March 21, 2013

Lightweights Prepared to Begin Spring Racing Season

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale lightweight crew team kicks off its spring racing season on Saturday, Mar. 30, with its annual race against Navy, for the Johnson Cup. This race starts a two-month stretch where the Bulldogs will be competing nearly every weekend, culminating with the Eastern Sprints and the IRA National Championship.

The Bulldogs will look to build on the lessons they learned from the fall racing season, when they raced in the Head of the Housatonic, the Head of the Charles and the Princeton Chase. At the Head of the Housatonic, the varsity eight finished first, while two Yale fours finished in second and fourth places. At the Head of the Charles, the varsity eight improved on last year's finish with a fourth-place showing. Additionally, two fours finished second and third, which were the top two collegiate fours in the event. Finally, Yale ended its season at the Princeton Chase, where the varsity placed second.

Yale used these fall races to expose any faults and improve its weaknesses. Thus, since the end of racing, the Y150 has been hard at work. Yale used the flat November water on the Housatonic to set the team up for a strong indoor period. As the weather became too cold, the Bulldogs moved indoors, where they spent a lot of time working out in Tank A in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Now, as the weather warms up again, Yale has moved back outdoors and is in the midst of a very productive spring break training period. They capitalized on the good water, continuing to make advances over spring break.

"Winter training went well," said captain William Ferraro. "The sophomore and freshmen classes stepped up, following the strong examples set by the upperclassmen. After a lot of work over the winter and a beneficial spring break training camp, we are all excited for the season and are looking forward to testing our speed against our opponents. Results from the fall indicate that the field will be fast and competitive this year and that racing will be very close. I know the Y150 will embrace the upcoming challenges and be ready to race every weekend."

Yale will begin its regular season this Saturday, Mar. 30, competing against Navy for the Johnson Cup, help on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J. Last year, the Bulldogs swept Navy by winning all four events, including the varsity eight to capture the Johnson Cup. The Cup has been around for nine years, with Yale having a five to four advantage.

After the Johnson Cup, the Bulldogs race at home against MIT and Georgetown on Apr. 6, on the Housatonic. They are competing against MIT for the Joy Cup. Last year, Yale swept all four races.

Next, Yale will travel to Philadelphia and then Ithaca, N.Y. for a two-race weekend. On Apr. 13, the Bulldogs will compete against Penn and Columbia for the Dodge Cup. Yale has held onto the Dodge Cup since 2003 and has won in 31 of the last 33 years. After those races, the Bulldogs travel to Ithaca, N.Y. on Apr 14 to race against Cornell, whom they defeated last year.

The following weekend, Yale races against Dartmouth for the Durand Cup. Yale will be looking to avenge last year's loss and recapture the Durand Cup.

Yale then concludes its regular season with the Harvard-Yale-Princeton regatta on Apr. 27. The race will be held in Princeton, N.J., on Lake Carnegie. The Bulldogs will be looking to claim the Goldthwait Cup in the varsity eight and the Vogel Cup for overall team standings. Yale will be looking to improve on last year's third-place finish.

After two weekends off, the Bulldogs will commence the championship season with the Eastern Sprints in Worcester, Mass. Last year, Yale capped undefeated seasons in the junior varsity and first freshmen boats with victories at this race. These wins propelled Yale to win the Jope Cup for overall lightweight team supremacy, its first win since 2002. In addition, the varsity crew just missed medaling, finishing fourth.

The Y150 then concludes its season at the IRA National Championship in Sacramento, Calif., where they will be looking to improve on their bronze medal from last season.

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity

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