No matter the territory or the weather this weekend, the Bulldogs came out on top of the college competition.
A cold and windy day — conditions that can only be expected from an event hosted near a certain Crimson-clad campus — greeted women’s crew this Sunday at the 44th Head of the Charles in Cambridge. Both the varsity eight and championship fours finished first among their collegiate competitors, taking third overall in their races and placing only behind national teams. The third Yale boat, the club eights, got a first-place overall finish.
“Today was another good day for YWC,” head coach Will Porter said in an e-mail message.
Clocking in at 16:25.331, the two-time defending national champions placed first among the collegiate eight boats. Third overall, the crew lost only to the Canadian National Team and the Dutch National Team. In addition, the Bulldogs finished almost five seconds ahead of the USRowing Training Center, home to the U.S. Under-23 National Team and two Olympians. The Elis also placed ahead of seventh-place Brown, a team that caused trouble for the Bulldogs at Eastern Sprints last spring .
The championship fours were also triumphant, placing first among the collegiate crews with a time of 18:17.086. The quartet was third overall behind Roforeningen Kvik and the London Training Center.
Club eights had a huge victory Saturday, finishing a full 23 seconds ahead of second-place ASR Nereus with a time of 16:47.894. The next-best collegiate crew was Lehigh with a time of 18:00.860.
“I’m definitely very happy about the weekend,” captain Christina Person ’09 said. “[This regatta] is kind of a highlight of the fall season.”
Christine Glandorf ’09 echoed Person’s sentiments.
“We handled the challenges of the weather and the craziness of the regatta really well,” she said.
Landorf explained that the race was a good opportunity for freshmen, who may not be used to such large-scale events, to prepare for the bigger races to come in the spring.
“I really liked the focus people showed this weekend,” she said.
The team’s success stems in part from the family dynamic of the group, Person explained. This feeling of camaraderie translates into a comfortable training environment in which the girls are constantly pushing each other to improve, she said.
“We’re a very unified team,” she said. “We’re always there for each other for support.”
However, it won’t all be smooth sailing for the Bulldogs for the rest of the year.
“Our freshmen and sophomores are still new to college training,” Person said.
As the fall season comes to an end and training moves to the rowing machines in Payne Whitney Gymnasium for the three winter months, “it will be a challenge to keep everyone motivated and looking forward to the spring,” she said.
Porter said the team is continuing to look ahead toward the spring season, but still considers the fall season important to the Bulldogs’ yearlong performance.
“Anytime we put on a Yale uniform, we want to do our best,” he said. “That being said, it is just the fall and we know many things can change before the spring season comes. It is a long winter, especially here in New England.”
The Bulldogs continue their fall season this Sunday at the Princeton Chase.