Lightweights Prepare For Season Opener

Lightweights Prepare For Season Opener

DERBY, Conn. -- The Bulldogs kick off their 2013-14 season at home this Saturday, at the 19th Head of the Housatonic regatta. The lightweights will be looking to gain valuable racing experience and set themselves up for a successful fall campaign. The prospects for the 2013-14 season look bright; coming off an impressive spring racing season, the Y150 will look to carry this momentum through the fall, starting this weekend. 

The 2012-13 season was a successful one for the lightweights. For the second year in a row, the team captured the Jope Cup-- awarded to the most-dominant team in the EARC. At Sprints, the Yale first varsity finished second behind Harvard, while the first freshman eight continued Yale's supremacy in winning the Kilpatrick Cup, becoming Yale's third successive freshman crew to do so. In June, the first varsity finished second at the IRA National Championships.

Past results have been promising, and Y150 Alumni Head Coach of Lightweight Crew Andy Card will be further encouraged by the number of returning varsity rowers, in addition to the wealth of talent entering the varsity squad with the class of 2016. Returning from last year's first varsity are seniors Peter Bridgwater, Joseph Hanlon, Josh Mann, Matthew O'Donoghue, and Ilana Usiskin, in addition to junior Gregory Hawkins. The return of senior and 2011 national champion Brendan Harrington to the ranks will only add to the sense of anticipation.

Saturday will not only mark a return to action for the entire squad, but it will also include a ceremony gathering coaching staff, athletes, administrators and alumni in celebration of the recently successful campaign to endow the lightweight crew head coaching position. In August, it was announced that a group of former Eli rowers had raised $1.5 million for the campaign in just 10 months. The position's endowment coincides with Card's 25th season at the helm. 

The Head of the Housatonic will provide the team with useful racing insight as it gears up for its two major fall races: the Head of the Charles, on Oct. 20, and the Princeton Chase, on Oct. 27. Last year, Yale's top eight finished in 13:27, beating the top Yale heavyweight crew boat by 20 seconds. The lightweights will look to continue this strong record this weekend, in order to provide a solid foundation for the rest of the season. 

Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity