HEAVYWEIGHT CREW: Club eight takes first place

The Yale heavyweight crew continued its winning streak this past weekend.

Starting the weekend off with a bang, the heavyweight club eight took first out of 46 crews on Saturday at the Head of the Charles regatta in Cambridge, Mass. The crew rowed a time of 15:22.613 — 3.598 seconds ahead of the second-place crew from BMA Boat Club. Rounding out the top five were Northeastern, Boston University, and Harvard. Yale took fifth in the same event last year.

Head coach John Pescatore said he was very pleased with the heavyweight club eight’s results.

“The club eight was fantastic,” Pescatore said. “There were only four events that college kids can race in, and we won one of them.”

The next day saw the race of the championship four, which took 13th place in the 17-team race with a time of 17:44.691. The top-three teams in that event were Wisconsin, Camp Randall Rowing Club and Harvard. Yale’s crew finished just ahead of Penn Athletic Club and just behind the U.S. Naval Academy. Last year, Yale’s championship four finished in 20th place, with added penalty time.

Pescatore said the crew needs to continue working to tap its potential.

“I think we need to improve the rhythm, in the varsity boat in particular,” he said. “The guys are fit and strong, and they’re working hard. But I think that if we can tweak the rhythm a little bit, we can unlock more speed.”

The final race that afternoon saw the Bulldog championship eight come in 12th place, completing the course in a time of 15:10.270. That was the fifth fastest among all college crews in the race, and 23 seconds behind the national championship team, Henry Cole ’10 said.

The winner of that event was the Tidway Scullers, followed by UC Berkeley and the University of Washington. Last year, Yale finished in 11th place in the event.

Conditions were not at all favorable during the weekend, with snow falling on Sunday afternoon during the championship eight races. Nevertheless, the team exceeded its expectations, players said.

“The only expectation we had when we went into this race is that we were going to have to grind out three miles of hard rowing — every boat did just that,” Patrick Vergara ’11 said. “No crew goes to the Head of the Charles without expecting to lay down the hardest piece possible. All you can do is pull harder than your competition.”

Cole added that the rowers felt good about the past weekend.

“It really boosts the team to have a good performance right now in the fall season,” he said. “It rewards the hard work our team has put in so far and gives guys the confidence that we can reach our goals for the spring season if we continue working hard this winter.”

The Yale heavyweight crew will travel to New Jersey next weekend to participate in the Princeton Three-Mile Chase.

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