Lightweights win 2 in California

The men’s crew team traveled west last weekend to compete in the San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay, Calif.

The lightweights, who are currently unranked, continued their West Coast domination winning their two races, including the Secretary of the Navy Trophy, for the fifth time in six years.

The No. 9 heavyweight rowers placed fifth in both of their races.

“San Diego is always a big deal before it happens,” Yale lightweight head coach Andy Card said. “Since this year none of our league opponents came out to the race as they usually do, we don’t want to read anything into the results.”

Sunday, the lightweights raced to victory in the final of the Andy Borthwick Memorial Trophy. The Bulldogs opened up a three second margin over eventual second-place Los Gatos Rowing Club after the first 500 meters of the 2,000-meter race. The Bulldogs held the same lead as they crossed the finish line with a time of 5:57.80.

Harvard finished in third place, four seconds behind the Yale boat.

In the Secretary of the Navy Trophy, the Bulldog lightweights recorded their fifth win in the past six years. Yale did not race in the event last year, when the University of California at Davis won. The Elis defeated the University of California at Santa Barbara by nearly 12 seconds, winning the 2,000-meter race with a time of 6:03.90.

“At this time of year, we are trying out different lineups and combinations for the varsity eight,” Card said. “From an early season standpoint, I am cautiously pleased that we have started to work out some rhythm issues during this past weekend’s racing.”

Eric Feins ’03 was happy with the team’s performance.

“Racing in multiple events gave us more practice,” said Feins. “We’re a young crew and we have a lot to learn, so the more times down the 2,000-meter course, the better.”

The heavyweight boats, although not victorious, also made a strong showing in their first race of the spring season.

“As this was our first race of the year, there should be room for improvement,” said heavyweight captain Nate Kirk ’02.

In the elimination heat Saturday, the varsity heavyweight boat qualified for the final with a time of 6:06.29.

Sunday, in the final of the varsity eight’s Copley Cup, the Bulldogs took fifth place with a time of 5:50.42 — shaving over 15 seconds off their qualifying time. The University of California at Berkeley won the race in 5:35.62.

“California’s varsity was composed of eight oarsmen who have been rowing internationally for several years,” Kirk said. “While we would have liked to have done better, based on the competition, the boats went pretty well.”

Yale’s heavyweight head coach Dave Vogel was pleased with the team’s progression over the weekend.

“We improved vastly from the heats on Saturday to the final on Sunday,” said Vogel. “We will be a very fast crew if we keep with this steep learning curve.”

The JV eight matched the varsity’s fifth-place finish with a time of 6:11.05 in the final of the Sharp Memorial Hospital Cup. The University of Washington narrowly defeated the University of California at Berkeley with a time of 5:47.06.

This Saturday, the lightweight rowers travel to Princeton’s Lake Carnegie course to battle the Tigers and the Georgetown Hoyas. Princeton defeated Georgetown last weekend on the Lake Carnegie course.

“We are very excited to race Georgetown as they had a great season last year,” lightweight captain Ian Malloch ’02 said.

While the lightweight rowers compete at Princeton, the heavyweights will host Dartmouth at home on the Housatonic River in Derby, Conn.

“Dartmouth expects to be very fast, and this will be a big challenge for us this early in the season,” said Vogel.

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