CREW: Yale teams cruise on Saturday

The Yale women’s and lightweight men’s teams swept Cornell and Georgetown in home races this Saturday.

The No. 9 Yale women’s first varsity eight clinched a one-second win over the No. 19 Big Red to hold on to the Cayuga Cup. The lightweight team cruised with the slight tailwind on the Housatonic after battling rough conditions at Princeton last weekend, and all four of its crews triumphed against the Hoyas.

“I was pleased to get out of the weekend with the sweep given the week of practice we had,” women’s head coach Will Porter said. “Our lower boats raced well and went fast against Cornell. Our varsity eight raced well but went slow. We were lucky to win.”

According to Porter, the Housatonic was flooded and windy in the week leading up to Saturday’s race and posed extra challenges in practice.

The women’s second and third eights and first and second fours saw wider margins of victory than the tight margin in the first varsity’s race against Cornell. The third varsity eight bested Cornell’s crew by 23 seconds.

“This weekend was a solid performance for the team as a whole,” said women’s captain Maddie Lips ’14 said. “We have a lot to learn from our races across the squad as we continue to work on putting together fast boats moving into the middle of our season.”

Like Lips, lightweight captain Matt O’Donoghue ’14 commended his team for delivering “great performances all around.”

All of the lightweight boats saw strong starts and were able to obtain their leads in the first 500 meters of the 2000-meter course. The first varsity eight finished the race in 5:36.72 minutes.

“Varsity stern pair Austin Velte ’16 and Brendan Harrington ’14 did a really nice job finding a good rhythm all the way down the course,” O’Donoghue said.

As the stern pair, Velte and Harrington were in the front of the first eight.

Yale’s first freshman boat and third varsity boat raced together against Georgetown’s third eight. The first freshman boat pulled a 5:50.43 and beat out Georgetown by fourteen seconds. The Bulldogs’ and Hoyas’ third eights were closely matched, but Georgetown fell to Yale’s steady speed in the final 500 meters, giving the Bulldogs a 5.8 second win.

O’Donoghue attributed the weekend’s success to good coaching and the hard work of the Eli men.

The lightweight men will race both Columbia and Penn for the Dodge Cup this Saturday, then face-off against Cornell on Sunday, while the women will host the Big Green and the Boston University Terriers on Saturday. The heavyweight team, coming out of a three-week break, will also host Dartmouth this weekend.

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