After what seemed like an endless winter, Yale’s crew teams are finally back on the water.
All three Yale varsity crews — women, heavyweight men and lightweight men — traveled to Florida to spend most of their spring breaks training on the water for the first time since November. The women and lightweight men spent 10 and nine days, respectively, in Sarasota, using the Sarasota Scullers Boat Club. The heavyweight men practiced at the University of Tampa, where they spent nine days training on the water. All three teams spent the remainder of spring break training on campus and at the Gilder Boathouse in Derby, Conn.
After an exceptionally cold winter that kept the women’s crew team indoors for over three months, the Bulldogs were determined to make the most of their time in Florida, women’s head coach Will Porter said.
“The winter kept the river frozen longer than it has been in the past 20 years,” Porter said. “The result is as a team we are physically strong but technically a bit behind, although I like where we are right now. We pushed hard over spring break, doing more miles than I have ever done and the team showed resilience working through sore hands, sore backs and sore egos.”
After what she saw as a very positive trip to Florida, rower Ivette Delgado ’03 expressed her enthusiasm for the upcoming season, which begins on Saturday when Yale faces Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania at the New York Athletic Club.
“The team bonded as a whole in Florida,” Delgado said. “We all came out of spring break feeling really good.”
The men’s lightweight crew also felt the effects of a long winter. Head coach Andy Card said that despite the length of time spent indoors this winter, he felt spring training went very well and is optimistic about the upcoming season.
“Nobody was happier than us to get down to Sarasota and finally get on the water,” Card said. “The transition from spring break to on-the-water training while school is in session is sometimes difficult, but we have adjusted well and are very eager to start racing for real and see how well our concepts hold up under racing conditions.”
Rower Daniel Kilpatrick ’03 said spring training was very productive and that everyone was eager to begin the racing season, which begins against Georgetown on Saturday at the Boathouse.
Despite the men’s heavyweight crew team’s youth, the team made progress in Tampa, where the Bulldogs had a successful scrimmage against Georgetown, according to rookie head coach John Pescatore.
“We have a very young team but they’ve really responded well,” Pescatore said. “We had made very good progress very quickly. We had great intersquad practices and a successful scrimmage against Georgetown.”
Rower Andrew Brennan ’04 was very enthusiastic about the spring training as well as the upcoming season.
“It was a really productive trip,” Brennan said. “It’s great to get back on the water. I’m really excited. Coach Pescatore is working us really hard but it should be an exciting racing season.”
The men’s heavyweight crew opens their season at home against Dartmouth on April 12.