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Yale Nearly Pulls Off Big Upset at H-Y-P

Yale's first varsity. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Yale's first varsity. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — In a race that's sure to surprise (almost) everyone who follows the EARC lightweight league, the 2018 Goldthwait Cup race was another in a long line of HYP barn-burners that was decided only in the last strokes. But it wasn't between #1 undefeated Harvard and the 1-loss Princetonians. Instead, it were Yale that interrupted the narrative, taking the lead from the first strokes until deep in the last 250, and only the Tigers were up to the challenge thrown down by the Eli eight. In a great sprint by both Yale and Princeton, both crews moved away from Harvard, who were only 7 seats down to Princeton with 500 to go.
 
With 250 left in the race, Yale had three seats on Princeton, who continued to charge while Yale valiantly tried to find the finish line before the Tigers did. In the end, Princeton pushed through for the win, but only just. The timer had the final margin at 1.2 seconds, but to the roaring crowd on the docks and balcony of the Gilder Boathouse, it sure seemed closer than that. Princeton becomes the third school in three years to win the Cup, a sign that this race is as competitive and vital as ever in intercollegiate rowing.
 
With their 1V win, Princeton also sealed their Vogel Cup win by 39 points to Yale's 28 to Harvard's 25. 
 
At the outset of the regatta, picturesque conditions on the Housatonic River set the stage for some great racing between the Yale, Harvard and Princeton lightweight crews. 
 
Harvard won their only race of the day in the 5V race over Princeton. Yale did not enter a 5V. 
 
The 4V race started the thrilling portion of today's racing, with Yale a bow deck up on the Tigers at the 1000. The third 500 saw a flip of that position, as Princeton was a bow deck up on Yale with 500 to go. From there on out, it was the Tigers who led the way to win by less than a length of overlap over Yale, who were about the same margin ahead of Harvard.
Princeton 5:47.5; Yale second in 5:50.04; Harvard third in 5:52.52.
 
The 3V saw strong starts from every crew, but it was Princeton who got a length up on both Yale and Harvard at the 1000. The crews spread out a little more, but still with overlap between all three crews at the 500 to go. A hard sprint by Yale pushed into the Princeton lead, and though it wasn't enough to overcome the Tiger advantage, it was enough to move away from Harvard to get clear water. The final margins were Princeton 5:43.8, Yale 5:45.60. Harvard finished third in a time of 5:49.75. 
 
Princeton dominated the 2V race, moving away from Harvard for a 4 seconds win. Yale's 2V continued their struggle to find a good footing this spring, and were unable to mount a challenge to the leaders. Princeton won in a time of 5:43.2; Harvard crossed second in 5:47.11; Yale third in 5:53.54. 
 
"I am never amazed and always thrilled when the HYP comes down to the end like it did today in the varsity eight", said Andy Card, the Y150 Alumni Head Coach of Lighteweight Crew. "The Kentucky Derby might be the most exciting two minutes in sports, but the HYP triples that excitement every year. I think we may have found a little something today, and there's much more room to grow. Credit to Princeton for their race, and credit to our guys for racing free and shaking things up out there. That was one fun race; I've never heard Gilder louder. Punch and counterpunch all the way down the course, just awesome."
 
With the regular season now behind them, the 6-2 varsity lightweights have two weeks to prepare for the EARC Eastern Sprints Regatta to take place on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, MA. This will be Yale's last full-team competition of the 2017-2018 season, with crews vying for the title of Sprints Champions, Ivy League Champions and Jope Cup Champions awarded to the program amassing the most overall points.
 
Full results of this morning's racing can be found here.
 
Report Filed by Yale Sports Publicity