Lightweights Ready to Begin Spring Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale lightweight crew begins its spring racing season on Saturday with a scrimmage against Trinity's heavyweights on Yale's home course on the Housatonic River. The matchup, which will consist of several pieces rather than a single 2,000-meter race, follows several months of indoor training and a two-week spring-break training session on the Housatonic. The Y150 will follow Saturday's Trinity scrimmage with six races over the next five weekends against league opponents before beginning its championship season on May 15 at the Eastern Sprints. Captain Andrew Hakanson pointed to a successful winter and a strong schedule as an indicator of potential success this season.

"After a lot of work over the winter, Y150 is excited and optimistic for the upcoming racing season. We have a strong squad this year with high expectations," said Hakanson. "All indications point towards a fast and competitive field where close racing is commonplace. Having fierce opponents is what makes lightweight rowing so fun. I know our team will rise to the occasion each weekend and race it up."

Following its race with the Bantams this weekend, Yale will begin its official regular season, competing against Navy for the Johnson Cup, held on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J. Last year, Yale fell to the Midshipmen in the Johnson Cup before defeating them at the Eastern Sprints on the way to a bronze medal. Navy regained the upper hand at IRA's, however, finishing second to Yale's fourth.

After the Johnson Cup, Yale begins a three-week home stand with a race against MIT and Georgetown, competing with MIT for the Joy Cup. Last year, the Bulldogs swept all five races against MIT and Georgetown in challenging conditions on the Charles River.

Next, Yale faces Penn and Columbia. The varsity eight will look to protect the Dodge Cup, which the Bulldogs have held continuously since 2003 and have won 29 of the last 31 years.

On Apr. 23, the Bulldogs will host two races on the Housatonic. In the morning, Yale will race league foe Cornell, which it defeated last season in Ithaca, N.Y., as well as Delaware, a non-league member that went 3-4 against EARC opponents last spring. That afternoon, Yale will face Dartmouth for the Durand Cup. Yale won races in three out of four boat classes against the Big Green last year, but the marquee event, the varsity eight, ended in an unusual dead heat, with both crews crossing the line in 5:31.6.

Yale concludes its regular season with the traditional Harvard-Yale-Princeton regatta, where the Bulldogs will compete for the Goldthwait Cup in the varsity eight and the Vogel Cup for overall team supremacy. Facing the top two finishers from last year's Eastern Sprints, Yale will be searching for its first Goldthwait Cup victory since 2006.

After a week off, all Yale crews will begin the championship season with the Eastern Sprints in Worcester, Mass., where the Bulldogs will compete for the EARC title. Three Yale crews medaled at Sprints last year, with the second varsity eight taking silver while the varsity eight and the varsity eight and second freshman eight took bronze.

Yale's varsity eight will conclude the season with the IRA National Championship in Camden, N.J. if they qualify at the Eastern Sprints.

Report Filed by Trey Chandler '11, Yale Sports Publicity