San Francisco Bay Blades
LGBTQ+ Rowing Team

Come Row With Us!

Learning to row? Training for a race? Looking for a sculling team?
Learn more about why the Bay Blades are the team for you!


Our History

Founded in 2001 by Al Chase and Gabriel Gima, the Bay Blades have a long standing reputation for being a fun, inclusive, and active sculling group where members can get out on the water, meet new people, stay in shape, and compete with like-minded, friendly people who love the fun and intense sport of rowing.


Why Rowing?

Want to have fun while getting into great shape? Rowing is a full-body exercise like nothing else. Whether you're looking to work out your arms, legs, or your core -- rowing has got you covered! Don't worry, though... you'll enjoy being out on the water so much, you'll forget you're even working out!


Where We Row

Located on beautiful Lake Merritt, the Lake Merritt Rowing Club boathouse is the ``nerve center`` of the SF Bay Blades. Whether it's a practice single, a competition quad, or just a training erg, all the equipment you'll need to enjoy rowing can be found here at the Lake Merritt Rowing Club boathouse.



For rowers looking for a more serious rowing experience, we've got you covered! The Bay Blades have competed in not only smaller, regional competitions, but also in events like the Gay Games in Amsterdam, the Out Games in Montreal and Belgium, and even the Head of the Charles! Contact us for more info on competing!

Meet Our Coach.

Every good team needs a great leader. Our coach, Al Chase, instructs, teaches, and motivates us to be the best rowing team we can be.

Our incredible coach, Al Chase, started rowing, mostly as a sculler, when he was in high school in 1964, and jumped right back into the sport back in 1992 when he became a member of Lake Merritt Rowing Club.


A few years later, Al helped form the San Francisco Bay Blades team within Lake Merritt Rowing Club. A few years after that, Al found a home in the role of coaching for the newly-formed Bay Blades, where he still kicks butt and takes names — all while making sculling look way easier than it actually is.


When Al’s not teaching the Blades how to cut precious seconds off their 2000-meter times, he enjoys whitewater kayaking, bicycle racing, cross country and back-country skiing, backpacking, rock climbing, and joining the Blades for a post-practice recovery brunch.


Get in touch with Al if you have any questions about rowing with the SF Bay Blades. 

Your Bay Blades Board Members

We're committed to keeping things running smoothly, updating members with vital membership and competition information, making sure the the team is staying active, and, of course -- organizing our post-practice brunches and keeping the mimosas flowing!


Marvin Dizon

Board President

Marvin loves the experience of competing at both local and national regattas. A relative newcomer to rowing (starting only in April 2014), Marvin has competed in a number of local regattas, as well as the Gay Games, Chicago Sprints, and the 2015 Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. An aviation geek and private pilot, Marvin loves traveling, working out, and relaxing at the beach.


Monty Alix


Monty is one of our top erg masters. Not only does he consistently impress the rest of the team with his erg workout times, he's also equally powerful in the boat, as well. When Monty’s not on the water, he can be found road cycling, or working as an experienced (and dedicated!) nurse devoted to helping people — as friendly as he is powerful, Monty’s always ready to help out!


Wayne Au


Wayne started rowing in high school and started competing as a starboard bowman after joining the Men’s Crew Team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, later rowing with the Boston Bay Blades at the Gay Games and Out Games in 2006. When not working as a veterinary nurse, Wayne can be found rowing with the team on Lake Merritt or road tripping with Pooka, his adorable Shiba Inu.


Marquis Kish

LMRC Board Rep

Returning to rowing in October, 2015 for the first time since college, Marquis also handles the Blades’ online presence, marketing & recruiting efforts, and represents the Blades as an LMRC Board Rep, working to make sure things run efficiently for the Blades. When not running his real estate business, Marquis loves road cycling, and enjoying a good iced coffee while people watching.


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Dan Fletcher

"I had great times rowing with the Blades from 2009 to 2015 -- from the Out Games in Belgium to the
Gay Games in Cleveland -- we had a lot of power out there on the water!"

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Marquis Kish

"Working from home turned me into an antisocial homebody who wasn't working out nearly enough. The Blades have helped me get out of my rut, and I'm in better shape than I've been in for years!"

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Wayne Au

"I loved rowing at college in Boston, so I was excited to find out there was a (gay friendly!) rowing club here in the Bay Area when I moved across the country -- The guys are great and the lake is gorgeous."

What's New With the Blades?

Stay up-to-date with the latest Blades news, including events,
competitions, practices, and more.


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Get in Touch!

Want to join the Blades? Interested in signing up for rowing lessons? Just think we're hot and want to let us know? Drop us a line!

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Come Visit Us!

SF Bay Blades
c/o Lake Merritt Rowing Club
1520 Lakeside Drive
Oakland, CA 94612

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