Sarasota Summer Rowing Update
World Rowing Chairmen Named
Two local businessmen will serve as volunteer co-chairmen tasked with rallying the community for the World Rowing Championships. Ed Chiles represents Manatee County. He is the owner and CEO of Chiles Group restaurants which runs popular locales such as the Beach House and Mar Vista, and sits on Manatee County’s Tourist Development Council. Sarasota County selected Rod Hershberger, co-founder of PGT Industries and president of nonprofit Argus Foundation.
In a release, Chiles said, “It’s an honor to be asked to serve as co-chair along with Rod Hershberger. This event will showcase our world class location and the incredible rowing facility at Nathan Benderson Park to thousands of premier athletes, sponsors and attendees.”
NBP Finish Line Tower
Nathan Benderson’s new finish line tower is rising over the race course and it’s already won its architect a design award despite being a construction site. Guy Peterson OFA won the Honor Award for Unbuilt Design by the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean.
The tower will provide incredible 360-degree views of the course, seating for spectators, house officials during events, and host offices for the park. It is projected to be completed this coming winter.
Nathan Benderson Park Updates
In addition to the finish line tower, Nathan Benderson Park continues to be a hive of activity preparing to host the world. New bathrooms recently opened on the west side of the park. New marquees are in place at park entrances. The new playground promises to provide joy to area youth.
The state of Florida allocated $2.5 million towards boathouse construction at Nathan Benderson. The park’s Community Foundation is tasked with raising the remaining capital to start construction on this final major infrastructure piece of NBP.
Masters rowers are staying busy on the water. Sarasota Crew attended the Southeast Championship June 25-26. The heat wasn’t just from the summer sunshine. Crew racked up medals: 1st-Women’s D 2x, Women’s F 2x, 2nd- Women’s C 1x, 3rd-Women’s D-F 4x, Mixed Masters F 2x. Both Sarasota Crew and Sarasota County Rowing are training for the upcoming US Rowing Masters Championships in August.
For not as competitive rowers, summer time means Learn-to-Row. Local rowing teams are offering opportunities for new rowers. Visit their websites for schedules and registration.