Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida, will be the site for the 2022 International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew World Championships, the federation announced at a congress event in Pattaya, Thailand.
Sarasota won the bid over Montreal, Quebec, and Hungary, which hosted the 2018 event and drew 6,200 athletes. The next world championships, held on a biannual basis, will be in France in 2020.
Nathan Benderson Park has already been selected as the host of the 2021 U.S. Dragon Boat Federation National Championships. The Sarasota 2022 world championship bid was presented by representatives of the U.S. Dragon Boat Federation, Visit Sarasota County and Nathan Benderson Park’s manager, the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA).
“NBP continues to prove to be a successful sport attraction that impacts not only our community, but Florida and the United States,” SANCA President and CEO Stephen V. Rodriguez said. “Hosting this world championship has an impact that goes beyond just economic benefit. This will impact the sport of dragon boat racing in our state and nationwide. We are prepared to invest more resources into our local dragon boat programming to prepare for this event. We thank IDBF for their confidence in awarding this event to Sarasota County.”
The club crew world championships will have clubs from around the world plus four regions from the United States. Unlike the world championships, where athletes are selected from clubs across the nation, entire winning crews are entered for the club crew regatta.
“This world-class venue and its facilities are ideally suited for these championships and we are confident Nathan Benderson Park will exceed expectations in every category,” USDBF President Andrew Szymanski said. “We are excited to begin the next phase of planning for this incredible event.”