In its fifth year of competition, the Olympic Axe trophy has not yet left the Gilder Boathouse.
The men’s heavyweight crew team ensured that the Axe would not make the nearly 200-mile trek to Hanover, N.H. as the Elis swept the Big Green this Saturday. In the Bulldogs’ second home weekend of the spring season, the home team won every race by a margin of at least 10 seconds.
After a loss to Brown on March 29 and a seventh-place finish at the San Diego Crew Classic last weekend, the Olympic Axe is the first race the Elis’ varsity eight has won this season. The Bulldogs beat Dartmouth by 15.1 seconds, decisively grabbing their first win. The Elis came in with a time of 5:59.6.
Captain Jack Vogelsang ’08 said the victory this weekend was important, but that the upcoming Blackwell Cup is more central to the team’s focus between the two races.
“Overall, we were pleased with the results, as there was strong progress shown by every crew across the board,” Vogelsang said.
In the JV race, both Yale boats improved their lead over Dartmouth from last year’s results and finished with the 2V crew leading the 3V boat. The Big Green trailed the leading 2V boat by 20.5 seconds.
The freshman eight has yet to lose a race this season and overtook Dartmouth by four boatlengths to finish with a time of 6:04.8. The freshman four rounded out the sweep after their Big Green competitors caught a crab in the water and were unable to catch up to the Elis.
“The team is strong and improving,” Yale head coach John Pescatore added. “We treat each weekend of racing as an opportunity to excel or not. So we never set expectations too high, other than to expect tough, hard racing.”
After this weekend’s victory, the Bulldogs will be gearing up for the Blackwell Cup against Columbia and Penn in their last home weekend next Saturday.
“The Penn/Columbia race is always a big test, and it will be nice to have the home course advantage for that race,” Vogelsang said.