DERBY, Conn. – The Yale heavyweight crew team kicked off the spring racing season Saturday with some long sought-after results. Yale won all three races, including the all-important varsity eight event that has eluded the Bulldogs in recent years.
Yale's freshman eight was the first to take to the water, lining up in the stake boats down on the stagger in lane one. Both the Yale and Brown first freshman eights left the Brown second freshman eight behind in the first 500 meters, and the Bulldogs began to pull past the first Brown boat leading up to the 1000-meter mark. With a sprint to the finish line, Yale finished an even three seconds ahead of the next Brown crew.
Yale 1F 6:21.6
Brown 1F 6:24.6
Brown 2F 7:04.4
In the three-boat JV race the Yale second varsity started in the middle of the pack in lane two. Yale held on to the lead that they had at the start on the Brown second varsity in lane one coming around the turn despite a strong push from the Bears. The Bulldogs held on to win by a margin of about five seats.
Second Varsity Eight
Yale 2V 6:26.7
Brown 2V 6:27.9
Brown 3V 6:44.1
The varsity eight event got off later than expected because of breakage in the Brown boat. Conditions on the river began to deteriorate by the time the race went off, so the times in the varsity race were the slowest of the day. Both crews battled tough conditions in the first thousand meters, but Yale began to chip away at Brown's lead from the stagger as they came around the turn in lane one. Closing in on the last 500 meters the Bulldogs had pulled it just about even, and a solid sprint delivered more seats to put the Yale stern even with Brown's bow. In the end the Bulldogs ran the course about two seconds faster than the Bears.
Two years ago the Yale varsity eight lost to Brown at home by just 1.8 seconds, and last year the Bulldogs closed this margin up to 0.43 seconds. This year, however, the race went to the Bulldogs and by a margin 1.9 seconds.
Archived video from Saturday's live stream can be accessed here. Select 'On Demand' in the top right of the screen and select 'Watch' next to where it says 'Yale Men's Rowing vs Brown.'
The Bulldogs have next weekend off but will race against Dartmouth at home on the following Saturday, Apr. 7, for the Olympic Axe.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity