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SCULLS OUT Fisherman's Island is quiet after the teams and spectators have headed home. Photos by Scott Prof- fitt SARASOTA 5000 REGATTA SERVES AS WARM-UP TO A SEASON OF ROWING FOR AREA TEAMS By Scott Proffitt Staff Writer Rowing was the order of the day on Sunday, Sept. 30, and the weather was perfect for the thousands of people competing in or attend- ing the Sarasota 5000 Regatta. Held just off Blackburn Point Road, the event is pleasantly viewed from Fisherman's Island in Sarasota County's Blackburn Point Park, near Casey Key. It is not unusual to see dol- phins and manatees from the vantage point of this jewel of a park. The occasion of this race was no exception, as people called out in excitement whenever one of those aquatic mammals was spotted nearby. In its fourth year, the regatta was hosted by the Sarasota Scullers. It was sponsored by Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, Allen Family Dentistry, Jersey Mike's subs, Bentley's Resort, the Diamond Vault and Bee Ridge Vet Clinic. It was deemed a success, with county estimates of around $4 million brought into the community as a result of participants and spectators involvement. "The race gets bigger and better every year," said Jeff Koehler, one of the event organizers. "While the kids have fun, it provides an im- portant opening race to work out the kinks for the upcoming rowing competitions."

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