Breaks Upstream Record
GALES FERRY, Conn. – A perfect season came to an end in a classic fashion. The Yale Heavyweight Crew Varsity Eight, the 2019 IRA National and EARC Sprints Champions, completed another unblemished campaign by beating Harvard in the 154th edition of the Yale-Harvard Regatta on the Thames River.
The Bulldogs, who also went unbeaten in dual races for a fifth straight year and have not lost a dual or triangular event since 2014 (35 consecutive) here in the regatta, defeated the Crimson by 4.9 seconds in the four-mile event while breaking their own upstream record set in 2015.
The Elis crossed the finish line at Bartlett's Cove in 18:30.9, almost five seconds faster than the 1V from four years ago. Harvard, which trailed the entire race, came in at 18:35.8.
A powerful engine of oarsmen from four countries, aided by a light tail wind, propelled the yellow Empacher shell, which was dedicated yesterday as the "Gales Ferry 96," through some choppy waters to set the record. The Elis, who had five sophomores, two juniors, a senior and a first year, jumped out fast with a 3-seat lead off the start and moved that margin up to four or five seconds a mile into the race. There wasn't much of a change the rest of the way.
"Whenever we saw them make a push, we just responded and just sat there and controlled it pretty well," said sophomore coxswain Vlad Saigau.
The Bulldogs clearly wore targets on their backs with three straight national titles and five consecutive Eastern Championships, but few if any were overconfident.
"We went in with a fighting attitude. Never once did I think we were the crew to beat. We were always on the offensive," said senior Charlie Elwes.
If Harvard made any gains in its attempts to catch the national champions, it was difficult to tell. Steve Gladstone, Yale's Craig W. Johnson '68 Head Coach, explained how having the lead for nearly all of the four miles can be very helpful.
"Racing from ahead, if you are under control and under stroking, you are fine. And that's what we were doing. It's always satisfying, seeing the people you coach execute and perform. That's very satisfying, and we've done that all season," said Gladstone, the 2019 Ivy League Coach of the Year who is tied for the most IRA National Championships with 14.
Harvard jumped out to the fast start in the three-mile race and never relinquished its advantage, completing a 12-second victory. The Crimson, who had a four-second edge over Yale at the Sprints but finished less than a second by the Elis at IRAs, won today's race with a 14:11.1. The Bulldogs finished at 14:23.1.
The two-mile event was the craziest one of the day. Harvard jumped out to a big lead before the Blue fought back to grab a boat-length lead just a half mile in. Yale increased the margin to a full boat and looked like it would cruise to an easy victory until one of its rowers was unable to pull. While avoiding a collapse, he could barely move his oar, which threw off the timing of his boat. This happened over the last half mile and the Crimson (9:49.8) jumped on the opportunity, passing the Bulldogs (9:55.6) with about 500 yards left.
Yale won the first race of the weekend (Friday's combo event) and the last, while the Crimson grabbed the middle pair.
YALE HEAVYWEIGHT LINEUPS FOR THE YH REGATTA
4- Jack Lopas
5- Thomas Digby
Cox- Vlad Saigau
1- Garth Holden
2- Daire Lynch
3- Miles Beeson
4- Henry Kamp
7- Angus Morrison (Captain)
8- Thomas Beck
Cox- Thomas Fant
1- Nick Rusher
3- Will Acken
5- Jack Morton
7- Will Powers
8- Nikola Bakoc
Cox- Woods Connell
3- Alex Lindsay
5- Noah Norman
7- Jack Webber
Cox- Katherine Hofmann
Contact: Steve Conn, Yale Athletics Communications – email@example.com