April 16, 2009
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Saturday is a big day for the Yale women's crew program - both on and off the water. The Bulldogs race Princeton beginning at 8:45 a.m. on the Housatonic River. Yale also is celebrating the 35th anniversary of women's crew and honoring the 1979 national champion varsity eight. Festivities will be taking place throughout the day at the Gilder Boathouse and on the Yale campus.
The Bulldogs' varsity eight, which remained No. 1 in this week's CRCA-USRowing national poll, will be racing Princeton for the Eisenberg Cup. The Tigers are ranked sixth and have already beaten defending Ivy League champion Brown and Radcliffe this spring. The varsity race is scheduled to go off at 10:15 a.m.
"Princeton has traditionally been a fast starting crew, and this year is no different," said Yale Head Coach Will Porter. "We have to do our best to keep up. The key for us is to race our own race and make our boat go as fast as possible."
Following the races, a boat will be dedicated honoring the 1979 varsity, which went undefeated, captured the Eastern Sprints title and Yale's first national championship.
"The 1979 national champions legitimized the Yale program," Porter said. "They put us right at the top with the other great women's programs of the time - Washington, Radcliffe and Wisconsin."
A shell also will be dedicated in honor of Carol Bower, the head coach of Bryn Mawr College. Bower, a member of the Rowing Hall of Fame, began her collegiate coaching career in 1980 as the women's novice coach at Yale.
There will then be a luncheon celebrating the 35th anniversary of Yale women's crew. Numerous alumnae will be on hand to be a part of the celebration, including several who rowed for Porter.
"Like most coaches, I hope that my athletes gain something from their experiences rowing," he said. "I hope that Yale Women's Crew has had a positive impact on their lives, and the lessons they learn as being part of our program stay with them for life. The fact that 100 former athletes are coming back to celebrate Yale women's crew is an affirmation that what we do matters."
The day concludes with a showing on campus of Hero For Daisy, a film about Title IX pioneer and two-time Olympian Chris Ernst, who galvanized her rowing team to storm the Yale athletic director's office in 1976, protesting the lack of athletic facilities for women.
In addition to the women's race, Yale's lightweight crew will be taking on Dartmouth on Saturday morning.
8:30 a.m. - Lightweight 3v 4+
8:45 - Women's 3vB
9:00 - Lightweight 2F
9:15 - Women's 3vA
9:30 - Lightweight 1F
9:45 - Women's 2v, Yale 1N
10:00 - Lightweight 2V
10:15 - Women's 1v
10:30 - Lightweight 1V
10:45 - Women's 3vC
Yale Boatings Vs. Princeton
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity