A Wrap-up on the 2018 World Rowing Masters Regatta
It’s only the third time the event has been hosted in North America, and we took advantage of it! I loved the photos of boats leaving Ontario drenched in snow, heading for their sunshine. Of course, most competitors came from the United States. Wow! They were fast!
The four days were classic south Florida: an offshore wind, sunshine, and humidity. The FISA officials did an excellent job keeping events moving. From launch to recovery, traffic flowed as the organizers kept a tight schedule. Heats seldom fell behind, and when they did, races stayed close their original launch time. The first races were able to poll start, but quickly into the schedule events became a quick start. Occasionally, the wind died off in the afternoon, but that was a mixed blessing. No wind means rowers baked waiting in the pre-start queue.
I raced in the E1x, Womens E 4x, Womens D2x, Womens D4x, and Mixed F4x for Sarasota County Rowing Club. Unfortunately, I did not walk away from the regatta a world champion, although I had some very close calls! Photo finishes are fun, but more so when they are in your favor. Alas, the photo finish favored the other boat.
However, I had an excellent experience meeting with rowers from around the world. I loved sitting at the starting line with all these amazing crews, like the ladies from Denmark and boats from Brazil. I teamed up with a fellow Sotheby’s realtor from Miami, Sheri Borchardt to host a booth. She is a wonderful person I enjoyed getting to know better over the regatta. It’s amazing the connections you can make through the sport of rowing!
Luckily, plenty of local rowers did bring home the gold. Sarasota Scullers’ two representatives raced to an astonishing combined 17 gold medals across various boat class. Coach Laura Corbett-Brown won her WA1x and WB1x, plus combined with rower Karen Wiegandt to win the WB2x and WC 2x. They additionally won in the WB8+, WC8+, WA4x, WB4x, and more events. Coach Laura won 10 of her 12 entries and finished second the remainder. Karen won 7 of her 11 and finished second in her other races.
Sarasota Crew rowers won several events, too. Anne Marichal won her WD1x final, and raced in the winning Women’s E4x and Women’s E2x. She composited to win the Mixed C 2x. The team also posted an array of second and third-place finishes across their entries.
The World Rowing Masters Regatta signals a wrap-up on our rowing blog. Now, it’s hard to compete with the attention rowing gains from the mainstream media and through Nathan Benderson Park. No that we're complaining! We like the attention rowing gets here. We’ve enjoyed documenting the growth of the sport in Sarasota over the last few years. Thank you to our readers for following us on this journey.
Our final thoughts about organizing the venue for future international events would be:
- Who placed the bow numbers tent so far away from the launch area? And how about a sign facing the launch area and not the road, where rowers are less likely to approach?
- To help our visitors, maybe add lane numbers at the 2k start during the training days and race days. This helps them queue in the appropriate lanes.
- How about a few emergency bathrooms closer to the launch and recovery area?
- Few people knew there were showers!
Photo credit: Detlev Syeb, My Rowing Photo.com, Source