Gillin Boat Club

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Gillin Boat Club
Location 2200 Kelly Drive, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Home water Schuylkill River
Established 2002
Navy admission 2004
Membership 200[1]
Colors Crimson      and Gray      and Black     
Affiliations St. Joseph's Prep

Gillin Boat Club is the rowing program for St. Joseph's University Rowing and St. Joseph's Prep Rowing.[2][3] It is situated at the 1,000-meter mark of the Schuylkill River race course in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gillin Boat Club was admitted to the Schuylkill Navy in 2004, by a unanimous vote of the Navy's members.[4]

The club's state-of-the-art boathouse has the capacity for 42 eights, 14 fours (quads), and 14 small boats.[4] It was the first new boathouse built on this stretch of the Schuylkill River in 98 years.[5]

Gillin also hosts the Fairmount Park Commission's Community Rowing Program, which is designed to provide an experience for youth in the city of Philadelphia who have not had the opportunity to experience the sport of rowing.[6]

Robert M. Gillin Jr. Boathouse[edit]

In 1998, Philadelphia City Council approved construction of what is now known as the Robert M. Gillin Jr. Boathouse.[7] The boathouse was dedicated in May 2002.[8] The building was designed by Robert L. Owen - Architects and built by Nason and Cullen, Inc.[9] While some have praised the structure as "the Taj Mahal of Kelly Drive,"[2] others have levied criticism on the boathouse's design, calling it a "bloated hulk of a building."[8] Work has been done to repair the second floor, which began buckling shortly after construction was completed.[10]

University crew[edit]

The men's and women's crew teams of St. Joseph's University regularly compete on a national level.

Dad Vail Regatta[edit]

St. Joseph's University has been a perennial contender at the Dad Vail Regatta, the nation's largest collegiate regatta.

In 2010, St. Joe's won gold in the Men's Frosh/Novice Heavyweight Eight.

In 2008, St. Joe's won a silver in the Women's Frosh/Novice Heavyweight Eight and a bronze in the Men's JV Heavyweight Eight.[11]

In 2007, the team finished 2nd in Overall Points and 3rd in Women's Points.[12]

In 2006, the team finished 1st in Overall Points, 1st in Men's Points, and 2nd in Women's Points.[13]

In 2005, the team finished 1st in Overall Points, 1st in Men's Points, and 3rd in Women's Points.[14]

In 2004, St. Joseph's won 2nd in Overall Points, Men's Points, and Women's Points.[15]

Earlier in its history, St. Joseph's University won a Gold medal at the 1970 Dad Vail Regatta and a Silver medal in 1959, the first year of the program's existence.[citation needed]

IRA Championship Regatta[edit]

The Intercollegiate Rowing Association's IRA Championship Regatta is the most competitive race in collegiate rowing and is considered to be the United States collegiate national championship of rowing.[16] In 2004, St. Joe's Varsity Four finished fourth in the Grand Final at the IRAs.[17] In recent years, St. Joseph's has qualified multiple boats for IRAs.[18]

Henley Royal Regatta[edit]

The University Crew has competed at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta, a race in England. In 1999, a crew from St. Joseph's pursued the Temple Challenge Cup at Henley.[19]

Preparatory crew[edit]

St. Joseph's Preparatory School has amassed racing records unequaled by any other American high school, including winning the Stotesbury Cup ten times since 1987.[2]

Stotesbury Cup Regatta[edit]

The Stotesbury Cup Regatta is the largest high school regatta in the United States and is considered the high school national championship.[20] The Boys Senior Eight boat won the Stotesbury Cup in 1987, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, and 2010; and the Boys Lightweight Eight won in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.[21]

In addition, The Prep is the only team to ever sweep all of the eights races at the regatta. This feat was first accomplished in 1997.

In 2008, St. Joe's Prep accomplished nearly the same result sweeping all five events in the eight-man category.[22] As a result of the sweep, a poll by ranked The Prep as the crew of the week, over collegiate national champions.[23] Vespoli, a manufacturer of racing shells highlighted the team's accomplishment among other national champions.[24]

Henley Royal Regatta[edit]

The Prep regularly competes at the Henley Royal Regatta. Rowers from St. Joseph's Prep "have been to Henley eight times and won the prestigious Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup in 2000."[2] In 2010, St. Joseph's Prep lost to the Kent School in the semi-finals.[25] In 2008, St. Joseph's Prep was eliminated by Eton College in the quarter-finals.[26] In 2005, St.Joseph's made it to the finals, but lost to Eton College.[27] The Prep's quest for the Princess Elizabeth Cup in 2005 made news in London[28] as well as in the United States.[29]


  1. ^ "Gillin Boat Club". Schuylkill Navy. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Brendan F. Quinn, "A New Era of Rowing at St. Joseph's Prep", The Bulletin, May 15, 2009
  3. ^ "Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta 2009 Program" (PDF). Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. 2009. p. 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 May 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Rober Gillin, Jr. Boathouse,
  5. ^ Dedication of St. Joseph's Boathouse, First New One on the Schuylkill in 98 Years, Set for June 15,
  6. ^ "Fairmount Park Rowing Camp 2009 Brochure" (PDF). 
  7. ^ St. Joe’s Gets Nod For New Boathouse, Rowing News p. 5 (February 28, 1998)
  8. ^ a b Steinberg, "Bloat on the Water", Philadelphia City Paper, April 17-23, 2003 Archived December 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Project Profile of Nason & Cullen
  10. ^ St.Josephs University - Boathouse Floor
  11. ^ Dad Vail Regatta Results -- 2008
  12. ^ Dad Vail Regatta Results -- 2007
  13. ^ Dad Vail Regatta Results -- 2006
  14. ^ Dad Vail Regatta Results -- 2005
  15. ^ Dad Vail Regatta Results -- 2004
  16. ^ Since 1995, the IRA Championship Regatta has been held on the Cooper River in Camden, New Jersey.
  17. ^ IRA Regatta 2004, p. 4, Race 101
  18. ^ For examples, search for "St. Joes" in IRA results for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
  19. ^ Temple Challenge Cup, 1999 Results,
  20. ^ The Prep Rocks Nationals, Rowing News (June 20, 1998) p. 9
  21. ^ List of Winners of every Stotesbury Cup Regatta race since 1927,
  22. ^ Ed Hewitt, Stotesbury 2008: St. Joe's Sweeps; Bishop Eustace Repeats, (May 17, 2008)
  23. ^ Crew of the Week, Row2k Polls (May 19, 2008)
  24. ^ EXCELLENCE ON DISPLAY: WINNING VESPOLI CREWS: Stotesbury Cup:St. Joe’s Prep Varsity Boy’s Eight
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ "Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup Results", Times of London, July 4, 2005.
  28. ^ Mike Rosewell, Army steal a march on rivals, Times of London, June 30, 2005.
  29. ^ Henley Morning Report, (July 2, 2008) For more Henley results, see 1999, 2000 2005, and 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°59′27″N 75°11′48″W / 39.99076°N 75.19675°W / 39.99076; -75.19675