Program Director / Head Coach
Davis C. Bales III
Our Director and Head Coach, began his rowing career with top-ranked Cal Crew (UC/Berkeley), where he won several regional and national championships, including the Pac-10s and the IRAs (Intercollegiate Rowing Association). He has also won gold medals at the U.S. Rowing National Championship and Canadian Henley with Vesper Boat Club in Philadelphia; the South American Masters and World Masters Championships with Guaíba-Porto Alegre, his Brazilian rowing club; and the U.S. Masters National Championship and Royal Henley’s Masters Regatta with Potomac Boat Club, with which he has also medaled twice at Head of the Charles.
For the better part of the past decade, Coach Davis has been devoted to passing on his experience to high school rowers, leading them to multiple District, State and National championship victories, at the novice, lightweight, junior and varsity levels and preparing them for taking the next step to collegiate rowing. In his first two years with First Coast Rowing Club, Coach Davis has guided the program to growth and success not seen in over a decade. First Coast’s sculling program ranked 5th overall in Florida at the 2021 FSRA Championships, reaching its highest level in some 15 years. The pinnacle of that season was First Coast's first ever State Championship win of the Men's Lightweight 4x. In their first Spring race season since the pandemic, under Coach Davis’ guidance, First Coast’s sweep program also experienced great success including its first Women’s Lightweight 4+ State Championship win since 2012.
Coach Davis holds degrees in Latin American Studies and Law from the University of California. When not coaching, he resides in Brazil, his home away from the United States for over two decades.
Contact Davis at Director@FirstCoastRowing.com
Director and Head Coach Davis Bales
Riona McCormick returns to First Coast Rowing, where she learned to row in 2005 at the age of 7. By the age of 10 she embarked on her illustrious racing career that is still not over.
Before becoming a two-time IRA (Intercollegiate Rowing Association) Silver medalist and stroke of the Boston University Women’s Lightweight Varsity 8+, as well as a two-time Eastern Sprints Champion and three-time Dad Vail Champion [in both sweep and sculling events], Coach Riona was a highly accomplished youth sculler, having won the Florida Scholastic Rowing Association Championships twice in the Varsity 1x (in 2013 and 2014) as well as the Southeast Regional Championships in the Ltwt 2x (in 2016). In 2018, Coach Riona also successfully raced at Club Nationals at which she won the Intermediate Ltwt 1x event and at the Canadian Henley where she [advanced to five finals and] finished 2nd place in the Senior Ltwt 4x.
Coach Riona is not just about excellence on the water. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University where she majored in History and earned multiple academic awards. It is little wonder she was twice named team captain at B.U. First Coast Rowing Club is fortunate to have Coach Riona back home, training in her 1x and sharing not only her knowledge and experience as a high school and collegiate sweep and sculling champion with our rowers but also inspiring them to excel in every facet of their education.
Contact Riona at CoachRiona@FirstCoastRowing.com
Coach Riona McCormick
Gavin Boyd-Goodrich, a native of California, joins us after completing a successful rowing career at Yale where he majored in Economics. As a member of the top-ranked Yale Lightweight Crew, Coach Gavin’s victories range from an Eastern Sprints Gold medal his Freshmen year to a 7th place finish at the Head of the Charles his senior year. Although his college racing was exclusively as a sweep rower, in high school Coach Gavin also raced as a sculler, reaching the Grand Finals of the 2016 Youth Nationals with a 5th place finish in the 2x. This result was all the more exceptional since Coach Gavin’s focus in high school was 8+s in which he won the Petite Final at the 2015 SRAA (Scholastic Rowing Association) National Championship and finished 8th of 36 entries in 2016 at the prestigious Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia.
First Coast is not Coach Gavin’s first experience working with youth nor with coaching. He spent two summers coaching at his high school’s summer program and one summer as a counselor with Yale’s summer rowing camp. He also was part of the Big Brother’s mentor program. In addition to excelling athletically in high school, he was a member of the National Honor Society and earned a Christian Service Award for his volunteer efforts. Coach Gavin is certain to be a positive influence on our club, as a scholar and athlete.
Contact Gavin at CoachGavin@FirstCoastRowing.com
Coach Gavin Boyd-Goodrich