The Benderson Chase Returns to Nathan Benderson Park

Over 1000 rowers will convene in Sarasota for Florida’s largest and most electrifying regatta.

The 2023 Benderson Chase, formerly known as the Head of the 941, is back and promises two days of thrilling rowing action at Nathan Benderson Park. In partnership with Visit Sarasota County, Nathan Benderson Park and Sarasota Crew host this annual rowing regatta, featuring a head race format, is scheduled for November 18-19, making it a must-attend event for both rowing enthusiasts and families looking for a fun and exciting weekend.

Launched in 2013, the Benderson Chase has quickly become a beloved event for Florida's rowing community. Teams and participants from various cities, including Palm Coast, Miami, and Jacksonville, are well-represented in this year's event. 450 boats and over 1000 rowers are anticipated to be in attendance at this year’s Benderson Chase, making it the largest fall head race Nathan Benderson Park and Sarasota Crew have hosted in a non-COVID year.

This head race will feature events for participants of all ages, spanning from grade school-age rowers to those in their 80s. With 100 events categorized by age, boat class, and gender, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. The uniqueness of the course layout provides rowers with a more fun and challenging opportunity to showcase their skills.

Rick Brown, Director of Operations for Sarasota Crew, stated, "Sarasota's natural beauty and rich rowing heritage make it the perfect location for the Benderson Chase. Sarasota Crew is excited to continue to host this event in such a picturesque setting, and we look forward to welcoming rowing enthusiasts from near and far."

The Benderson Chase will offer a festival-like atmosphere throughout the weekend with a viewing party, local food vendors, drinks and an electric atmosphere where you can witness the thrill of the race up close.

“The Benderson Chase is unlike any event in this area,” shared Bruce Patenaude, Chief Operating Officer of Nathan Benderson Park. “We are pleased to partner with Sarasota Crew and Visit Sarasota to provide a world-class venue for this head race. We look forward to welcoming hundreds of teams to the area for the races and to experience all that Sarasota has to offer”.

Spectators are encouraged to attend free of charge, the only expense being a $10 parking charge at the venue. The races will take place from 9:15 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday and 8:30 am to 1 pm on Sunday.

Whether you're cheering on the rowing champions or simply soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, the Benderson Chase promises an unforgettable day of excitement, adventure, and family fun. Mark your calendars and prepare to be captivated by the thrill of the chase! For more information and updates, visit


About Sarasota Crew

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Crew is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide elementary, middle, and high school-aged Sarasota County youth with positive, competitive rowing experiences that cultivate high standards of personal integrity and self-esteem, promote teamwork and sportsmanship, and instill a lifelong commitment to a healthful lifestyle and serving the community. It is one of the most well-respected rowing organizations in the country. They have more youth participating with them than any other in the country for good reason! To learn more, visit or call 941-966-9791.

About Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy

Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy’s vision of Nathan Benderson Park is to serve as a global, innovative, and premier destination that welcomes and connects people, while fostering a healthy, sustainable and safe environment. NBPC is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose mission is to manage and promote Nathan Benderson Park as a world-class recreational destination, enhancing the quality of life for our community and generating economic impact for our region. Sarasota County has entrusted the Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy with the complete day-to-day care of this 600-acre community asset. As the stewards of the Park, the Conservancy tends to the complex maintenance, visitor services, event management, outreach programs and so much more. For more, please visit:

About Visit Sarasota County

Visit Sarasota County (VSC) is the official tourism marketing entity and primary provider of visitor information for Sarasota County where tourism is the top industry. It is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program, a program of the Destination Management Association International (DMAI). VSC meets the highest standards of professionalism, leadership, fiscal management, and ethical principles. Visit for more information.

Media Contact

Knight Strategic Communications

Mia Kurecki


[email protected]