Will the Bulldogs Bite?

Yale defending the national title at the 2018 Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta. Photo: Steve Conn/www.yalebulldogs.com.

8 June 2018

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

Tomorrow is the 153rd Yale-Harvard Regatta. Last year, the Bulldogs took a clean sweep to the delight of Yale rowing alumni and fans. This was the first clean sweep for the Bulldogs since 1996.

The Yale Varsity crew will come well prepared for their race on the Thames River in New London after defending the national title at the 2018 Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta (IRA) on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey, a week ago. Last year was a narrow win for Yale, beating Washington by only 0.069 seconds. This year, the Bulldogs were nearly three seconds ahead of the Huskies over the finish line. This was Yale coach Steve Gladstone’s 13th IRA title. He is now one title away from tying the record for most championships in collegiate rowing history. The current holder is Charles Courtney, who coached Cornell a century ago.

Harvard finished third at the IRA.

The James Ten Eyck Trophy for the team with the most points during the IRA regatta went to the Huskies, who scored 211 points. The Bulldogs finished second with 199 points. This was Washington’s 11th Ten Eyck in the last 12 years.

Here is a video from the IRA national championships that Yale posted on YouTube on 3 June:

Yale started out this season at the San Diego Crew Classic with a second place after California, Berkeley, but ahead of Northeastern, Stanford, Penn and Navy. Then, in the annual meeting between Yale and Brown at the end of March, the Bulldogs beat the Bears in all five races on the Housatonic River in Connecticut, again taking the Albert Cup, which has been kept in the Gilder Boathouse for four years. On 22 April, the Bulldogs claimed the Carnegie Cup for the fifth straight year after a victory over Princeton and Cornell.

Steve Gladstone

On Mother’s Day, 13 May, Yale’s crew won their fourth consecutive EARC Sprints on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester. Last time a heavyweight crew took four wins in a row was 41 years ago, when Harry Parker’s Crimson crew won in 1974-1977. Guiding the Bulldogs to their fourth consecutive title was Gladstone, who was named the League’s Heavyweight Coach of the Year at the Sprints.

One of the oarsmen in the Yale Varsity crew is Paul Jacquot from Chalon-sur-Saone, France, a senior, who is the captain of the team. This is the fourth year Jacquot is rowing in the Yale Varsity boat. What drew the Frenchman to Yale’s rowing programme?

‘Definitely Steve Gladstone himself, Jacquot told a reporter from The Day newspaper in an interview published yesterday. ‘There is a vibe on this team. It’s the guys, it’s just the way we interact here. Racing is a bit of a grind, but we’ve really enjoyed the whole process, going out and training with your friends and teammates. I want to be happy to go to practice.’

Gladstone took over the Bulldogs in August 2010. It took five years for Gladstone to turn the tide before his crew could claim a victory in the Varsity boat in 2015. Then there was the debacle the following year, when the regatta committee declared the 2016 race a ‘no race’ after Harvard’s boat got waterlogged and the crew had to jump ship, while the Yale crew continued to row and crossed the finish line as the only boat. Then the clean sweep last year.

‘Yale is now holding up its end of the bargain. For years and years, Harvard was keeping this thing going. One of the things that’s really good right now is that both crews are good. There’s some question who’s going to win,’ Gladstone said in The Day article.

If the Varsity race can be held without any interference, as poor weather, too many bad crabs, mishaps with the material, etc., I would dare to put a couple of bucks on the Bulldogs tomorrow.


Friday, 8 June
Combination Race – 6 p.m.

Saturday, 9 June
3rd Varsity – 4:45 p.m.
2nd Varsity – 5:30 p.m.
Varsity – 6:30 p.m.
(Subject to change, weather dependent)

The Varsity Series Record: Harvard 95 Yale 56.

You will find a pdf of the Regatta Programme here.

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