NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The national-champion Yale lightweights will depart Tuesday for Henley-on-Thames, England, to race in the Henley Royal Regatta from June 29-July 3. The Bulldogs earned their trip by winning the IRA national championship two weeks ago in Camden, N.J., edging then-undefeated and top-ranked Harvard by a mere .022 seconds and extending the careers of the four seniors in the varsity eight.
Yale has not sponsored a lightweight trip to Henley, a traditional destination for championship Yale crews, since 2005, the last time that the Bulldogs won the IRA title, although several fours comprised of Yale lightweights have chosen to make the trip on their own in the last six years. Henley offers a unique experience for the lightweights for several reasons, the most obvious being the traditional racing format. Rather than offering six-lane heats and finals, Henley features five-days of consecutive dual races, with one loss resulting in elimination. Additionally, Henley does not contain lightweight events, and Yale will face crews outweighing them by as much as 40 pounds per rower.
The eight will compete in the Temple Challenge, an event in which the Bulldogs have had considerable success during their last several trips to Henley. In 2000, Yale defeated Oxford Brookes University in the final, becoming the first lightweight crew to win the event, and, in 2005, the Bulldogs reached the final before falling to Trinity.
The Temple Challenge Cup, restricted to eights comprised entirely of students, features 64 entries this year, including crews from five different countries. The Yale lightweights are one of six American crews entered in the event and will be joined by heavyweight varsities from Florida Tech, Hobart and Virginia as well as heavyweight freshman crews from Cal and Harvard in representing the United States. With only 32 spots in the main draw for the Temple Challenge Cup, the majority of entered crews will be forced to qualify in a time trial held on Friday, June 24, while several crews, including Yale, have been "pre-qualified" by the regatta stewards, allowing them to bypass the qualifying round.
In addition to the lightweights, two other boats at Henley will have a predominantly Yale feel. A group of Yale lightweight alumni, rowing as Four Score and Four Rowing Club, will race in the Thames Challenge Cup for club eights and will look to improve upon its 2009 run to the quarterfinals. Additionally, the Oratory Cardinals Rowing Club entry in the Britannia Challenge Cup for club coxed fours contains four Yale alums.
C: Emma McBurney (Jr., London, United Kingdom); S: Andrew Hakanson (Sr., Newtown Square, Pa.); 7: Colin Corcoran (Sr., Lansdale, Pa.); 6: David Walker (Jr., Greenwich, Conn.); 5: Thomas Swartz (So., Chevy Chase, Md.); 4: William Zeng (Sr., Great Falls, Va.); 3: Greg Hausheer (Jr., Maitland, Fla.); 2: Brendan Harrington (So., Garden City, N.Y.); B: Trey Chandler (Sr., Burlington, N.C.)
Report Filed by Yale Sports Publicity