DERBY, Conn.- The Yale heavyweights defeated both Penn and Columbia this morning to win the Blackwell Cup for the fifth year in a row. The cup is awarded to the winner of the first varsity competition, a title Yale's first boat claimed earlier today by about five and a half seconds. The Elis rowing in the third varsity also finished first in their race, leaving the second varsity as the only Yale boat that did not cross the finish line first this morning. This makes the Bulldogs' varsity undefeated in the spring racing season, and both the second and third varsities 2-1.
The day started strongly for the home team, as the varsities were the first boats to take to the course. The Bulldogs were able to get level with the field after a strong starting sequence, coming from behind, as the course on the Housatonic requires a staggered start. The varsity then began to slowly move away from the field for the rest of the race. At the halfway point the crew took its largest move and set itself up for a solid, controlled finish to the contest. They finished with a time of 5:23.7, with Columbia coming in about five and half seconds later.
"It was a race of two halves," recounted sophomore Adam Smith, who sat bow-seat in the varsity. "Penn came out hard and challenged us for the first 1,000 but full credit to the boys for holding it together and executing a quality last 1,000 when we were out front alone. There are some things to work on, so we'll have a few fine tunings and touch-ups over this week before we strap on the feeding bag and hit the road to Princeton [next weekend]."
The second varsities were next. This second race of the morning provided the closest margins on the day. Penn was able to edge out Columbia by about a second, with Yale coming in third by another second and half behind the Lions. The Bulldogs finished in 5:32.8.
The third varsity race was the last of the morning for the Bulldogs and ended favorably for the hosting team. The third varsity finished comfortably in front of the other two boats with a time of 5:37.9.
Penn and Columbia competed to close the day in a head-to-head duel between fourth varsities. The Quakers finished about three seconds ahead of Columbia in the final race of the morning.
The Bulldogs will travel to Princeton, N.J., next weekend to compete against Princeton and Cornell for the Carnegie Cup. The race will be on Apr. 26th and will be the crew's last race before the championship season begins.
Report filed by Ari Zimmet '16, Yale Sports Publicity.