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Yale Looks to Defend Classic Title

The Bulldogs won a year ago at the Classic
The Bulldogs won a year ago at the Classic

San Diego Racing Begins Saturday AM


. – The defending champions of the Copley Cup Invitational Men's Collegiate Eight are headed West to defend their title. The Yale Heavyweight Crew will be on Mission Bay this Saturday and Sunday looking to repeat a championship in the 44th San Diego Crew Classic.

The first racing for the Blue is the Copley Cup Heats, either at 11:24 or 11:32 AM ET on Saturday. All the racing can be seen on a youtube stream from the Crew Classic's website. The grand final is set for 1:24 PM ET on Sunday.

The Bulldogs, who opened the racing season by beating Brown last Saturday, go from a single opponent on the chilly waters of the Seekonk River at Providence last week to the California Coast for an event with schools like Cal-Berkeley and Stanford. Between those two racing venues, the Elis were able to practice out of the Gilder Boathouse on the Housatonic River in Derby, Conn., before flying out today.

A year ago in the San Diego Crew Classic, Yale's varsity was the only boat to complete the 2,000-meter course in less than six minutes, beating California by over six seconds and finishing with a time of 5:58.760. That was the first time Yale had won the Crew Classic.

The Eli second varsity, which went 6:09 and finished second to Cal in its 2016 final, is racing again this weekend and has Saturday heats about an hour after the first varsity.

There are numerous obstacles for Steve Gladstone and his gang to overcome – including travel and time change - if the Blue wants to fly back with the Copley Cup. Yale will borrow a pair of shells, probably an Empacher and a Pocock, and have a day to get accustomed to them. On the other hand, the California schools can drive their eight-person boats down to San Diego.

A Yale heavyweight program has never made multiple trips to the West Coast in the same season, which could change this year. The Bulldogs' Golden State rush could include the early June IRA National Championships in Sacramento County.

That would be an event for which the Elis would bring their own boats.



You may have noticed there are no times listed for racing this spring. Official start times will not be set until a few days before each scheduled race.   Typically, for home events, all races will start around 8 a.m.  When the weather changes, so will the start times. 


by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director –