Thursday, March 2, 2023

I never have to say, "I wish I had rowed in a Regatta!"


I started rowing a few years ago at the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club. As a newbie, I progressed from starting with the 45-foot quad (four-person rowing scull), then once the group was comfortable and learned about the oars, and critical techniques, we progressed to the 65-foot 8+cox sweep with one oar each, eight rowers, and a coxswain guiding the group. Later, we did the double and one-person sculls.

Admittedly, the one-person scull was the most challenging rowing boat for me to learn. Fortunately, after I wrote my article, "Rowing Through the Eyes of a Beginner," a friend read the piece and called me, offering me the single rowing scull he had not used for years. I willingly accepted and now regularly row this single.

Last year, I joined the Sarasota County Rowing Club (SCRC) in Osprey, Florida as a seasonal member and began more coached rowing. 

I had never participated in competitive rowing. The Sarasota Invitational Regatta (SIR) offered me this opportunity. On February 26, 2023, I completed my first regatta, the SIR, in Sarasota, Florida. 

I competed in two quad races at SIR, one of which is described in my video below.

Nathan Benderson Park Course Map

Enjoy my seven-minute video as my Quad Team shares their silver medal experience in the SARASOTA INVITATIONAL REGATTA (SIR). 

I experienced the excitement of sprint racing at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, FL! The Sarasota Invitational Regatta (SIR) features three days of youth and masters rowing at Nathan Benderson Park (NBP). My chance to row was a thrill being NBP was the site of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, the 2018 World Rowing Masters, and the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

Nathan Benderson Park, Benderson Lake, is one of the best rowing scenes in the countryRowing Olympians have competed and trained here, and now the SCRC offered me the experience of this unique venue.

My attendance at the SCRC and SIR was coached rowing by former Olympic rower Dragos, assisted by coaches Ray and Joe. 

Support Team

Of particular meaning to my participation in SIR was my family’s attendance. My wife Catherine understood my 5 am morning wakings four to five training a week for the last two months so I could make the 6:45 am coached rowing times on the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW). Our adult sons, Shaun from Georgia and Timothy from Boston, were present during the days of my participation and volunteering at SIR. They followed my wanderings throughout the day, which included taking photos and videos to document the tasks needed to be part of the SCRC team. 

Other sacrifices 
by my family were getting to the NBP two hours before my Sunday 11:08 am race start time and staying through the day with 80-degree temperatures.  Indeed, rowing often requires a family commitment.

I was also a volunteer Stake Boat Holder on Saturday.  Want to know what a Stake Boat Holder is?  A Front Row Seat of a Regatta Stake Boat Holder.
"Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends" S. Priest

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Sarasota County Rowing Club (SCRC)

Sarasota Invitational Regatta Attracts People Worldwide

Nathan Benderson Park

Front Row Seat of a Regatta Stake Boat Holder


  1. Awesome job and great experience!!! Loved it!

  2. Thank you. It was truly an honor to row as a member of SCRC - and with my teammates