Elis Head to Worcester

Elis Head to Worcester

May 11, 2007

- The Yale men's lightweight crew team is making final preparations for one of the biggest races of the year. On Sunday morning they will begin competition on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass for one of the most coveted accolades in collegiate rowing: an Eastern Sprints title.

The Sprints format sees all Ivy League teams and the five other EARC teams facing off in heats in the morning with the top three teams in each heat qualifying for the Grand Final. The Bulldogs will be sending five boats to compete at Worcester in a style of racing that is slightly different from that of the dual regatta season.

"There is no secret to the approach," Head Coach Andy Card said. "Go fast enough to qualify for the Grand Final and then go as fast as you can in the Final.They don't call it the Sprints for nothing: it's a mad sprint for the finish line, and you can't really pay attention to any particular crew but your own."

Of the twelve other schools sending boats to Worcester, the Yale varsity eight has faced nine of them in the dual regatta season. Their record against those nine crews is 5-4, which includes a 2-3 record against Ivy opponents. That record places Yale's varsity eight in the seventh seed going into Sprints. Ahead of them in the seedings in their heat, the second of two varsity eight heats, Yale will face Dartmouth, Cornell and Navy, three crews who defeated the Bulldogs in the dual race season. A top three finish would be good enough to qualify for the grand final.

While Card's varsity eight has seen mixed results this season, some of his other boats have been more successful, attesting to the depth of the Yale squad. In their last weekend of dual regatta action a fortnight ago, the four boats aside from the varsity eight combined to go 7-1 in races against Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth and Rutgers. This late dominance has been reflected in the seedings for Eastern Sprints. The first freshman eight is seeded first while the junior varsity eight is seeded second. This depth could help the Elis secure one of the pieces of silverware on offer at Sprints. The Jope Cup is awarded to the team with the highest points total between the 1V, 2V and 1F boats. Two weekends ago against Harvard and Princeton,

Due to fewer entries, Yale's final two boats will forgo heats and race only Grand Finals. Yale's third varsity eight is seeded third out of the five competing crews, while its second freshman eight is seeded second behind the Midshipmen of Navy.

Yale's 1F will be the first boat to race on Lake Quinsigamond Sunday morning, with their heat scheduled for 9:15 am. For more information on the Eastern Sprints including a race schedule, directions to Regatta Point and a local weather forecast, visit the row2k EARC website.

Report filed by Jamie Cordes '07, Yale Sports Publicity.