DERBY, Conn.— Yale lightweight crew bounced back from last weekend's defeat with a sweep of Dartmouth and MIT Saturday. In the day's early racing, the Bulldogs earned victory in the first, second and third varsity eights to win their second successive Durand Cup against the Big Green; later that afternoon, the Engineers fell to strong performances across the Yale ranks in the Joy Cup. All crews enjoyed good weather, close racing and fast conditions, as the Bulldogs made a strong statement in their final home races of the season.
Racing in the Durand Cup got underway early Saturday with the third varsity eight. Settling into a strong base rhythm, the Bulldogs were able to jump out to a strong lead and maintain their speed through the middle of the race. The Elis continued to push away in the latter stages, winning comfortably in 6:06.60. Dartmouth crossed the line almost 11 seconds back in 6:17.11.
Next, the Yale first freshmen and second varsity eights squared off against the Dartmouth second varsity. The Yale second varsity used a strong start to jump out on the pack and continued to move away as the race unfolded. The first freshmen were left to fend off challenges from a spirited Dartmouth crew; the Elis held their nerve, crossing the line five seconds ahead of the Dartmouth 2V, in 5:42.20. The Yale second varsity won the race in 5:36.04.
The last race of the Durand Cup was the first varsity eight. The Bulldogs moved out on Dartmouth in the first 500m and maintained fast boat speed in the middle thousand. The Big Green hung tough, but were unable to move back into the Elis, who continued to move— winning a fast race in 5:31.16. The win earns Yale back-to-back Durand Cup victories for the first time since 2009.
A few hours later, the crews took to the water again, this time against MIT. Against different opponents, the storyline was much the same: with all crews posting similar margins to their morning races.
In the third varsity eight, Yale beat its earlier time, completing the course in 6:03.41— eight seconds ahead of MIT.
Next, the first freshmen and second varsity eights were again in the same race; the Yale 2V won in 5:40.51, followed by the Yale 1F in 5:46.84, who finished ten seconds ahead of the MIT 2V.
In the final race of the day, the Yale 1V posted an almost identical time to its morning race, winning in 5:31.31. The Engineers, having also raced earlier in the day, used a strong start to maintain contact with the Bulldogs in the early going. Yale used a strong base rhythm to push away, crossing the line exactly seven seconds ahead of MIT.
The Bulldogs will be looking to build off these performances next weekend, in their final regular season race against Harvard and Princeton in Boston, Mass.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity