Sarasota Invitational Regatta attracts people worldwide
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Sarasota Invitational Regatta has brought people from all over the world to compete.
Sarasota County Rowing Club’s Ruth Shoch said teams from as far as Hungary participated this weekend. Shoch explained that the Sarasota Invitational is one of the biggest rowing events in the region.
“They’re very widespread and every year they’re coming from farther and farther. It’s an awesome outreach for the community-- the rowing community,” said Shoch.
She said some teams show up a couple of weeks in advance to practice at the facility, as well as see the sites in Sarasota.
“I can tell you people come down one and two weeks in advance because they like practicing here and getting to know their team. Some people do come in just for the weekend, but we do have tons of people that come in advance—and stay after because they want to relax afterward,” said Shoch.
Regardless of the stiff competition, she said everyone is there to support each other.
“The rowing community is a very supportive environment where everyone wishes the best. One of our teammates raced a single for the very first time and was very nervous getting on the starting block because it’s hard to do,” she said. “A very advanced rower was next to her and just said, ‘take a deep breath.’ And they did great!”
While Middle School and High Schoolers competed on Saturday, Sunday was all about the adults, or Masters. According to Manatee County Youth Rowing Coach Noah Heskin, the Masters category is a huge opportunity for people to continue participating in the sport they love.
“When you come out of college, there’s really not a space for people that want to continue rowing. Masters has really been an opportunity for them—these older adults to continue to pursue sports that they love,” he said.
One of his rowers named John used to row in high school. Now, in his 70s John’s got a paddle in hand competing once again.
“He stopped for 30 years. But, now that he’s in his 70s and retired he wants to get back into a sport that he loves. So, this is a really cool opportunity for these people to do this,” he said.
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