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When you think of rowing in Sarasota, the likelihood is that Nathan Benderson Park (or
NPB) comes to mind. And that makes sense. NBP’s 400 acre lake was designed
specifically for the purpose of providing a venue for amateur and professional rowers
alike. NBP hosted its first rowing regattas in 2009 and quickly graduated to hosting the
World Rowing Championships in 2017. The site continues to be a popular host for
rowing competitions of all varieties.

But the history of rowing in Sarasota dates back to 1991 when Peter and Betsy
DeManio founded the Sarasota Scullers. The DeManios’ goal was to create a place
where students could learn the art of rowing. They have succeeded, perhaps beyond
their wildest dreams. Eager area residents who’ve joined the Scullers have not only
learned how to row. Sculler teams have also successfully competed at top regattas
around the country, from the Head of the Charles to the US Youth Rowing
Championships. Many Sculler alums have gone on to row at colleges known for their
strong teams, including Harvard, Princeton and the Coast Guard Academy.

Today Sarasota boasts a number of rowing clubs where adults and youth alike can learn
the sport, whether for recreational purposes or with an eye to compete. It’s just one
more thing that makes Sarasota special.

This is a painting by a Chalk Festival artist, Randy Segura.