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Randy Benderson, president of Benderson Development, thanks Paul Blackketter for his persistence. “This is bigger than our dream was,” Benderson said.
East County Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013 4 years ago

Rowing Championships bring pride to Sarasota

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

The contingent behind Sarasota’s winning bid to host the 2017 World Rowing Championships returned from South Korea Tuesday night and addressed the media Wednesday, Sept. 4, at Nathan Benderson Park.

Paul Blackketter, the chief operating officer of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association (SANCA), the non-profit group that made the bid, thanked Sarasota and Manatee County leaders, the community and others who helped make Nathan Benderson Park the first venue in the United States since 1994 to host a world rowing championship.

The Swiss-based International Federation of Rowing Association’s (FISA) congress picked Sarasota over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, in a unanimous vote Labor Day weekend in Chungju, South Korea.

Addressing a cheering, standing-room-only crowd, Blackketter said winning the bid is only the beginning.

“Failure is not an option,” he said. “The people who came out today have high expectations for us. There is no question we can and will deliver. We will complete something that is bigger than us.”


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