Sarasota Invitational Regatta Attracts Record Number of Entries
Over 1500 rowers to compete in two-day event
Sarasota, FLA.- February 18, 2014 — More than 7,000 rowers and spectators are expected to attend the 5th annual Sarasota Invitational Regatta, one of the largest regattas hosted in the state of Florida. The competition is this weekend, February 22-23, at Nathan Benderson Park, site of the 2017 World Rowing Championships.
“We have 685 entries. Most regattas don’t get anywhere near that,” said regatta co-director Norm Thetford. “It’s one of the largest regattas in the state, if not the country. And I think this is certainly one of the best in terms of infrastructure. We want the rowers to have a first-class experience.”
Competitors representing 52 clubs from as far away as Washington, Indiana and New York will row head-to-head on the 400-acre lake. Four local rowing organizations – Sarasota County Rowing Club Masters, Sarasota Scullers, Sarasota Crew, and Manatee Youth Rowing – will compete in juniors, masters and adaptive races.
The event is open to the public. Among the spectators attending this year’s regatta is Sarasota County Commissioner Christine Robinson, who will be present to see the venue in action. Sarasota County, in partnership with Manatee County, Benderson Development, and the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association (SANCA), has worked tirelessly to make Sarasota a destination for world-class rowing.
The full-day regatta begins at 8 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. The venue can be accessed via University Parkway and North Cattleman Road off of I-75. Grandstands, food vendors, and live broadcasted race information is available. Admission is free, but there is a $5 charge for parking on the regatta island.
Award ceremonies for the Champion of the Lake trophy begin at noon and 4 p.m. during Saturday’s racing and at 1 p.m. Sunday. Commissioner Joseph Barbetta will take part in recognizing middle school rowers in a special award ceremony starting at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Sarasota Invitational Regatta is sanctioned by US Rowing, the national governing body for the sport of rowing. The regatta is co-hosted by the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association and Sarasota County Rowing Club. To learn more about the regatta, visit http://www.sarasotainvitational.com.
A media liaison is available to the press during the regatta.
Norm Thetford, Regatta Co-Director