Suncoast Aquatic and Nature Center Association to Host 2013 USRowing Masters National Championships
August 08, 2012
USRowing is pleased to announce that the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association will co-host the 2013 USRowing Masters National Championships in Sarasota, Fla.
The event is set to take place August 15-18 on the 400-acre lake in Nathan Benderson Park.
As USRowing’s largest event, the Masters National Championship showcases the talents of more than 2,000 master’s rowers competing in 200 events.
In addition to celebrating the efforts of thousands of athletes, the 2013 championship will feature an overhauled course, as results of significant financial investment by the community and county and state government. Combined these groups have provided funding to enhance the community park and draw national and international rowing regattas.
“It’s about supporting a city that supports the sport,” said USRowing Events Manager A.J. Dominique.
USRowing CEO Glenn Merry further explained the significance of Sarasota as the location for next year’s regatta.
“I see it [improvements to Nathan Benderson park] as an example that the sport is growing and the need to develop new venues for the sport to make it more nationalized,” said Merry. “The commitment they have put behind that venue and the commitment that community has put behind expanding rowing in the southeast is tremendous. It has the potential to be the next great opportunity for a rowing venue, much like Oklahoma City was in 2002. It’s a completely different type of project, but it’s in a location where we need more places to row and they are rising to the occasion.”
The 41.5-million dollar course and park enhancement projects, in conjunction with the creation of Cattleman Road and connection bridges, will not be entirely complete until December of 2014.
At that time, per the master plan, the Sarasota venue will feature a 30-acre regatta island with a return canal, running and biking pathways, bleacher seating for 2, 500 people, five acres of on-island parking for roughly 90 trailers and an eight-lane buoyed course with even depths and a straight shoreline. Additionally, one of the on-site hotels and the shopping center at University Town Center will have been constructed.
Benderson Construction, LLC., has successfully met all deadlines thus far leaving locals and USRowing optimistic about the debut of the a majority of the improvements next August.
“So far they have met or been early on every other deadline, or been ahead of schedule. Even with the wet season, they met the deadline, which is impressive,” said Casey Galvanek, head coach and director of Sarasota Crew.
Sarasota Crew, one of the local rowing clubs, is part of the community eagerly awaiting the project’s completion.
The first step toward becoming a world class rowing venue was the extension of the course from 1,800 meters to 2,000 meters to meet regulations set by the governing body of international rowing, Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron.
This change allowed Suncoast Aquatic and Nature Center to place bids for the 2014 National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships and the 2017 World Rowing Championships, in accordance with its aspirations of becoming one of the top world-class venues.
And now, as the 2012 Masters National Championships get underway, construction of a regatta island is progressing.
According to Paul Blackketter, Director of Planning for Benderson Development Company, the island is nearly two-thirds complete at this point in time and will be finished off with dirt extracted during the dredging process scheduled to begin tomorrow.
With the exception of permanent start and finish towers as developers wait out a yearlong land settlement period, athletes that head down to the 2013 championships will enjoy the product of a communal effort to expand the prevalence of rowing.
For those masters rowers on the cusp of a decision to attend the 2013 USRowing Masters National Championships, there is one additional perk.
The Florida experience.
“For masters rowers that are coming down, they can come down earlier or stay an extra couple of days and go to some fantastic beaches and great restaurants. And you stay in the hotel and walk to the site,” said Casey Galvanek.
For a complete race schedule, updates on the regatta and links to results (as available), visit http://www.usrowing.org/Events/MastersNationals.aspx.
Finals can be viewed live each day beginning Thursday, August 9, at http://www.ustream.tv/usrowing.
Press coverage of the event will be available at http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/Inteventcoverage/12MasterNationalsCoverage.aspx.
The 2012 USRowing Masters National Championships is the first of two masters’ championship regattas USRowing will host over the next two months. The first-ever USRowing Masters National Head Race Championship will be held September 16 on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently home to the Head of the Cuyahoga, the 4,800-meter course involves strategy, curves, and fun. In addition to five major river turns (including an S-bend), gorgeous views of the Cleveland skyline are situated throughout the course. To register, visit www.regattacentral.com.
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing’s official suppliers include Boathouse Sports, Vespoli, WinTech, Filippi, Croker Oars, Rudy Project, Concept2, Nielsen Kellerman, PowerHTV and Ludus Tours. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners ANXeBusiness Corp, Voxer, EZ Dock, EMCVenues and The Perfect SNAQUE. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. USRowing has created The Row to London to engage sponsors leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games, with proceeds going to help ensure the U.S. team’s success. Opportunities also exist to partner with America Rows – supporting diversity initiatives and adaptive programs. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at firstname.lastname@example.org.