April 17, 2009

Bulldogs Prepare For Big Weekend

April 17, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The No. 3 Yale lightweight crew team is preparing for a big day of races this Saturday, at the Gilder Boathouse. The Bulldogs will host No. 7 Dartmouth for the Durand Cup race in the morning, then host No. 6 Cornell for a dual race in the afternoon. After a solid win of the Dodge Cup last weekend, against No. 10 Columbia and No. 8 Penn, the lightweights are hoping to continue their winning ways.

Last year, the Bulldogs reclaimed the Durand Cup after having lost it in 2006 and 2007. Before those losses the Elis had built up an 11-year winning streak in the Durand Cup. They will look to start a new winning streak by stringing two victories together with a win on Saturday. At last year's race, the lightweights swept all four races, including a victory in the varsity eight race by a margin of 4.5 seconds.

Following the early morning race for the Durand Cup, at 4 p.m. Yale will host Cornell for a dual race. In the last couple of years, among lightweight crews, Cornell has been the team to beat. The Big Red have been national champions for the past three years running. Of the combined six Eastern Sprints and IRA Regatta races in those three years--races which serve as de facto national championships--Cornell has won five of them. As such, in those past three years, Cornell has been the sole United States representative at the Henley Royal Regatta in England.

In recent years, since both Yale and Cornell have performed at a high level, their races have been fiercely competitive. At last year's race, the Bulldogs bested Cornell in four of five races, including a win in the first varsity race by a wide margin of 6.2 seconds. However, the Elis were unable to repeat their success against Cornell later in the season, as the first varsity boat fell to the Big Red both in the Eastern Sprints and the IRA National Championship.

Cornell is coming off a loss in the Platt Cup against No. 1 Princeton by a very wide margin of 14.2 seconds. Given that Cornell, Princeton and Yale were among the top performers at last year's IRA Championship and Eastern Sprints, this result represents an interesting shuffling of the top crews in the nation. Yale will look to take advantage of this momentum and bring home a win on Saturday.

Schedule of Events

Durand Cup
7:00 a.m. -- Coxswain's Meeting
8:30 a.m. -- Third Varsity 4+s
9:00 a.m. -- Second Freshman
9:30 a.m. -- First Freshman
10:00 a.m. -- Second Varsity
10:30 a.m. -- First Varsity

Cornell Race
4:00 p.m. -- Race Begins

Report By Arsi Sefaj '11, Yale Sports Publicity