Row Barge; ‘Gloriana’. Such a privilege.
In the summer months when not on the water either rowing or coxing, Viv can be found in the water enjoying a bracing river swim, (voluntarily, not because she has fallen out of a boat!) she also enjoys walking, cycling and the theatre.
Viv met Ruth on a British Rowing tour in Gloucestershire in 2014 and discovered they shared a passion for touring rowing and ensuring that others could also enjoy the sport away from their local area. Viv has helped as a rowing guide for the Classic Thames Tour for the past many years.
Gillian Dean – England, Thames
Rower, walker, jewellery designer, knitter, granny.
I learnt to row on the Thames just over ten years ago and wish I’d found the water earlier. I love all the time I spend on the water, racing, training, touring, chilling with the ducks in the sunshine.
Really looking forward to showing off ‘my’ river.
Rüdiger Ranner – Austria, Salzkammergut
I came to learn the sport in 1992, when I settled in Mondsee in the Austrian lake district “Salzkammergut” and detected the rowing club there. Since then my wife and I have always tried to spend as much time as possible and most of our holidays on the water. We have been to many rowing destinations all over the world, including some World Rowing Tours and the spectacular Crossing of the Equator on the Maledives with Ruth and Rowing The World. In 2016 we had the honour to organise the WRT in Austria, which provided the template for the Austrian Lakes Tour in Rowing The World’s program.
Luigi Manzo – Italy, Lago Maggiore and elsewhere
Since boyhood he “belongs” to Rowing, a discipline that has seen him covering a multitude of roles. From athlete, to coach, to rowing club president, to local Italian Olympic Committee manager, to manager of the Schools Sector for the Italian Rowing Federation and to the organisational manager of major international and national rowing events. One of the most important figures in the development of Coastal Rowing in Italy.
Director in an important Italian banking group with particular professional skills and responsibilities in credit, finance, balance, budgets, legal and commercial areas.
From 2013 to 2017 General Manager of the Varese Organizing Committee for the World Rowing events. Luigi and his team will be running a World Cup event in Sabaudia in 2021. President of Canottieri Luino rowing club. Also Council member of the Lombardy Regional Committee of the Italian Rowing Federation.
Catriona Cameron – Italy, Lago Maggiore and elsewhere
British. Lived in Italy for over 25 years.
Started rowing at Canottieri Varese following in daughters’ footsteps nearly 15 years ago. Club member and contact for visiting teams/clubs who book training camps in Varese.
Since 2010 involved in the organisation of all the major international rowing events held in Varese and coastal rowing events on Lake Maggiore. From 2012 to 2017 Assistant to the General Manager of the Varese Organising Committee for the World Rowing events. Rowing guide for World Rowing tour.
Honorary Member of the Italian Rowing Federation.
Michele Gandola – Italy, Lago di Como
Michele, or Mich, lives in Pescallo di Bellagio. He has a long career rowing on Lake Como and throughout Europe, having competed on the Italian national team. His love for his beautiful part of the world inspired him to create Bellagio Water Sports, offering kayaking day excursions.
Sylvain Hoche – Martinique
Sylvain is the coach of the Robert Rowing Club (A.C.R.) and the President of the Rowing League of Martinique which brings together all the clubs on the island.
He has been passionate about rowing for over 20 years and he never stops spreading this passion for sea rowing!
He knows well: the history, topography and aspects of Martinique’s heritage as well as the culinary specificities of the region.
He gives a lot of his person so that the discovery of the remarkable sites of our island is based in an atmosphere of friendly and very “local colors”.
Nancy Russel – Canada, PEI
Nancy started rowing in 2010, the summer that Rowing PEI was launched. She is a trained coach, club administrator and was proud to be manager of the PEI rowing team at the 2017 Canada Games. With 30 plus years as a reporter and producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation or CBC, she loves to spread the word about rowing, especially coastal rowing. Nancy is co-chair of the Red Island Regatta which is held in August at Brudenell, PEI, a combined sprint and coastal event. She looks forward to hosting visiting rowers on her beautiful Island. www.rowingpei.ca.
Jan Holloway – England, River Thames
Skipper. A qualified Maritime & Coastguard Agency Boat Master, Royal Yachting Association Instructor and Yacht Master. Jan has worked on the river for many a year, including 5 years as a skipper for Oxford River Cruises. Rowing guide is now added to the list!
Hans-Jürgen Koch – Germany & Ireland
Hans-Jürgen was a competitive rower in his early days in Germany and has re-discovered the more leisurely tour rowing a few years ago. Today based in Switzerland he is an active member of one of the rowing clubs around Lake Zürich. He spends the summer months in Ireland’s Southwest frequently ‘testing the waters’ in County Cork. During Spring and Fall he is involved in tours on the many rivers in Germany’s Rhineland region, sometimes as a rowing guide.
Charles Hauss – Canada, Québec
Charles started rowing 22 years ago and became hooked on the sport of rowing. He is the President of the Lachine Rowing Club on the St-Laurent river near Montreal. Charles likes to compete and combines travel and rowing by attending Master’s regattas around the world. Coming from a sailing background and used to playing with wind and waves, he quickly adopted coastal rowing and introduced it to his club and in Quebec. He participated at the last 3 World Rowing Coastal Championships representing Canada.
Mark Brown – New Zealand, South Island
I discovered rowing, aged 50, after a few years being involved with college rowing with our three children. Correctly assuming it was an easy sport, I have loved it ever since. I now compete in anything from singles, pairs to eights, but mostly love the serenity of a long row and the occasions when a boat feels special. I live in Wellington, and have experienced travelling and rowing throughout New Zealand, which has many spectacular rowing locations. I love meeting people from all over the world and really look forward to helping people enjoy themselves and finding some of the hidden jewels that would make a trip to New Zealand a wonderful experience.