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Battle of the Bridges makes a splash on Intracoastal

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By Jim Brockman / Correspondent Posted Sep 15, 2018 at 8:30 PM

Area rowers race the clock in inaugural regatta in Venice

Area rowers race the clock in inaugural regatta in Venice VENICE — You can rest assured that you are going to have a good day when you enter a race, win it, and then they name the trophy after you for all of eternity.

That happened to Savannah Stewart on Saturday as she took part in the inaugural Battle of the Bridges Regatta held in the Intracoastal Waterway in Venice.

Just a junior at Riverview High, Stewart is already a savvy sixth-year veteran rower for the Sarasota Scullers, who hosted the event. She joined forces with Sculler teammates Charlize Simpson, Samantha Tanaka, Emily Naidel and coxswain Shannon Chan to win the girls four in 18 minutes, 12.53 seconds on a twisting 5K (3.1 miles) course.

The trophy for that race will now be named the Savannah Stewart Cup.

This (5K head race) is a very popular style of racing,” Stewart said. “It’s basically for the fall season. In the spring we’ll be doing sprint (2K) races.”

Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota is known for hosting sprint races, such as the World Rowing Championships held there last September.

Saturday’s races were a different scene as rowers took off at intervals and raced against the clock instead of side-by-side in lanes like in sprint races. There is also enough of a bank along the way to prevent dreaded side winds.

“This waterway is phenomenal,” Stewart said. “The red tide has pretty much gone away. It’s well protected from the wind.

“You see people outside of their homes on the Legacy Trail cheering us on and taking some pictures. It’s always nice to see the support.”

Like Stewart, Sarah Nevelus of the Scullers took part in three races on a hot and humid day. Nevelus was part of the championship boat in the girls lightweight four, along with Abigail Sanders, Ella Gerdes, Winnie Lu and coxswain Michaela Chan.

Those who took part in three events rowed about nine miles during racing and nine more miles just returning to the dock. That’s a tough day at any pace.

“30K in one day is a lot of training,” said Nevelus, a senior at Pine View School who also took part in a quad race and rowed in an eight. “It was really hot. I was sweating so hard.”

The Scullers also won the girls double with Julia Stone and Naidel on board.

Tristan Cochran of the Scullers was head and shoulders above the rest in the boys competition. In addition to winning the boys single, Cochran was part of winning boats in the double, quad and lightweight four.

No team standings were kept.

Some Masters races were also held at the first Battle of the Bridges. Randy Higel, Ray Giannini, Jorge Gonzalez, Dragos Alexandru, Jeff McKibben, Norman Thetford, Rick Elbrecht, Joe Dobson and coxswain Helen Richardson of the Sarasota County Rowing Club joined forces to win the mens eight.

Giannini was also on board with Joe Dobson, McKibben and John Eisnor to win the mens quad.

Melanie Smith and Ruth Schock of SCRC teamed up to win the women’s double. The SCRC’s Missy Oberly, Jill Veitkus, Linda Herrera and Gale Harding won the women’s quad.

updates and news

World Indoor Rowing Championships

Sarasota, FL- The Sarasota Scullers will be sending 7 student-athletes and 1 coach/master rower to the first World Rowing Indoor Championships being held in Alexandria, Virginia on February 17-18.  The same organization, World Rowing, held the successful 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota organized the new Indoor Rowing Championships with a partnership with Concept 2 and USRowing.

The seven student-athletes are Kaden Bowels (sophomore at Sarasota High School), TJ Cochran (sophomore at Venice High School), Shelby Ernst (sophomore at Fort Myers High School), Savannah Stewart (sophomore at Riverview High School), Emily Naidel (sophomore at Pine View School), Patrick Watson (senior at Out of Door Academy), and Katie Beiler (senior at Riverview High School).  Head Coach Laura Corbett-Brown will be competing in the masters’ category.  

An excited Coach Laura stated, ”The experience of participating in a World Rowing event is incredible.”  She continued,” It is a pleasure seeing the dedication, hard-work, and focus paying off for these young adults.”


ABOUT THE SARASOTA SCULLERS: The Sarasota Scullers are a 501c3 non-profit founded in 1991.  Currently, the program has 5 coaches and approximately 75 student-athletes in middle & high school programs.  The Scullers travel for regattas in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Virginia, and California.  Donations are always appreciated.

2017 Masters Nationals

By Sarasota Scullers 08/22/2017, 7:15am HST


Sarasota, FL- The Sarasota Scullers made themselves well known at the 2017 USRowing Masters National Championships being held at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.  Sarasota Scullers’ Board Member Karen Wiegandt and Sarasota Scullers’ Head Coach Laura Corbett-Brown won the 2017 USRowing National Championship Women’s 2x for women in the 36-42 age bracket.  The pair went on to compete is the Women’s 2x for women between 27-35.  Even though Laura and Karen were competing against younger rowers and just completing a difficult race, the two won a silver for the race.    

Coach Laura and Karen will compete in 13 races during the 4-day event.  With more races on Saturday and Sunday, their medal count could increase.

21st 2017 Halifax Regatta

By Sarasota Scullers 08/02/2017, 1:00pm HST

Scullers finish their Summer season strong, 7 Golds,2 silver medals and 2 bronze

Sarasota Scullers finish the  summer season off strong at the 21st Halifax Regatta with 7 Gold medals, 2 Silvers and 2 Bronze. The kids have continued to work hard over the summer and it showed in Daytona Beach. The kids have a short break and will be back to rowing soon, we are looking forward to a fantastic Fall Season. Enjoy your break we'll see you back in August!

Scullers win big at Sunshine State Games

By Sarasota Scullers 08/02/2017, 12:45pm HST

Scullers clean up at SSG

A great day at the Sunshine State Games, the Scullers come home with 9 Gold medals, 3 Silvers and 4 Bronze medals. Way to go Scullers!! 


2017 Youth Nationals

By Nadine Young 06/21/2017, 7:00am HST

Preparing for the final rounds of the 2017 Youth Nationals Rowing Championship

2017 Southeast Championships

By Ryan Kohn 05/16/2017, 9:00am HST

The program had four boats qualify for the USRowing Youth Nationals in June. 



 From ABC 7-My Suncoast: The Sarasota Scullers Youth Rowing Program entered 16 boats and earned 13 medals at this past weekend's 8th annual Sarasota Invitational Regatta held at Nathan Benderson Park.  

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The Men's 2x (A) entry of Kris Schumann and Chris Cail won their event at the Sarasota Invitational Regatta.

ROWING: Scullers collect 13 medals at Sarasota Invitational

By Sarasota Herald-Tribune 03/02/2017, 6:30am HST

Women's 2x, Men's 2x (A) and Women's Novice 8+ all win gold

Sarasota Scullers Youth Rowing Program entered 16 boats and earned 13 medals.

Sarasota Scullers Youth Rowing Program entered 16 boats and earned 13 medals at the 8th annual Sarasota Invitational Regatta, Nathan Benderson Park.

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Welcome to Sarasota Scullers Rowing Club

Established in 1991, Sarasota Scullers Rowing Club is the oldest organized rowing program in Sarasota County.

Our mission is to transform the lives of middle and high school aged youth in Sarasota and Manatee counties by promoting fitness, health, teamwork and good sportsmanship, as well as high moral and civic standards.

In a supportive and nurturing climate, the Sarasota Scullers Rowing family seeks to develop a diverse group of scholar-athletes regardless of athletic experience or fitness level. Throughout the year, our Sarasota rowing program offers competitive rowing for high school students, a developmental middle school rowing program, and summer camp rowing for grades 6-12. No rowing experience is necessary, but once learned, rowing will transform your life.

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