BOSTON – Kicking off the second day of racing for the heavyweights was the championship four, which took 11th place in a time of 16:45.513. The event was won by a crew from the USRowing training center in Oklahoma City, who finished in a time of 15:49.586. In second came Cal, followed by Stanford in third. The Bulldogs finished ahead of Penn and just half a second behind a Harvard crew. This year's champ four showed improvement over last year's standing, where the Bulldogs finished 13th in the same event.
Shortly after the champ four came down the course, the Yale championship eight rowed to a 14th-place finish in one of the fastest races the regatta has ever seen. Yale quickly walked through the Dutch crew from Skadi Rowing Club Rotterdam and would go on to finish behind Penn AC and in front of Princeton. The champ eight finished in a time of 14:30.155.
"Rowing up to the starting line, we knew we were poised for a great piece," said sophomore Grant Stegelmann. "The water was flat and boats in the events before ours were turning in fast times."
Sure enough, though Yale finished in 14th place they were only 3.54% back from the winning time. Moreover, 12 crews finished in the space of 30 seconds separating Yale from first place. Yale's time is also a 40-second improvement over last year, where the champ eight came in 12th place with a time of 15:10.270.
As predicted, the winner of the event was a collegiate crew as the University of Washington posted the winning time of 14:00.402. This is just a second and a half off of the course record of 13:58.99 set by a USRowing national team crew in 1997, and is a testament to how fast this year's race was.
Sunday's racing followed two medaling finishes for the Bulldogs on Saturday. Yale's club four posted the fastest time of all the collegiate boats in its event. Here the heavyweights finished fourth out of 59 with a time of 17:40.378 and made their way past six other crews.
"While passing, the bow-coxed fours proved difficult to maneuver because coxswains have a limited line of vision and can't always tell if a crew is moving on them," said freshman coxswain Kerry Takahashi. "While it was exciting to pass lots of crews during the race, it sometimes meant not being able to take the best course."
The club eight also rowed on Saturday, finishing fifth out of 42 crews with a time of 16:03.063. Yale had the third-fastest splits for most of the race, coming through Riverside Bridge in 3:39.055, Weld in 8:37.166 and Cambridge in 13:04.980. With Marin Rowing Association finishing in fourth place, Yale was the fourth fastest collegiate boat in the event.
Every Yale heavyweight rower and coxswain that raced this weekend was wearing special gear marked with the phrase "Pull for a Cure." Pull for a Cure is a joint effort by crew teams from Yale, Brown, Princeton, Holy Cross and Penn State to promote breast cancer awareness and to raise money for the American Cancer Society. So far the Yale heavyweight, lightweight and women's teams together have raised over $12,000 and hope to reach their goal of $20,000 before the end of the month. Learn more about this very noble cause here.
The Head of the Charles marks the end of the fall racing season for the heavyweights. Racing will resume in the spring on Apr. 2 against Brown.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity