Three Crews Competing In Historic Regatta
Three Yale crews are racing this weekend at one of the most historic venues in the world. The Bulldogs have entries in the elite eight, senior eight and senior four at the Henley Women's Regatta on the Thames River in Henley, England. Racing starts on Friday and concludes with the championships on Sunday.
"Racing at Henley is a great opportunity for our athletes to travel abroad and see our sport in a different light outside the hyper focused U.S. collegiate system," said Yale head coach Will Porter. "The course at Henley is a bit like Fenway Park, full of history, where many of the greats in our sport have raced. The Thames is the birth place of rowing as we know it. The town of Henley embraces the regattas and it is truly a festival of rowing. We are fortunate enough that our alumnae and parents are able and willing to send our team."
The trip to Henley is an opportunity for most of the Bulldogs to get a jump start on the 2014-15 season.
"There are only four [graduated] seniors on this trip, which means the rest of the group will be able to row and race and learn more this year," Porter said. "It has been a tough year for us, missing the NCAAs for the first time in 14 years even though our varsity eight went 9-2 and our lower boats were both second at [the Ivy League Championships]. It was a blow for this group. This trip allows us to come together and re-group and start working at getting better for next year and beyond. Every chance we get to race, we get better. Our sport is about racing – the more you do the more you learn, win or lose."
Yale's varsity eight will compete for the Sports Council Cup in the elite eight. The Bulldogs face a crew from Oxford University that is coached by former Yale rower and head coach Chris Wilson '83. Porter was an assistant under Wilson before taking over as head coach.
"Oxford is having a great season, winning The Boat Race against Cambridge by four lengths," Porter said. "They are very good and are able to boat post graduates who are pursuing their master's degrees and other graduate work such as Harvard graduate and former 1V rower Laura Savarese."
The G P Jeffries Memorial Trophy is the prize for the winner of the senior eight, which features Yale's second varsity. The crew for the Bulldogs is: Kendall Chapin, Casey Wizner, Olivia Maclean, Emily Patton, Abby Loucks, Kara Freeman, Martha Cosgrove and Lydia Keating. The coxswain is Laura Grimbergen.
The Bulldogs are racing at the Henley Women's Regatta for the fifth time. Their last appearance came in 2009 when the elite crew set what remains the course record in defeating the British U-23 eight.
Yale's varsity eight will remain in England following this weekend's regatta and compete in the Henley Royal Regatta starting on July 2.
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity