Even an extra two-hour bus ride did not faze the women’s crew team this weekend.
The nationally ranked No. 8 Bulldogs first traveled Saturday to Syracuse, N.Y., to compete in the Cayuga Cup against No. 13 Syracuse and fellow Ivy competitor No. 20 Cornell.
But harsh weather conditions and three-foot swells in the racing waters at Syracuse delayed the races Saturday morning and forced selection of an alternate racing site. The races reconvened Saturday afternoon at nearby Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., giving the Big Red an unexpected home water advantage.
“The team handled the chaos of the events really well,” Sarah Schaffer ’03 said. “We were able to keep our intensity throughout the day and race extremely well despite the changes in time and location.”
Yale won the varsity race with a time of 6:27, defeating Cornell by four seconds and Syracuse by five seconds. The Bulldogs took second in the second varsity matchup (6:38) and won the third varsity event (7:28), as well. Yale also took first in the first freshman event (6:38).
Maria Stevens ’06 said head coach William Porter warned the freshman boat that the Syracuse novice eight did not include any freshmen, and the race would be “a street fight.”
Even with veteran rowers, Syracuse struggled. Cornell pulled ahead in the beginning, and Yale came from behind to win the race in a sprint over the last 500 yards.
“We were all pleased with how we stepped it up in the novice race and pulled ahead of Cornell in the end,” Stevens said. “And we did not even let Syracuse into the race from the beginning.”
Men’s lightweight crew
While the women’s team battled icy waters in upstate New York, the nationally ranked No. 1 men’s lightweight crew team enjoyed near perfect weather at the San Diego Crew Classic April 5 and 6 at Mission Bay in Crowne Point Shores, Calif. Competing against teams such as Navy, Purdue and UC-Davis, the Bulldogs won the Secretary of the Navy Cup in the Grand Final at the San Diego Crew Classic Sunday.
Yale finished with the third highest time (6:37.00) from the two heats Saturday to advance to yesterday’s finals.
After the first day of rowing, Yale was only 3.94 seconds behind the leader, Navy, at the end of Saturday’s races.
The Bulldogs also entered a team in the men’s open division at the Crew Classic, competing against other college teams and teams unaffiliated with any university. Yale managed to garner the best time (6:24.6) in this division of the 21 teams spread over three heats Saturday.
Team members were unavailable to comment on the events in San Diego as they finished competition late Sunday afternoon.
Men’s heavyweight crew
The varsity men’s heavyweight team did not compete this weekend. The entire squad is currently preparing for its race against Dartmouth April 12 in Derby.
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 10 in the nation, with Harvard holding the No. 3 spot as the top-ranked Ivy League program.