Heavyweights Ready for IRA National Championships

The Freshman Eight. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Freshman Eight. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale's heavyweight crews will back into the stake boats one last time at the 2012 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships this weekend.  The 110th IRA Regatta will be held on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., starting the morning of Thursday, May 31 and concluding the morning of Saturday, June 2.

The Bulldogs qualified for the IRA with a great performance from the varsity eight in the petite final at the Eastern Sprints less than three weeks ago.  Finishing eighth overall, Yale posted the fourth-fastest time across all three finals that were run back to back, with less than two seconds separating Wisconsin's third-place time from the grand final with Dartmouth's 12th-place time from the petite final.  Just last Saturday the Bulldogs raced against Harvard in the 147th Yale-Harvard Regatta, where the varsity eight finished less than ten seconds behind Harvard over four miles.  This weekend the Bulldogs will have another chance to race against the Crimson, several of the top finishers they saw at the Eastern Sprints and some of the best teams on the West coast before the 2011-2012 season comes to a close.

The Yale varsity eight will kick things off Thursday morning, racing in the first of three heats at 8:00 a.m.  The Bulldogs will race in Lane 5 against Brown, Gonzaga, Penn, Syracuse and Wisconsin.  If the Bulldogs can finish in the top two spots they will proceed straight to Friday's semifinal; if not, they will compete in one of the afternoon's repechage races at 2:00 or 2:15 p.m. where they must place in the top three to advance.

Yale's second varsity eight races next at 9:15 a.m.  Here it is again two boats to the semifinal as Yale in Lane 1 takes on Brown, Navy, Stanford and Washington.  The 2V repechages will be held at 2:30 and 2:45 p.m., where the top three will advance to Friday's semifinal.

Rounding out the morning will be the Yale freshman eight in the second of three heats at 9:45 a.m.  Racing in Lane 1 the Bulldogs will row against Brown, George Washington, Princeton, Syracuse and Washington.  Two will advance to the semifinals; the rest will race in the repechages at 3:00 or 3:15 p.m. where the top three in each go to the semifinals.

A live stream of all three days of racing can be found here.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity