PRINCETON, N.J. – The Yale lightweight crew team got off to a fast start Saturday against Navy in its season opener. With near perfect conditions on Lake Carnegie, in Princeton, N.J., the Bulldogs swept Navy and held onto the Johnson Cup for the third straight year. Captain William Ferraro was happy with the team's performance, but believes there is still a lot of work to be done.
"Today was our first opportunity to test our speed against a league opponent," said Ferraro. "All boats performed well and learned from their races. The team looks forward to the challenge of finding more boat speed in the upcoming weeks. I was particularly proud of the freshmen today. This was their first spring race as Yale oarsmen and they really rose to the occasion."
The first race of the day was the third varsity four. The Yale four squared off against three Navy fours: two third varsity fours and a fourth varsity four. Using a strong start, the Yale four moved ahead of the other crews. The Bulldogs continued to move throughout the race, finishing the race in 6:59.0. The Navy B finished second in 7:08.3, 9.3 seconds behind Yale. Navy A finished third in 7:10.9 and Navy C finished fourth in 7:22.4.
The next race of the day was the first freshmen eight. The freshmen race followed a similar pattern to the third varsity race. The freshmen went out hard and took the early lead. Establishing a strong rhythm, the freshmen continued to put distance between them and the Navy boat, winning the race by 11.6 seconds. Yale finished in a time of 6:14.5, while Navy finished in a time of 6:26.1.
The closest race of the day was the second varsity eight. The Yale boat took an early lead, but Navy battled back and the two eights were even at the halfway mark. Using a strong push in the second half, the Bulldogs were able to separate themselves from the Midshipmen and win the race in 6:06.2. Navy was 3.9 seconds back, finishing in 6:10.1.
The last race of the afternoon was the varsity eight. Similar to the previous races, Yale's strong start resulted in an early lead. Yale then established a fast tempo and continued to increase the margin between the two crews, winning the race by 13.9 seconds. Yale finished in 6:04.8, compared to Navy's time of 6:18.7. With the win, Yale retained the Johnson Cup for the third straight year.
The Bulldogs are back in action at home next weekend with a race against MIT and Georgetown on the Housatonic River, in Derby Conn.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity