Lightweights Begin Season on Saturday

Andrew Hakanson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Andrew Hakanson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – After a month of practice, the Yale lightweight crew begins its fall racing season on Saturday at the Head of the Housatonic, hosted by the New Haven Rowing Club. The regatta will give the Bulldogs an opportunity to gain some pre-season racing experience, as head coach Andy Card has entered most of his varsity oarsmen in two events. Yale will race four pairs, five coxed fours, four Collegiate Eights and one Open Eight.

While Saturday marks the first official race of the fall season for the Bulldogs, several current lightweight oarsmen and alums traveled in late July to China, where the Bulldogs competed against universities from around the world at the International Famous Universities Regatta in Beijing and the Chin Xinjin Jinke Real Estate Cup in Xinjin. Yale placed second in both regattas.

The Bulldogs return three oarsmen from last year's varsity eight, including captain Andrew Hakanson, one of nine seniors on the team. Leading the team with Hakanson this year are Erin Anderson, Michael Buttrick, Trey Chandler, Samuel Cooley, Drew Lawson, Andrew Pierce, Kalani Rosell and William Zeng.

In addition to a large senior class, Yale will also have a significant youth movement, with nine oarsmen and two coxswains joining the freshman squad, which will be led by second-year coach Colin Farrell. The freshman class brings with it a significant amount of success at the high school level, including victories at SRAA Nationals, the Stotesbury Cup and Canadian Henley.

Following the Head of the Housatonic, the Bulldogs will travel to Boston, Mass., the weekend of Oct. 23 for the Head of the Charles Regatta. There, the Y150, which has two entries in the Lightweight Four and one entry in the Lightweight Eight, will face stiff competition from colleges and elite club teams alike.  Yale will close its fall campaign on Oct. 31 at the Princeton 3-Mile Chase on Lake Carnegie in Princeton, N.J. The Chase should offer the Bulldogs something of a preview of their Spring schedule, as the race is typically attended by the majority of EARC lightweight programs.

Report by Trey Chandler '11, Yale Sports Publicity