By: Morgan Zinn
Forget The Boys in the Boat; the latest rowing phenomena to enter Gilman’s campus are Jules Ouwerkerk (’18) and his crewmate, John Theodore (’19).
On the weekend of October 21st, the duo will be taking their talents to Massachusetts to compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta. The Head of the Charles is the largest two-day regatta in the world, consisting of approximately eleven thousand athletes, two thousand boats, and more than sixty events. Even with the immense number of athletes from around the country and world, Jules expects his crew to place “above the middle” as they have been training hard together.
The five-person crew, consisting of four rowers and one coxswain, will also utilize the talents of two St. Paul’s students and a Bryn Mawr student as coxswain, the person who steers the boat. The Head of the Charles Regatta marks the first time Jules and John will be competing with this crew, who have been working together tirelessly for months to prepare for one of the most important races of their high school rowing careers. Their rigorous training consists of daily two-hour rowing sessions on the Patapsco River.
Jules has been rowing for about a year and a half while John, who Jules describes as being “a little better than me,” has been rowing for around three years. The pair, however, has only been competing and practicing together for a few months.
John and Jules are both well aware of the importance of this race as it relates to their collegiate rowing careers. John, who is still just a junior, asserts that “a strong finish at this regatta can bring me into the radar of a college coach as an attractive prospective recruit.”
According to Jules, a “good result in a race like [The Head of the Charles] is worth more than anything” to colleges. Jules hopes that, because he will be entering college next year, his result can improve his prospects as a crew member at a number of colleges. Currently, he has his eyes on three schools as possible candidates to take his rowing talents to. The Gilman community wishes both John and Jules good luck in their upcoming competition.