The lightweight crew team faced a challenging doubleheader on Saturday, racing against Columbia and Penn in the morning and against Cornell in the afternoon. But the Bulldogs reigned victorious, winning the F 8+, JV 8+ and the V 8+ in each regatta.
“Beating three [Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges] opponents in one weekend is an achievement, and we faced some fast ones in both the morning and the afternoon,” head coach Andy Card said.
The Bulldogs first raced at Overpeck County State Park, N.J., winning the Dodge Cup, before traveling to Princeton, N.J., to race Cornell in a neutral location.
Team captain David Walker ’12 said that the conditions were great at both locations, with a slight tailwind for each race.
In the first race of the day, Yale’s F 8+ finished the 2000m course at 6:15.9 — 6.8 seconds ahead of Penn and 16.1 seconds ahead of Columbia. The JV 8+ followed suit, finishing 6.5 seconds ahead of second-place Columbia with a time of 6:09.6.
The Bulldogs retained the Dodge Cup for the ninth straight year in the V 8+ race, when they managed to pull ahead of the field and counter attacks by the Lions to beat Columbia by 2.1 seconds. Yale finished in 5:57.3, compared to Columbia in 5:59.4 and Penn in 6:12.2.
However, the one disappointment of the weekend came in the 3V 8+ category. In the last race of the morning, a two-boat contest between Yale and Penn, the Quakers won 6:41.1 compared to the Elis’ 6:45.6.
Later in the day in Princeton, Yale’s 3V 8+ fell once again to Cornell 6:28.9 to 6:00.8.
“We wanted to win all eight races, of course, and we had the speed to win seven, but the 3V had a crab (a bad stroke where the oar blade slices into the water at an angle and gets caught under the surface) in the last 500 that diminished our lead over Penn and we were unable to recover,” Card said.
He added that it was important for the team to win the two varsity events of the day as that event is the first priority, but then the team wants to win sub-varsity events as well.
Yale’s F 8+ and JV 8+ won against Cornell by 2.3 and 3.2 seconds with times of 5:57.0 and 5:59.3 respectively.
In the last race of the day, the Bulldogs’ V 8+ got an early lead on Cornell and pulled away to win the varsity race 5:48.1 to 5:53.5.
Walker said that racing twice in one weekend is good practice for the Eastern Sprints and the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship, in which heat races take place in the morning and finals in the afternoon.
Fellow oarsman Tom Swartz ’13 agreed, adding that the team put together two complete races and showed improvement between the morning and afternoon competitions.
No. 2 Yale V 8+ is currently undefeated in the spring season, as are the JV 8+ and the F 8+.
“We have had a great season thus far,” Walker said. “The ultimate goal of the season, however, is to win a championship. We are continuing to improve and gain speed as we push for that goal.”
Next weekend, Yale will travel to Dartmouth to race against the Big Green for the Durand Cup. On April 28, the Bulldogs will race at home for the first and only time this season against Harvard and Princeton for the highly contested Goldthwait Cup.
The Eastern Sprints will take place from May 11-13 in Worcester, Mass., and the IRA National Championship will follow from May 31 to June 2 in Camden, N.J.