Inaugural Summer Festival of Rowing underway

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hundreds of rowers are trying to stand out at Nathan Benderson Park this week in the first inaugural Summer Festival of Rowing.

Rick Brown is one of the organizers of the event, that aims to connect coaches and players in a way that hasn’t been done before.

“Often when college coaches show up to a high school event they sit on the sideline and see the boats which are far away. And then try to see who they’ve been talking to but it’s actually pretty hard for them to see the rowing,” says Brown.

This event allows coaches to actually get out on the water and follow the boats down the course at NBP, giving coaches like Melinda Neale from the University of Miami a much closer look at potential recruits.

“It seems like the first of its kind launch where coaches actually get to go out and watch the athletes,” says Neale.

One of the athletes competing in the events is Margaret Tsien from New Jersey, who is a rising high school sophomore and hoping to continue rowing in college.

“Going into college, it’s really important to see who you are going to be working with and see what you are going to be working with. It’s just a really good opportunity to get that person-to-person connection,” says Tsien.

The festival goes until Saturday, making for four full days of racing in Sarasota.