Yale Athletics

This past weekend, the Yale heavyweight crew team took on Brown, Harvard, Northeastern, Washington and Stanford at the IRA Sarasota Invitational. At the inaugural installation of this regatta last year, Yale competed against only Brown and Washington and came out on top in the first and fourth varsity races. This year, with three more competitors in the water, the top two Eli boats claimed third place finishes, with the third varsity in fourth and the fourth varsity in a close second. 

“Competing against five top programs in the country on a world-class racecourse was an ideal way to kick off the spring season,” said head coach Mike Gennaro. “It was a great experience for our oarsmen.”

Though these results are not consistent with the heavyweights’ customary across-the-board sweep, performance improvements between Friday heats and Saturday finals indicate that the Bulldogs were still shaking off the rust from a long winter. Though the second, third and fourth varsities lost to Brown in a headwind on Friday, Saturday’s tailwind carried the fourth varsity ahead of Brown’s boat and lessened the margins in the second and third varsity races.

In the weekend’s greatest triumph, the Bulldogs walked away with the Albert Cup trophy against Brown, which has been firmly housed in Gilder Boathouse since its inception in 2014.

“Winning cups and races [is] always a challenge, so that was a great start to the weekend,” said captain Harry Keenan ’24. “Brown are always strong, and they tested us all the way down the course.”

The Eli oarsmen will take this weekend off of racing before facing Dartmouth on the Housatonic on April 13 for their first and only home race of the season.

The winner will take home the Olympic Axe, which has also resided in Gilder Boathouse since its creation in 2004.

Harry Geffen ’25, who rowed in seven seat in Yale’s varsity last weekend, said that the team’s experience in Sarasota “helped us identify positives to take away and areas that we can work on moving forwards.”

Last year, Yale’s heavyweight crew team won four of five races in their dual against Dartmouth.