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- by  Abby Weingarten
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Competing against athletes from across the state, New Crew SRQ rowers from New College of Florida and neighboring schools earned numerous accolades—including several first- and second-place finishes—at the “Head of the 941” regatta in Sarasota.

Held on November 20 and 21 at Nathan Benderson Park, the event—formerly known as “Head of the Hog”—was a “head race” (rowing parlance for a distance race, and this one was five kilometers). Athletes used the entirety of the championship course on Cooper Creek Lake.

“The ‘Head of the 941’ was truly special because it was the first race for most of my athletes,” said New College thesis student Antonia “Toni” Ginsberg-Klemmt, the founder and team captain of New Crew SRQ. “I had 10 brand new athletes from both New College and Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) who joined this semester and had never raced in a rowing regatta before.”

The event was also hosted by Sarasota Crew—the team for which Ginsberg-Klemmt rowed in high school—and she was thrilled for the chance to compete against some of her former teammates. New Crew SRQ was scheduled to participate in the event last year, but all of the team’s races were unfortunately canceled due to inclement weather.

“I’m so proud of all of the work that these athletes put in over these past months, and I think it was a great experience to have in preparation for sprint season in the spring,” Ginsberg-Klemmt said. “As for upcoming regattas, we’ve been invited to a scrimmage with the University of South Florida (USF) team at the Tampa Bypass Canal (date TBA), and we will be racing at the FIRA Regatta at Benderson in April. There may be more races to come in the spring.”

New Crew SRQ, which Ginsberg-Klemmt founded in September 2019, is the first multi-school collegiate rowing team on the Suncoast. In March, it became an official club and partnership between New College and the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (SANCA)—the nonprofit organization that operates and manages Nathan Benderson Park for Sarasota County.

Nathan Benderson Park is a world-class rowing facility that is only a 15-minute drive from the New College campus, and the venue has hosted the rowing Olympic trials, master’s world championships, national championships, and regional and state competitions. New Crew SRQ currently consists of mostly New College students, as well as athletes from other institutions in the Cross College Alliance (including those from USF Sarasota-Manatee, State College of Florida (SCF) and RCAD).

Below are the “Head of the 941” rankings:

November 20 races:

Women’s U23 1x (Single) | 4th Place | Finish Time: 28:45.3
Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt (NCF)

Mixed Masters 4+ (Coxed Four) | 2nd Place | Finish Time: 31:45.0
Coxswain: Cyriac Versini (NCF)
4: Rebecca Sandlin (Guest Master)
3: Pilar Mahady (NCF Campus Police)
2: Vivian Cargille (NCF)
1: Saloanee Labh (NCF)

Women’s U23 8+ (Coxed Eight) | 1st Place | Finish Time: 28:55.7
Coxswain: Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt (NCF)
8: Kat Patrick (USF Alum)
7: Isabel Nieves (NCF)
6: Nicole McKenna (NCF)
5: Hope Sandlin (NCF)
4: Olivia Paré (NCF)
3: KK Kelleher (Ringling College)
2: Bella Shuler (NCF)
1: Caroline Corban (NCF)

November 21 races:

Women’s U23 2x (Double) | 2nd Place | Finish Time: 37:49.5
2: Nicole McKenna (NCF)
1: Olivia Paré (NCF)

Women’s U23 4+ (Coxed Four) | 1st Place | Finish Time: 33:57.6
Coxswain: Cyriac Versini (NCF)
4: Isabel Nieves (NCF)
3: Devin Gregg (Ringling College)
2: Saloanee Labh (NCF)
1: Caroline Corban (NCF)

Mixed Masters 8+ (Coxed Eight) | 2nd Place | Finish Time: 24:10.9
Coxswain: Kat Patrick (USF Alum)
8: Jack Mischak (Guest Master)
7: Hope Sandlin (NCF)
6: Colin Jefferis (NCF)
5: Zach Carey (NCF)
4: Rebecca Sandlin (Guest Master)
3: Mona Markey (Guest Master)
2: Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt (NCF)
1: Pilar Mahady (NCF Campus Police)

New Crew SRQ practices are held at Nathan Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota. No experience is necessary.

Fill out the New Crew SRQ interest form here. For more information, call Ginsberg-Klemmt 941-284-9175, email her at newcrewsrq@gmail.com, or visit ncf.edu/newcrewsrq and instagram.com/newcrewsrq.

Abby Weingarten is the senior editor in the Office of Communications & Marketing.