WORCESTER, Mass. -- It was a great day for the Yale crew on Lake Quinsigamond, Saturday with the third varsity eight claiming Gold, the second varsity Silver, while the first varsity placed 6th.
With turbulent conditions for the 2017 EARC Sprints Regatta, the Yale crew sought to build off their performances achieved during the regular season. In each event, the Yale crews contested a heat followed by a final.
The highlight of the day came from Yale's third varsity oarsmen when the 3V turned a shaky start to the day into a stellar gold medal. Having placed third in the heat, the Yale third varsity, racing out of lane six, took the start with tenacity. Establishing a half-length lead, they fended off challenges from Harvard and Princeton. In the closing stages of the race, a final effort from Princeton propelled them through the Crimson, but the Bulldogs held onto their lead. Yale won in a time of 5:49.5, two seconds over second place Harvard 5:51.3
Y150 Alumni Head Coach of Lightweight Rowing Andy Card was delighted with the way his third varsity countered their morning performance: "It was very impressive that the 3V turned things around the way they did. It was a tall task to overcome a performance like their heat and they got it done. I'm proud of them for that and they should be too."
The Yale 2V had a smoother time in their heat than both their first and third varsity counterparts. Yale comfortably won their heat in a time of 5:44.9, 5 seconds ahead of second place Princeton. Racing out of lane 1 for the final, the Bulldogs expected a strong challenge from the Harvard Crimson crew. Harvard had narrowly bested the Bulldogs just two weeks earlier at the annual Goldthwait, Vogel Cups Regatta. Today was to be no different, however, and Harvard strode out to a half-length lead over Yale. The Yale second varsity continued to push Harvard but eventually placed second, taking silver in a time of 5:48.4, behind Harvard 5:46.5.
Coach Card was similarly impressed with his second varsity: "The two fought a hard race. That's an honorable silver medal they picked up today. Coach Del-Guercio and I are proud of them for racing hard."
Yale's first varsity eight got their day underway in exciting fashion. In the heat, Yale was locked in battle with Harvard with a length lead over Columbia when disaster struck and a Yale oarsman caught a crab. Fortunately, the crew was able to recover quickly and, although Yale gave up second to Columbia, the Bulldogs advanced to the Grand Final. In the Grand Final, Yale went with the leaders for much of the race. However, in the closing thousand, the Bulldogs were unable to check the challenges of the neighboring crews. Yale finished sixth in the grand final. Cornell won the Wright Cup with an impressive performance over the Harvard Crimson. Harvard picks up the Jope Cup for overall team points.
On his closing comments of the Regatta, Andy Card remarked "I'm proud of every guy on this team, they race well and raced hard. The guys in the lower boats were fantastic and in the varsity, we've got a bit of work to do. The fundamentals are sound but the spirit has never been higher. Congrats to Cornell on their win, they are the golden crew right now. We were tied for the Jope Cup going into the last event with Harvard, but hey, at least the Heavies got the Rowe Cup."
Yale's 4V raced a straight final, finishing 5th in a time of 6:04.5.
Racing alongside the Yale lightweights, the heavyweights had an excellent day. The first varsity eight won gold for the third consecutive year, while the heavyweight 2 and 3 Vs took silver, helping the team win their first Rowe Cup since 1979.
For much of the Yale crew, the EARC Sprints marks the end of the season. Ahead lies a summer of training to prepare for the 2017-18 season. However, for some, there are three weeks to work towards the IRA National Championship Regatta.
Full results can be found here
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity