The women’s crew team reclaimed the Yale Class of 1985 Cup with a dominant varsity eight victory over Dartmouth, Boston University and Clemson on Saturday.
Last year, the Big Green captured the Class of 1985 Cup — named for the Yale class that donated the cup for the race — in a neck-and-neck race that was eventually determined by video review. On Saturday, the No. 10 Bulldogs raced against the three universities on Boston’s Charles River and came away with wins in three of their five races.
“We are slowly improving. This was a better race than our previous ones,” head coach Will Porter said. “As the weather warms up and the water gets better, we are gaining speed.”
The varsity eight boat kicked off the successful day of racing, defeating second-place No. 14 Clemson by five seconds. The Bulldogs, who led from wire to wire, crossed the line with a time of 6:31.6.
The second varsity rowed a time of 6:55.1, less than a second behind Clemson. The Bulldogs were one length down to the Tigers at the 500-meter mark, but the team closed the gap over the next 1,500 meters. They finished one stroke short of Clemson. The third varsity boat also fell short to Clemson, crossing the line with a time of 7:23.6.
“This team is just starting to figure out what they can do and how to get more speed out of the boats,” Porter said. “How fast that is, they will decide.”
The varsity four remained undefeated this season, picking up a nearly eight-second victory over Clemson with a time of 7:45.8. The second varsity four cruised to a commanding victory, besting second-place Dartmouth by nearly 20 seconds with a time of 7:56. Both boats faced slight headwinds and led their races from the start.
“It proved to be a competitive day of racing,” said team captain Eliza Hastings ’13, who rowed in the first seat of the varsity eight. “We had a great week of practice, and we were able to show that in our performance.”
This year marked the first time Clemson joined Yale, Dartmouth and Boston University for the Class of 1985 race. Racing the Tigers gave the Bulldogs the opportunity to face unfamiliar competition.
“It was exciting to race Clemson, as we have only seen them at past NCAAs,” Hastings said.
The Bulldogs will host No. 5 Princeton this Saturday at Gilder Boathouse in their first home race of the season.