NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale lightweight crew closes its season Sunday with the 112th IRA National Championship Regatta. The No. 2 Bulldogs enter the race after a second place finish at the Eastern Sprints two weeks ago, where they fell to Cornell by under a second. With momentum building, the Elis look to recapture the national title for the first time since 2011. The regatta will take place on Mercer Lake, in West Windsor, N.J., from May 30-June 1, with lightweight races confined to its final day.
Yale is entering two boats at the IRA: a first varsity eight and a lightweight four.
Racing begins Sunday with the first varsity eight. Entering as the No. 2 seed, the Bulldogs face Dartmouth, MIT, and Princeton in the second heat, at 8:10 a.m. The top three finishers qualify for the afternoon's grand final.
Just ten minutes later, the lightweight four will race in the first of two heats. The Elis face a heat of five other entries: Columbia, Drexel, Georgetown, MIT, and Wisconsin, at 8:20 a.m. As with the eight, the top three crews in each heat qualify for the grand final.
After a short turnaround, the four will contest either the petite or grand final, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. and 10:10 a.m., respectively. After last year's fifth place finish in the event, the crew will be looking to improve in order to demonstrate the program's depth against both league and non-league opposition.
The first varsity eight then concludes its season, in the grand final at 12:20 p.m. In what promises to be one of the regatta's tightest fixtures, the Elis will be looking to topple an undefeated Cornell crew, fresh off its victory at the Eastern Sprints. With the top four crews at the Eastern Sprints separated by just 2.4 seconds, the race is wide open.
A live stream will be available for the regatta, and more information can be found here.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity