October 19, 2006

Elis Open Campaign on the Charles

Oct. 19, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - This Sunday, the Yale men's lightweight crew team will start their new season with the biggest regatta of the fall: the Head of the Charles. In their first showing of this academic year, the Bulldogs will be defending their title as the fastest collegiate lightweight crew at the regatta. Competition begins at 10:40 am.

The Head of the Charles, in its 42nd year, will play host this weekend to hundreds of collegiate teams and rowing clubs from around the country. In the most fiercely contested regatta of the fall season, Yale will face competition from some of the strongest crews in collegiate lightweight rowing. Among them are Navy, Harvard and Cornell -- three teams which Yale beat last spring, but all of which finished ahead of the Elis at the National Championships.

Yale's three crews will be racing against the clock on Sunday as boats for each event start the course at staggered intervals. The Elis will row upstream along the three mile course which includes passing under five bridges.

"There are no bridges on our stretch of the Housatonic, which makes the Head of the Charles interesting," Head Coach Andy Card said. "For the younger coxswains and oarsmen going under their first bridge is a real rite of passage."

Sunday's regatta will also be a day of firsts for the lightweight crew team: it marks the first race for the class of 2010, and the first race under the leadership of captain Brendan Stallard.

"I think our senior class led by Brendan has got everyone thinking and going in the right direction," Card said. "The freshmen have blended in well, and the sophomores and juniors are also doing a good job of leading the team when called upon."

Yale's Youth 8+ will be the first on the water on Sunday at 10:40 am. They are followed by the Lightweight 4+ at 2:19 pm and the Lightweight 8+ at 2:44pm. Visit the Head of the Charles Website for more information on where to watch the event from and for live results.

Report filed by Jamie Cordes '07, Yale Sports Publicity