Three different Ivy League campuses witnessed three impressive performances from the Bulldog crews this weekend. The men’s heavyweight team produced an assured performance in upstate New York, the men’s lightweight earned an undefeated weekend in New Hampshire, and the women enjoyed a winning weekend at home in Connecticut.
The Yale heavyweight crew retained the Carnegie Cup for a fifth-straight year after the varsity eight triumphed over Princeton and Cornell at Ithaca. The Bulldogs won by 7.8 seconds — more than a boat length — over Princeton, which came in second place. The Tigers’ last weekend result against Harvard was significantly closer, losing to the Crimson by a tight two seconds. Cornell was 13.3 seconds adrift of Yale. The first eight now heads into the EARC Sprints undefeated and gunning for its fourth straight crown.
“It went really well,” head coach Steve Gladstone said. “The crew the last two weekends has raced right up to their capacity. The J’s raced a really good race [too].”
The Elis’ third eight also gave a strong performance, beating Princeton by four seconds and Cornell by 19. The second and fourth eights lost their undefeated records over the weekend, both falling to Princeton. The second eight lost by four seconds, thanks to an explosive start from the Tigers. The fourths lost by 13.2 seconds. The fifth eight also lost to Princeton by 12.5 seconds.
The Carnegie Cup marks the end of the spring dual racing season for the Bulldogs. The team now has three weeks to train and prepare for the EARC Sprints. The Sprints take place on Sunday, May 13 in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“Those are the races that will define our season,” Gladstone said. “We’ll step back and go to more base training into four and pairs. You have to go down to go back up.”
As of April 18, the Bulldogs are ranked fifth in the country.
The lightweight crew travelled up to Hanover to race for the Durand Cup, looking to bounce back from a disappointing weekend against Columbia and Penn. The Bulldogs returned to New Haven with the trophy in hand after sweeping the Dartmouth boats.
The day started with third and fourth eights racing against the Big Green’s third boat. The third eights came in with a time of 5:44.96, followed by the fourth eights with a time of 5:50.35. Dartmouth crossed the line with a time of 6:00.23. The second eight beat Dartmouth convincingly, winning by 7.03 seconds. The first eights capped a flawless weekend and won the cup by beating the Big Green by more than 12 seconds.
“It was a good road trip for us,” head coach Andy Card said. “We are getting closer to where we want to be with all the details large and small when you go on the road. Dartmouth graciously allowed us to race our fourth boat in the 3V race, and that was a great experience for our guys to race up. We’re not where we want to be, there’s much to do, and this weekend was a step forward.”
The Bulldogs host their only home meet of the season next weekend against Harvard and Princeton on the Housatonic.
The upcoming Goldthwait/Vogel Cup marks the crew’s final race before the EARC Sprints on May 13.
“This coming Saturday is our only home race of the season, and I know the guys are looking forward to more racing on our own course,” Card said. “It’s almost like an away race, as we’re only racing once on every course this year. As the last regular season race, it’s our final chance to get things dialed in for the Sprints. This team loves to compete, and Saturday is another chance to see where we stand.”
Racing starts at 10:00 a.m. on April 28.
The Elis swept aside Radcliffe and Northeastern to win the Nathaniel Case Cup for a seventh straight year. Racing on its home course on the Housatonic, Yale put on an impressive display for its fans in the only home regatta of the season.
The first varsity eight cruised to a convincing victory. The Elis crossed the finish line 5.6 seconds ahead of Radcliffe in second and 6.8 seconds in front of Northeastern. The second eight matched their victory. A fast start helped them gain early separation from the opposition and that margin stood up. The Bulldogs finished 8.6 seconds in front of Radcliffe and 9.3 seconds ahead of Northeastern.
In the varsity four race, the Elis again sped ahead of the competition. They finished more than five seconds ahead of Radcliffe and 14 seconds in front of Northeastern. The second varsity four and the third eight also had comfortable races.
“The Radcliffe race is a priority for us,” head coach Will Porter said. “We focus on it and want to do well. I liked the way we attacked the race course right from the drop of the flag. Winning is the focus of every athlete on this team. Every boat wanted to win every race.”
The Bulldogs now turn their attention to Tuesday May 1 and a date with Brown in Providence.
Bill Gallagher | firstname.lastname@example.org