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Jun 12, 2018 9:35 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Grad Charlie Forman Selected To Represent Team USA At Upcoming World University Championships In China

Charlie Forman, far left, was a key part of the women's rowing team at Temple University. TEMPLE ATHLETICS
Jun 12, 2018 1:27 PM

Upon graduating from Hampton Bays High School in 2014, Charlotte Forman—known by family and friends as Charlie—appeared to be on a fast track in the sport of rowing. With just a few weeks of competition under her belt, Forman had made a quick name for herself, and even without much experience, landed a scholarship with an NCAA Division I program at Marist College.While a few things have changed in the past four years, one thing still remains true: Forman continues to impress those in the rowing world.

The 22-year-old, who recently graduated from Temple University, was selected last month to represent the United States at this year’s World University Championships in Shanghai, China, which is slated for August 10-12. The World University Championships takes the top crew athletes from participating countries and puts them against one another in competition.

In order to just apply to be on the team, athletes needed to be able to hit certain standard times through their respective universities’ competitions, but also had to provide resumes of their college careers and videos of themselves rowing, among other things. Forman has been training with the team of 39 athletes—24 men and 15 women—since May 31 on Ford Lake in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where team members will stay until August 3, when they leave for China. Between now and then, the U.S. team will compete at the U.S. Rowing National Championships, from July 11-15, on Cooper River in Camden, New Jersey.

“To be able to continue this sport after college is incredible, and to do it while wearing the red, white and blue is an even greater honor,” Forman said. “I am especially excited to be training in Michigan—I’ve never been here before, so being able to explore more of the country that I am representing makes the experience even more powerful.

“So far, while I’ve been here, we’ve been training in small boats in the mornings and larger boats in the afternoons. We have our first scrimmage this upcoming Saturday,” she added.

On a recommendation from her mother’s friend, Forman decided to check out rowing in the summer of 2013, but due to various injuries, she wasn’t able to go full bore into the sport until nearly a year later. In between, Forman was learning from Jacobus “Co” Rentmeester of Westhampton Beach, a former Olympic rower who competed with the Netherlands national team in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He is the co-founder of East End Rowing Institute, a non-profit school of rowing.

Marist was quick to sign Forman to its women’s crew team, but she ended up not attending the Poughkeepsie school, located on the Hudson River. During her trip to the U.S. Club National Championships in Oakridge, Tennessee, in the summer of 2014, where she placed third in the semifinals and fifth in time trials in her first national competition eventually placing fifth, Forman wound up catching the eye of coaches at Temple University in Philadelphia, a hotbed of nationally-ranked crew teams. One thing led to another, and Forman wound up attending Temple instead of Marist.

Forman competed in both the top Varsity 8 and second Varsity 8 her freshman year, before solidifying her position in the top Varsity 8 for her next three years. Forman was named captain of the team her senior year, earning the Athlete of the Year distinction for Temple women’s rowing, and was named All-Conference Second-Team in the American Athletic Conference, to go along with numerous top performances throughout her college career.

Kelly McGee, a fellow senior teammate at Temple, was in the same boat with Forman for those three years. She said that Forman’s personal drive, her attitude and her work ethic are what got her to where she is today.

“Charlie knows exactly how to blend to others without compromising her technique or power,” McGee said. “She embodies what the true meaning of a team sport is, both on and off the water. She would do anything for her teammates and has belief in herself and her teammates. Being her pair partner was one of my favorite things about rowing because we were always on the same page. Having Charlie with me in the boat gave me confidence because she made everyone better and set a great example for the entire team.

“She’s made a name for herself and changed the program [at Temple],” she continued. “I always knew when we graduated, Charlie wouldn’t be done rowing, she’s just too talented to stop at the collegiate level.”

After graduating from Temple this spring, Forman—a risk management and insurance major—accepted a job at Marsh, a sister company of Marsh & McClennan, an insurance broker that she interned with recently in its aviation department. Her initial job offer was for the company’s office in New York City, which would have forced her to miss training with Team USA in Michigan over the next month or so with a start date of July 31. But the managing director's of the aviation department didn't want to stop Forman from following her dream, so they were able to find a position for her in Philadelphia allowing her to continue to compete once she returns home from China.

Expected costs for the team’s journey will be more than $160,000, with the burden of the budget falling on the athletes and coaches of World University Championship team. They will be paying the costs out-of-pocket unless they can raise the money through donations and sponsorship. To learn more about the team’s upcoming experience, or to make a tax-deductible donation to defray their costs, please visit the team website at wucusarowing2018.com/sponsorship. Sponsorship is welcome, and the team can provide exposure for sponsors via their website, athlete blogs during training and competition, press releases, apparel, and equipment.

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