This weekend, the men’s heavyweight crew team will look to conclude their fall season with a bang at the Princeton Chase.
On Sunday the team will participate alongside 21 other boats from 11 other colleges at the competition on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J. The Bulldogs’ varsity boat will look to improve on last year’s time of 13:59, which was good for a 10th place finish. Cornell took first place last fall with a time of 13:15.
Captain Andrew Brennan ’04 talked about last year’s disappointing finish.
“Last year we didn’t have a great piece in the Eights, and lost to some crews we really shouldn’t have lost to,” Brennan said. “This year we’re hoping to be competitive with the top crews in our league who will be competing at the [Princeton] Chase, which are Princeton, Cornell and Syracuse.”
Unlike last weekend’s winding course at the Head of the Charles Regatta, the course on Lake Carnegie has only one major turn. Yale head coach John Pescatore said this means every team should be able to go faster with a higher strokes-per-minute rate.
Another difference between the two regattas will be the type of teams participating. The Head of the Charles is the world’s largest two-day rowing event, with participants from colleges and clubs all over the world. The Princeton Chase, on the other hand, is for collegiate teams only.
“The atmosphere [at the Princeton Chase] is certainly intense,” Brennan said. “But without the thousands of spectators lining the banks of the river and multiple bridges to go under, it’s definitely different from the Head of the Charles.”
Though the Head of the Charles — the biggest race of the fall — is over, Pescatore talked about the importance of this weekend’s race, as it is the last one of the fall.
“We’d like to finish [the fall season] on a high note,” Pescatore said.
Brennan said the team’s approach to this race is the same as it has been to all other races this season.
“We’re approaching this race the same way that we approached the [Head of the] Charles — hard work this week with the focus on improvement every day in all aspects of our rowing,” Brennan said.
Brennan also talked about Pescatore, who is in his second year as heavyweight coach.
“The team has also been around [Pescatore] long enough to know exactly what he expects from us,” Brennan said. “Through hard work and dedication we’ll continue to strive to meet or exceed the high standards he has for us.”