Sarasota Crew Represents at 2018 World Rowing Masters Regatta
By Maeve Berry • September 28, 2018
SARASOTA, Fla. — The 2018 World Rowing Masters Regatta kicked off on Thursday, welcoming athletes from 49 different countries. The heat and humidity proved to be no match for the competitors, as crews raced down Nathan Benderson Park’s course all day with many racing multiple times.
In the women’s E quadruple sculls, the boat from Sarasota Crew of Diane Desmery, Anne Marichal, Beverley Gallie and Cheryl Burke won the third final.
“A lot of people know Sarasota Crew for their youth program, but what they probably don’t know is that there are about 50 masters,” said Marichal. “In masters racing, we work really hard; we have our lives, we all work, and occasionally we gather to enjoy each other and to enjoy all of our accomplishments.”
Fighting to the finish, the crew crossed the line in 3:44.281, just able to hold off the boat from East Arm Rowing Club, which finished second in 3:45.847.
“We really have a wonderful support system,” Marichal said. “On a day like this, to have everything come together in about four minutes, is amazing.”
Other members of the crew voiced their agreement and communicated the importance of rowing in their lives.
“This group kept me going all year when I was fighting cancer and I don’t know what I would’ve done without my rowing family,” said Burke.
The four rowers expressed their appreciation of their other teammates, coach and especially one another. Marichal added that Burke’s determination and the crew’s accomplishments gives her “goosebumps” because they all “love each other.”
In addition to coming together as a team, the foursome recognized this event’s importance in regards to countries from all around the world coming together at Nathan Benderson Park.
“This venue has been absolutely amazing and everyone involved have been really wonderful,” said Marichal. “I started rowing because I saw the signs that World Masters was coming; I wanted to be a part of it. It really has rallied the entire community around the sport of rowing.”
Later in the day, Marichal raced to another gold-medal finish in the women’s D single sculls. She dominated the first final and crossed the line in 4:00.547, the fastest time in that category.
The 2018 World Rowing Masters Regatta continues with racing scheduled to begin Friday at 8:00 a.m. EDT.