NEW HAVEN, Conn. - In their final race of the season, the No. 4 ranked Yale lightweight crew team travels down to West Windsor N.J. to contest the IRA National Championship on Mercer Lake this weekend. Three crews are entered: the varsity eight, the varsity coxed four and, in a new event, the varsity coxless four. The top eight placing crews at the Eastern Sprints qualified for this event and, having placed fourth in the grand final at the Sprints, the Bulldogs qualified for the IRA National Championship and will be looking to improve upon this result. This event also marks the first time lightweight events will be contested over two days, with the fours racing on Saturday and the eight on Sunday.
The lightweight fours get the regatta underway for Yale on Saturday May 30.
The lightweight coxed four will race a heat in the morning at 8:48 a.m. They will face crews from Columbia, Cornell, Penn, Temple and Wisconsin. The first three crews will qualify for the grand final at 1:48 p.m. and the remainder will race in the petite final. Cornell and Columbia's second varsity eights finished ahead of Yale at the Eastern Sprints Championships earlier this season.
In the afternoon, at 1:24 p.m. the Yale lightweight coxless four will compete in a straight final in the inaugural event against crews from Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Navy, Penn, and Princeton.
On Sunday, May 31 the Yale varsity eight will compete.
The heat for the varsity eight event begins at 8:00 a.m. Yale will face No. 1 ranked Cornell, No. 5 Harvard and No. 8 Navy. The top three crews in each heat will advance to the final, which will be held at 12:12 p.m. The Bulldogs, after two weeks preparation, will be looking to improve upon their fourth-place finish at the Eastern Sprints Championships. Cornell will be looking to repeat as champions and complete a second straight undefeated season, while the Bulldogs will be looking to get back on the podium as they did in 2013, when they won silver, and 2012, when they won bronze.
Live stream of the racing can be found here.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity