Interview krefeld Krefeld Rowing Club will have to do without Justus and Max de Gruiter next season. The twins move to Canada. Before they take off, they give some more insight into their lives.
From September, the Krefeld 1883 Rowing Club would have to do without its two great talents. Justus and Max de Gruiter, two-time German year and runner-up champions in rowing boat four and eight at U15 (2019) and U17 (2022), will spend the next school year in Canada. Moving from high school in Moltkeplatz to Vancouver Island meant the twins went to two different schools. Excitement and anticipation are balanced in 15-year-olds, especially since living abroad will part ways for the first time brothers. We interviewed both of them before they left. The result was a passionate ad block for a cool sport that follows the triad of technique, bite, survival, and in which the final sprint is always a pain.
You won the title in the U17 four at the German Vintage Championships on the Fühlinger See in Cologne in June and finished runner-up in eight the same day.
Max Yes, it was our biggest success so far.
There was a clear difference in the size of your team on the podium at the eighth-place awards ceremony. You are now 1.83 and 1.87 meters. Does length play a role in rowing?
Jupiter In fact, we had a range between 1.70 and 1.95 in eight. The length comes in handy when you can use it. But you also need mass. With length without weight, power is missing. The composition of our eight made it clear that length alone is not enough. The athlete with the smallest body size is really strong. A cool man
Max When it comes to the length factor, it is important to have a good ratio of the length of the legs, arms and upper body. To build distance, it’s important to measure how far you can roll forward with the rowing seat up and how far you can open your arms, then get a long pull path through the water with the blade of the paddle.
Rowing is one of those sports in which athletes’ weight also plays a role. Is this an issue for you?
Jupiter In any case. It begins at an early age with the difference between light and heavy weights.
Are you light or heavy in your age group?
Jupiter A distinction is made between summer weight and winter weight. Heavier weight is considered for the winter season than for the summer. At my current weight I would be considered lighter in winter. But since it’s summer, Max and I are supposed to be heavy.
And how much do you weigh now?
Max My weight is around 66kg and Justus is around 68. We were now the lightest in the aft – other than Hellswoman.
Do you ever use a rudder to compensate for the stated average weight of a boat’s crew?
Jupiter it is not allowed. The German Rowing Association has set a weight of 55 kg for the helmsman. They have to keep it as a minimum. If the woman weighs only 45 kg, she will have to lift 10 kg.
Max Then we pack a plate weighing ten kg.
Are you weighed before every race?
Max Yes. It’s not so accurate in every regatta, but it’s really down to the grams in the German championships. It’s at the beginning: Krefeld Please show the extra weight. And then we have to prove that the weight is with us.
The average weight of the sailors in your eight is 75 kg. There he is down there. So does your weight gain stop?
Jupiter A trainer really wanted us to lose some weight for the eighth race before the championship. Since we are both lightly built, it wouldn’t have been a problem if we weighed two kilos more. It is always important for us to lose weight. Especially since we are growing. For us, losing weight always goes along with a lack of energy.
Max No, we performed without gaining weight. Eight is about a lot of mass. The weight of the boat alone is about 100 kg and then the average weight of the crew is 75 kg. You have to move this entire weight forward from the beginning itself. The first five strokes are the basis of the race. Then you shoot the belt backwards into the water. If you have more mass that you can throw backwards with every hit, you can certainly push the boat faster.
Jupiter Therefore, the saying applies to rowing: quantity is power.
Eating is part of fitness. Do you have a nutrition plan?
Max Many and many (laughs). We take balanced diet. The night before a race, we usually eat a good portion of Bolognese pasta to fill all our muscles with energy.
How often do you have to train?
Max In high season we had seven training sessions a week. Training was every day except Monday, when it was free. There were two training sessions on Saturday. If we train on the water, the session lasts about two and a half hours, including the arrangement of the boat; half out of the water
How do school and friends fit into this training program?
Max In the time of preparation for the championship, school is really a problem. A point I would criticize most in the competitive playing system. When it comes to championships, very few performance coaches are interested in how athletes are performing in school. And our circle of friends is mainly found among rowers.
Do you also cry in winter?
Jupiter Because of the darkness of the morning; So on weekends. Winter mainly works to increase strength. Max and I have mastered the basics, and in the winter we try to hone our technique on rowing machines as much as we can and get faster.
Max In winter we have to compete on rowing ergometers (ergocups). In addition, long-distance trials are conducted and data is collected from competitive athletes. With the help of club coaches, state coaches, for example, at the end of winter, can get an idea of how athletes are doing in NRW. From this pool they choose who can line up together; As we recently did with the Düsseldorf rowing community. Training then takes place for the annual championship, which is the highlight of the season at the end of the summer season.
In this year’s annual championship, you took part in fours and eights. Do you also operate other boats?
Max We are lined up in all boat classes. Even in one, but we are not so good there. Rowing is technique, and for singles, he says, it takes six years of training to reach national level.
Jupiter The toughest boat is class eight; At least for boys. The testosterone level in the boat is huge and the competition in the race is huge. Everyone wants to kill each other. But not angry (laughs). Then we high five each other.
Max, you took a picture of the blisters on your palms during training season. At the time, you said you couldn’t even pull the cover over your head. Does the game involve a lot of voluntary pain?
Max Along with discipline, enthusiasm is also needed. We are going to our maximum performance limits; After that the body cannot exist. When rowing, the course is divided into three sections: technique, cutting, survival. The last sprint in the last 250 meters always hurts. In the Ergocups, most of us have extinguished our lights a hundred meters before the finish line. You can see that when the eyes twinkle. But we and the coach can assess that. To outsiders it is frightening. My father once showed a business partner a video of our training. He asked if we were being beaten up too (Max and Justus laugh). Well, we know it, and we all willingly line up because we really enjoy it.
You started rowing when you were ten years old because your mother saw an invitation from a rowing club for free training in the newspaper. You are now one of the key figures in the club. What does your coach say about your one year stay in Canada?
Max He told us after training in doubles that he was saddened to see such a good doubles, which he knew has no prospects in this constellation next season. We’re gone for now, and it’s a loss.
What about progeny?
Jupiter Rowing is a fringe sport and in five hours only six people turned up for the open house. We can only advise everyone: take a look. Rowing is a great sport and there are a lot of good people out there.
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