Henley-on-Thames, U.K. – The Yale lightweight varsity eight's trip to Henley Royal Regatta began successfully today, with the Bulldogs defeating St. Hild and St. Bede College, Durham by 1.25 lengths. St. Hild and St. Bede earned a spot in the regatta's main draw in the Temple Challenge Cup by making it through the qualifying round on Friday.
In the morning's seventh race of the day, the national-champion Yale crew gained an early lead over its English opponents, establishing an open-water lead by the Barrier, reaching that marker in a time of 1:52. The Bulldogs then maintained their margin, reaching Fawley in 3:10 and finishing in a time of 6:42. Tomorrow at 10:30 GMT (5:30 p.m. EDT), Yale will face Florida Tech, who defeated the Cambridge lightweights by a margin of 1.25 lengths in the first round. Florida Tech, a heavyweight crew, concluded their season with a second-place finish at the Dad Vail Regatta after a third consecutive win at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships.
Yale's lineup consists of Emma McBurney, (cox), Andrew Hakanson (stroke), Colin Corcoran (seven), David Walker (six), Thomas Swartz (five), William Zeng (four), Greg Hausheer (three), Brendan Harrington (two), and Trey Chandler (bow).
While Wednesday's race marked the start of the trip's racing for the varsity, the Y150 spare pair of Chad Bailey and Michael Buttrick had already notched several victories already, winning the Reading Town Regatta on Saturday and the Henley spare pairs race on Tuesday, both by margins of "easily."
In addition to the lightweights, several Yale alumni are competing at Henley. Alex Mastroyannis and Dan Klassen, recently graduated seniors on the heavyweight team, raced alongside former Yale coxswain Ian Schmertzler '10 and former Yale lightweight Phil Lang '09 in the Britannia Challenge Cup this afternoon, rowing as the Oratory Cardinals Rowing Club. OCRC made it through the qualifiers on Friday but saw bad luck in the draw, facing top-seeded Banks Rowing Club of Australia in the first round and falling by two lengths. A group of seven former Yale lightweights and one former Yale heavyweight, rowing as Four Score & Four Rowing Club, advanced this afternoon in the Thames Challenge Cup, defeating Thames Rowing Club 'C' by 1.75 lengths. Four Score will race Combined Services Rowing Club at 5:30 p.m. GMT (12:30 p.m. EDT).
Two former Yale rowers will be competing for the American national team as well. Former heavyweight Charlie Cole '07 is the 3-seat of the American coxless four, entered as Chula Vista Training Center in the Stewards' Challenge Cup. Cole will open the regatta against the Chinese 'A' entry on Friday. Former women's rowers Taylor Ritzel '10 and Jamie Redman '08 are both racing for USA in the Remenham Challenge Cup. The American eight, rowing at Princeton Training Center, will race Princeton University in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Full results and the regatta draw can be found here.
Regatta Radio is providing audio coverage of the Henley Royal Regatta. Audio coverage of the regatta can be found here.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity