Building a stronger, more just & transparent democracy

Popular book, movie buzz is a boon for Whatcom rowing club

On a postcard-perfect Saturday morning on Lake Whatcom, program director and coach Courtney Moeller is idling the Whatcom Rowing Association's launch boat as four rowing shells - two four-seats, two eights - await her instruction. The water is flat and winds calm, boats basking in rare mid-November sunshine.

Through her old-school megaphone, Moeller calls out the next set, a 60-second effort. Twenty-four rowers, oar blades flat on water to balance the precariously slim shells, are poised and still.

"Sitting ready. Ready all. Row!"

Fifteen minutes before, rowers ranging in age from 12 to 79 had left land behind, along with the morning's frosted dew and a pile of shoes on the damp dock, to pursue both connection and perfection.

The rowing association started in 2011, two years before the book "The Boys in the Boat" became the sport's most unexpected hit and surprise general audience bestseller. The story of the 1936 University of Washington eight-oared shell that won Olympic gold in Germany by beating Hitler's team is now a movie, directed by George Clooney and set for Christmas week release. Two of the Olympic rowers hailed from Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Even before news of the movie, the book, now in its 10th year, has paid dividends for the club, now at 55 members.

To read more from this article, visit:

Rendered 07/15/2024 13:51