Sarasota Invitational

  • Hosted By: Sarasota County Rowing Club, Inc/dba Sarasota Masters
  • 2016 Registered Regatta

*** Updated Thursday, March 21, 2013 ***


1.    Sculling at the Start:    Ensure  ALL  your rowers and coxes fully understand this and why.
Review who borrows an oar, why, and how to do it effectively.
The sculling rower should align the borrowed oar and blade parallel to the hull.
Use  SHORT,  CHOPPY  strokes to push the bow  SIDEWAYS,   NOT  forward.
If the blade is away from the hull, you will row forward and pull off the Stakeboat.
All other rowers balance the shell, and the next rower down from the sculling rower holds his oar.

2.    Know the Wind:    If there is a wind, how strong is it?
Point your bow directly into the wind.   AND  KEEP  IT  THERE.
Don't let the bow swing in big arcs as bringing it back will tire out your rowers.
It is much easier to  KEEP  a bow directly into the wind than to keep  FIGHTING  the wind.
This could mean constant light sculling if the wind is strong.

3.    Know the NEW Start Rules:   Many rowers have not yet adapted to the last rule changes.
Once the crew and lane announcement begins, hands will  NOT  be recognized.
You can't row if you have a hand in the air, and races will start even if you do.
The Starter  WILL  Disregard you.

4.    Know what a  Quick Start  is:   In certain cases, this is necessary.
If so, the Starter will make an announcement.
From this point, the Starter disregards any crew signaling that it is not ready.

5.    Entering the  Start Platform  area:   Enter in Lane order.  We load the farthest lane first.
No one wants to go around you, and you don't want to go around them.
Enter near to the Start Platform Lane Fingers so that you do not have to back down the lanes.
Row across slowly but deliberately.   Come to a FULL stop one lane before your race lane.
Proceed to swing your bow out as you swing you stern into position.
Keep your stern off the dock & finger.  When perpendicular to the dock, back into position.
Staying close ensures that you don't have to back down 25 m or 50 m in your lane.
Know how to back down safely, with blades on water (slightly curled) to prevent catching water.

6.    Give yourself enough time :   Launch in plenty of time.
There are 600+ boats to race -- the regatta will not be held for latecomers  OR   Hot Seatings.
Be in the Marshal area at least 10 mins before the start of your race.
Important instructions are given by the marshall  --  be sure you are in position to hear them.
You must be locked on and ready to race two minutes before the scheduled start of your race.

7.    Know what  "Attention"  and  "Go"  mean:   At this point, the race start is imminent.
The Starter will call "Attention"  and then  "Go"  will follow quickly
The flag will drop simultaneously on the command  "Go".
You may start rowing when the flag moves.




                                                         *** Updated Monday, March 18, 2013 ***                   

COACHES and COXSWAINS MEETINGS: will be held at the grandstand at 7am on Saturday and 7:30am on Sunday.  

TRAILER ARRIVALS:  The Regatta Island will be open for receiving trailers at noon on Friday.  Due to on-going construction, the only access point will be from the south, which means taking North Cattleman Rd. from Fruitville Rd. (Exit 210 off of I75).  The gates at the south entrance will be opened at noon but there will still be construction on the new stretch of N. Cattleman Rd. so speed must be reduced to less than 10 mph, especially when passing construction activity.  Team Tent and Vendor Trailers will be accepted via the North end starting at 12:30 pm on Fri.

For complete parking instructions for all types of vehicles  please see "Directions and Parking" tab.

ACCESS TO BOAT TRAILER:  Due to continued construction, trailers may be parked nearer to each other than we have in the past.  Please plan to remove the majority of your shells from the trailer and store them off trailer.  We have a large open area for boats in slings, low boys, etc. -- please bring an abundance of these to make the best use of the area.  Some number of Boat Trees will be available for general usage. 

MEDICAL CONSENT FORMS MUST BE ON HAND:  Please remember that for all Youth competing in this regatta, their signed Medical Consent Form must be on hand and accessible in order for any treatment to begin.

INCLEMENT WEATHER / CLOTHING:  At this time of year, weather can vary by the hour.  All athletes must bring clothing for potential changes in the weather, especially a dry change of clothes.  In cool, wet weather, body heat can be lost rapidly.

APPROPRIATE ATTIRE ON THE WATER:  All crews must dress for the weather at hand.  In the interest of safety, if a Referee feels a rower is not prepared with clothing appropriate to the situation, the launching of that boat might be delayed.  Clothing is part of your equipment, and safety is our highest concern.

TEAM TENT AREA:  Teams are allowed a maximum of 20' frontage but can go deeper.  We are expecting that support trailers will be able to park behind Team Tents (tbc).    All tents of any kind must remain in this area so as to not block the spectator view near the Finish Line.  

SOUTHERN END OF LAKE - PRACTICE AREA:  Several shallow areas remain.  Please do not cross south of the buoys or you risk damage to your shell.

FRIDAY WATER PRACTICE TIME:  Approx 3p to 5p, depending upon arrival of Referees.

SATURDAY WATER PRACTICE TIME:  ASAP after last Youth race finishes for approx 1 hour.


                                   *** Updated Tuesday, March 11, 2013 ***

Created especially for us by Crew Merch.  Now available for sale online in advance of the regatta
Custom embroidered with Sarasota Invitational on white caps.

Each rower and coxswain winner of these races will be presented with a special Puddle Bowl, handcrafted by a local artisan from the Mariooch Studio

see below


                                        *** Updated Friday, March 7, 2013 ***

SUNDAY  SCHEDULE  CHANGE:  Events  # 49  /  50  /  Adaptives  --
Moved Middle School Exhibition (Event 50) before Mixed Masters 2x (Event 49) to provide more time between events for the masters scullers.  Moved the Adaptive Singles before lunch so that the Adaptive rowers can row both Singles and Doubles.  Once all entries are in, the final start times will be adjusted to provide sufficient time between events.


Saturday evening on site on the new Regatta Island, catered by a great local restaurant:
Demetrio's Restaurant  &  Pizza! 
Serving Sarasota for over 35 years
More details to follow.  The price will be $20 for all you can eat!

Here is the link to our website for reservations:


                                        *** Updated Tuesday, Febuary 26, 2013 ***  


If you are a Masters rower and are wanting additional races via Composite boats, please e-mail Jeff Koehler at:

Please include:
Name,  Age,  Gender,  & e-mail;  cell phone optional
Sweeper  or  Sculler  or  Both
If Sweep:  indicate  Port  or  Starboard  or  Either
General idea of what you are looking for:  Same Gender  or  Mixed events or Either,  Sat 1500m Tervis Tumbler Mxd 2X or 8+,  etc.



                                                *** Updated Febuary 18, 2013 ***


Boat Trailers,  Launch  and  Recovery  Docks,  Team Tents,  Spectating.  Vendor Village,  Parking for Team Buses / Car Toppers / Pick Ups for Boat Trailer haulers,   AND   Primary Spectator Parking will all take place on the new regatta island.

Overflow parking will be available nearby; Trolleys will transport from here.

There will be a long shoreline for Team Tents and other spectating.  You will be watching from the east side of the race course.

Currently, the west shore of the lake is closed off as it is an active construction site.   We will advise closer to the regatta if any portion of this will be available to regatta attendees.

This regatta island will dramatically enhance your experience at Nathan Benderson Park, however, this is the first time we will be using this island for a regatta.  Please be patient as we work through this and aware that there will be changes made as necessary to your previous methods of parking, entering, exiting, etc.  We appreciate your support.

                                                 *** Updated January 30, 2013 ***

Dear Rowers,

We have tweaked the schedule a bit so that the 3V8's will be run just before the 2V8's and 1V8's on Saturday.  They swapped places with the LW4's about 20 minutes earlier.

Also, to make sure we can hanlde all the entries, we are establishing limits on the number of entries allowed per club per event per gender.  They will be as follows:

6 Singles
3 Doubles, Pairs
2 for everything larger than 2 seats

For example, you could enter 6 girls singles and 6 boys singles in the singles event, 2 girls eights and 2 boys eights in the 3V8 event and 2 girls eights and 2 boys eights in the 2V8 event, etc.


Message from January 26th, 2013:

A number of you have requested that we change the date of the regatta to either earlier in March or later than the 24th of March.  Our original intention was to hold the regatta on March 2,3.  However, we were informed by the construction superintendent that the course and associated infrastructure would not be ready by that date.  The earliest they could assure us was March 16,17 but that date was already taken by a triathlon being held on the site.  The 23rd,24th was the next best date since Easter is the following weekend and then you are into April with conflicts with the FIRA regatta on April 6,7 and then other regattas late in the month. 

Next year, we will return to our normal date at the end of February, or possibly ealy March.  Thank you for your patience.

Norman Thetford, Co-Director


The construction has been moving forward at a steady pace and the site should be functional, with all trailers, vendors and rowers located on the new island for the first time.  You can check out what is happening through the live webcam at the following site: