The Yale men’s lightweight crew team returned to their old form in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Mass., on Sunday.

The Elis took second place in the Eights, 12 seconds behind the New York Athletic Club, which includes former Yale lightweight rower Eric Feins ’03.

Twenty-four teams compete in the Eights race simultaneously, and the top college team earns the Collegiate title. Since the New York Athletic Club is not a college, Yale’s runner-up finish earned the Elis the Collegiate title on Sunday.

Last season was the first time in four years that Yale failed to bring home the Collegiate title in the Eights race at the Head of the Charles.

Although they have regained their old form, the Elis still see room for improvement.

“Every boat performed as best as they could on Sunday,” captain Tamas Toro ’04 said.Ê”For many of us it was our first fall race, so there were the natural hiccups that occur with any initial effort.”

The New York Athletic Club took away the trophy in the Eights race with a time of 14:35.133. The Bulldogs crossed the finish line with a time of 14:47.594.

In the Fours race, Yale came in ninth overall. Two collegiate teams — Navy and Cornell — finished ahead of the Elis.

Yale finished the race with a time of 17:06.398. The New York Athletic Club also took away the top finish in the Fours with a time of 15:49.633.

Yale head coach Andy Card was proud of how his team prepared for the Regatta.

“I was happy that the results for the varsity were a team effort,” Card said. “We have had a good time training together this last week in practice.”

Captain Tamas Toro ’04 said the race was enjoyable but not necessarily indicative of the rest of the year.

“The fall season allows us to be on the water for long hours and to start building an aerobic base for harder work later in the year,” Toro said.Ê”Nonetheless, it’s [still] nice to race against other colleges, even though the fall results are absolutely no indication of how crews will perform in the spring.”

This coming weekend, the Bulldogs will be heading to the Belly of the Carnegie in Princeton, N.Y., but the team is also there for a different reason.

“We’re going there for the cheese steaks at Hoagie Haven on Nassau Street, and you can quote me on that,” Card said.

The Head of the Charles Regatta — first held in 1965 — is the world’s largest two-day rowing event. The participants, drawn from all over the world, participate in a three-mile long-time race.

The colleges that competed in Sunday’s competition included Princeton, Navy, Cornell, Boston College, Dartmouth College, Brock University, University of Delaware, Harvard University, Georgia Tech, University of Minnesota, MIT and University of North Carolina.

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