NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The outskirts of Sacramento have been home to the Yale heavyweight crew team this week as the Bulldogs prepare to race at the 111th IRA National Championships. The Bulldogs are racing a varsity eight, second varsity eight and a varsity four. Racing will take place from May 31 to June 2 on Lake Natoma in Folsom, Calif.
"The whole squad is extremely excited to be racing on Lake Natoma, which is a truly beautiful course," said captain Jon Morgan. "With the regatta being in California this year there are a lot of entries in each category, and everyone is looking forward to some solid racing over the next few days."
At the Eastern Sprints two weeks ago the Bulldogs had one of their best finishes in recent memory, with Yale's varsity eight taking fifth in the grand final. The second varsity eight finished second in the petite final for eighth place overall, and the third varsity eight finished third in the petite final for ninth place overall. The Bulldogs showed considerable speed in the varsity eight and will look to build on this at the IRA. The second varsity eight had two promising races at the Sprints and will look to carry that over as well, and the third varsity eight will take four rowers from its lineup to form a varsity four that will go up against more than 20 teams from across the country.
Racing will begin Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. PDT with the varsity eight heats, and the Bulldogs will get underway at 8:30 a.m. in the third of four heats. The Bulldogs are in lane four against Drexel (lane one), BU (lane two), Washington (lane three) and Dartmouth (lane four). With 23 teams entered in the varsity eight category, the top two crews in each heat with advance directly to the semifinals on Saturday, the rest will race in one of four repechages Friday afternoon where the top two go to the A/B semifinals.
Yale's next race is at 9:15 a.m. PDT with the second of four heats in the second varsity eight category. Here the Bulldogs will race in lane two against UCSD (lane one), Brown (lane three), Wisconsin (lane four) and Holy Cross (lane five). With 19 teams entered in the second varsity eight, the top two will advance to the semifinals, the rest to the reps.
The last race of the morning for Yale will be the varsity four heat at 11:00 a.m. PDT. Yale is back in lane four in the second of four heats, going up against Jacksonville (lane one), Northeastern (lane two), Cornell (lane three) and Drexel (lane five). 22 teams have a varsity four entered, so again the top two boats in each heat will go to the semifinals, the rest to the reps.
Friday afternoon's repechages will begin at 2:00 p.m. PDT with the varsity eights, followed by the second varsity eight reps at 3:00 p.m. and finally the varsity four reps at 3:36 p.m.
Semifinals will take place on Saturday in the late morning and early afternoon. Finals will take place Sunday morning, culminating in the varsity eight grand final at 12:20 p.m. PDT on Sunday.
Live streaming of the racing will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. PDT (10:30 a.m. EDT). The video link is available here.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity