Who We Are

Empowering Lives. One Rower At A Time.

More than a simple slogan, it is the reason Sarasota Crew was created in 2002, why we have grown into one of the largest rowing programs in the country and why we succeed in not only producing national championships, but making a positive difference with every rower we encounter. Rowers from all walks of life come to us, not because we focus on the importance of winning like other organizations, but because we create a healthy environment – socially, physically, emotionally – and teach the proper skill set to empower every rower to conquer the next challenge in their life.

We have a unique approach to making a difference in the lives of our members. Our approach is why:
  • Our alumni say that the culture we create "made them the productive, caring and responsible people" that they are today
  • Since our inception, over 2000 youth have benefited from our development program, with the majority continuing to row in college
  • Many of our youth participants get accepted into their reach schools, receive athletic scholarships and earn academic scholarships
  • Handicapped, seniors and corporate rowing teams join our organization

And yes, our unique approach to making a difference in the lives of our members is also why over 20 national champions have been Sarasota Crew members. Empowering Lives. One Rower At A Time. More than a mission... it’s a cause for a better community. We are Sarasota Crew.

History

In the summer of 2002, a group of visionary and dedicated parents and coaches recognized the need in Sarasota for a rowing program centered on positive and impeccable sportsmanship and decided to start a new youth rowing club. But, the going was tough. The new club was only a vision and desire - no boats, no site, no rowers, and no access to good, rowable water. Fortunately, Linda Mansperger, Executive Director of Historic Spanish Point supported the idea of locating the new club on the grounds of Historic Spanish Point and on July 2, 2002, Historic Spanish Point's Board approved the idea. The next day, July 3, Sarasota Crew was launched.

The driving vision was clarified, a board was formed, organizational pragmatics were executed, and informational meetings were held to inform potential rowers and their families of the new club and it's direction. Sixty-five rowers signed up in that first month, a small fleet of used boats was purchased, and in August 2002 we began our first practice. The club went on that year to compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston and many local Florida regattas. That first season ended with a winning state championship team in the Men's Varsity 4+ and the club was off and running.

What We Stand For

The founders of Sarasota Crew were a group of visionary and dedicated parents and coaches who recognized the need and knew the long-term viability of the club depended on a clear and broadly understood vision and direction.  A Mission and a set of Operating Principles emerged which continue to provide direction for the club.

Where We Are Going

Sarasota Crew has used its first 14 years to ground itself and to build the strong base needed for a truly excellent youth rowing program. Many, many people have contributed strongly to building this base. The club now has over 183 high school youth rowers, as well as an elementary and middle school program of 132 youths and summer camp programs with well over 250 participants. The club has a very competitive fleet of over 135 rowing shells, supporting coach launches and other equipment. The parent group is vibrantly active in supporting the team and provides immense help and involvement. The club has several highly qualified and effective coaches.  In the spring of 2011, the club was able to bring all of this backing together to win the Florida State Championship, we have since won this title in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, the Southeast Regional Championship in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, as well as the National Youth Championship for the Men's Varsity 8+ in 2013.  Within the last five years, we have sent well over 97 athletes to participate in the Junior National Team.  With 15 of those athletes representing the USA at the Junior World Championships.  In the summer of 2017, four Sarasota Crew youth rowers and our head coach represented the United States at the World Rowing Championships in Trakai, Lithuania taking home the gold in the Men's 1x, the first American World Champion, and a silver in the Men's 8+. The club has truly succeeded in getting itself established and grounded.

Now, the challenge is to take this solid base and expand our truly great youth rowing club - to all of the youth of Sarasota County and its surrounding communities.  Sarasota Crew is up to the challenge.  In early 2008, the club moved to the new facilities at Bay Point at Osprey - home of the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, a five-acre campus devoted to public access to the beautiful waters of Sarasota Bay. The new home provides a base for youth rowing in Sarasota County and allows the club to develop its ability to positively service the needs of youth rowers even more effectively. Our vision remains strong, our determination firm, our actions energetic. We are striving to become the best and most effective rowing club in the nation and we think we have a great start!