The lightweight crew took home the Joy Cup on Saturday, besting MIT for the 30th consecutive year.
But the victory was taken with a grain of salt. Although the Joy Cup is only contested between Yale and MIT, Georgetown, a guest in the race, beat Yale by a slim margin of 2.7 seconds, 5:32.4 to 5:35.1, despite Yale’s home-course advantage. The Bulldogs bested the Hoyas at the same race last year by a wide margin of 9.97 seconds.
Head coach Andrew Card remarked that the race was a good learning experience and a stepping stone to the next, and he added that the Hoyas have always been a solid team.
“Georgetown is a great opponent; that’s why we try to race them every year even though we do not have a Cup with them,” he said. “Early April races are more notable for what you can learn rather than the result. It’s best to think of this race as a severely red-marked first draft. Painful, but without it, you can’t have an A-plus finished product.”
Captain Daniel Ensslen ’09 expressed more optimism, saying that the Y150’s “overall direction was strong” and that they will “look to continue progress over the coming week.”
Despite losing to the Hoyas in the first varsity race, Yale was able to best them in the second varsity race, 5:40.3 to 5:44.1, and the first freshman race, 5:41.1 to 5:42.1, with MIT coming in third at 5:55.3. Yale lost in the varsity four race to MIT, 6:32.7 to 6:35.2, and the second freshman race to Georgetown, 6:11.8 to 6:14.4.
Card said that the first freshman race was especially memorable, with its three or four lead changes throughout the course.
“It was a thriller and a testament to both crews,” he said.
The conditions of the race were not a factor in the finals results, and the Joy Cup took place on a near-perfect Housatonic with few waves and tailwind, which contributed to fast times for all teams, Card said.
Despite winning the Cup and coming first in two of five races, Card said that the Y150 has potential to achieve more.
“We have not been rowing up to our standard,” he said. “And it showed in all the races.”
The Long Blue Line will take on Columbia and Penn in the Dodge Cup race on Saturday on Columbia’s home course at Orchard Lagoon, N.Y.