Sunday, May 1, 2022

Winter Rowing with the Sarasota County Rowing Club (SCRC)



In 2015 I regularly passed a road sign advertising Rowing Lessons by the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club (LSRC). With my wife’s urging and my mantra of “Never say I wish I had…,” I decided to sign up for four weeks of rowing classes. I continued my sessions the following year.

A friend read my Rowing through the eyes of a Beginner blog post and called me. I accepted the offer of his 20-plus year single scull. Since then, my summer morning rowing has included three-plus miles two to three days a week.

Sarasota County Rowing Club

I joined the Sarasota County Rowing Club (SCRC) during my 2022 winter visit to Florida. Under coaching supervision, I rowed the quad scull, doubles scull, single scull, and Sweep 8 plus coxswain. We rowed along the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Racing shells range in overall length from 62-feet for an eight, 44-feet for a quad scull, 34-feet for a double scull, and 27 feet for a single scull. 
The difference between sculling and sweep is that the sculler rower has two oars, whereas the sweep rower has one oar.

My Quest

My quest to join SCRC was to improve my rowing skills and be an SCRC crew member in a competitive race. My goal was to participate with the SCRC in regional and national regattas, specifically when the SCRC hosts the nationally recognized Sarasota Invitational Regatta (SIR) held annually in February at Nathan Benderson Park. My journey was stifled when the SIR was unexpectedly canceled, followed by another local regatta withdrawal due to Covid-19. Further, in late March, I had a medical issue that stopped me from rowing for six weeks.


Coach Dragos Alexandru is head coach, and a former Olympian. He is ably assisted by Coach Ray and Coach Joe. In addition, experienced rowers are always available with suggestions and guidance.

One of our quad rows was exciting as four 12' dolphins swam around our scull. Seeing such magnificent and large creatures swim a foot away from our scull was a thrill - and admittedly a bit scary.

The Videos

The below pictures and videos are shared moments I enjoyed with SCRC at their Blackburn Point Road boatyard, Osprey, Fl, and their ERG training center. And of course, I made many new friends.

The three videos below are a mixture of my eight weeks of rowing with SCRC:

1. The First Video is an overview of my first SCRC Quad row: the SCRC boatyard storage, boat launch, and intercoastal waterway (ICW) where we did our rowing in a bay of Siesta Key.

2. The Second Video is the importance of caring for the rowing boats after each use.

3. The Third Video is my Sweep 8 plus coxswain rows with Coach Joe.

Summary of Steve's Rows with SCRC Coaches




Coach Ray and Coach Dragos


Coach Dragos

Eight plus Coxswain Sweep

Coach Joe



Casey Key - SCRC Training Location

Casey Key is a barrier island off the coast of Southwest Florida, located south of Siesta Key.

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