Rowing officials seek more information about Manatee-Sarasota's bid for world championships

skennedy@bradenton.comJuly 30, 2013 

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The 2017 World Rowing Championships will be held in early fall at Nathan Benderson Park, international rowing officials announced Wednesday. GRANT JEFFERIES/Herald file photo

GRANT JEFFERIES — gjefferies@bradenton.com Buy Photo

MANATEE — Officials overseeing site selection for the 2017 World Rowing Championship have asked a team representing Manatee and Sarasota counties to answer 11 questions about its bid to stage the event, according to a local organizer.

Benderson Development Co. executive Paul Blackketter on Tuesday provided the Manatee County Commission an update of the region’s effort to win the right to stage the event at Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park.

Blackketter said the questions stemmed from a meeting earlier this month in Switzerland, where local officials lobbied the 14-member council of the International Federation of Rowing Associations, which oversees the championship event, to choose Sarasota-Bradenton over a competing bid from Bulgaria.

Some of the questions federation officials posed this week involved various options about hosting the event, such as whether the date should be set in late September or early October, and what sort of weather might occur at that time of year, Blackketter said.

Federation officials also posed more practical questions, such as whether international doctors tending to the rowers could legally practice in Manatee County, said Blackketter, who is president of a nonprofit organization supporting the bid for the event.

The area’s answer to the 11 questions is due Wednesday via email, Blackketter said.

On Sept. 2, representatives of 130 countries affiliated with the federation will officially award the right to host the championship during a meeting in Chungju, South Korea.

Manatee County Commissioner Larry Bustle is expected to represent Manatee County at the South Korea meeting, officials said.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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