Radcliffe Heavyweights Down Yale for First Time Since 2003

Danielle L Lussi

Shown here in earlier action, the Radcliffe heavyweight varsity eight finished three seconds ahead of defending NCAA varsity champion Yale Saturday morning on the Charles River, giving the Black and White its first defeat of the Bulldogs in eight years. Yale took first in each of the other three events.

Faced with choppy waters and gusty winds on a rainy morning, the Radcliffe lightweight and heavyweight crews took to the water to take on opponents both familiar and unfamiliar on the Charles River Saturday.

The lightweights squared off against Ivy foe Princeton and Bucknell in the Class of 1999 Cup, while the heavyweights rowed head to head against its historic rival Yale for the Case Cup.


Coming off a painful loss to Stanford last weekend, the Black and White lightweights were looking to regain momentum with victories over Princeton and Bucknell.

But Radcliffe’s expectations did not live up to its reality.


By the end of the competition on Saturday, the top-ranked Tigers (7-0) had bested the No. 4 Black and White, while the No. 6 Bison placed third in every race.

The first race of the day gave the Black and White an encouraging start to the day’s competition, as the Radcliffe second varsity eight powered past the Princeton 2V.

With the sound of the horn, the Black and White 2V came out strong and led Princeton by a comfortable margin at the halfway mark.

And in the second half of the race, the Black and White refused to relinquish its lead.

Instead, it extended its lead in the second 1000 meters of the course to cross the finish line in a time of 7:01.00, 12.7 seconds ahead of the Tigers.

But the Black and White varsity crew would not be able to match the success of its 2V counterpart.

In the varsity race, the Tiger crew got off the line very quickly and led throughout the race.

Although Radcliffe was able to match the speed of Princeton, and by the last 500-meter mark, even looked poised to make a final surge towards victory, the final surge never materialized, and the Tigers were able to hold off the Black and White to finish with a time of 6:42.6.

Radcliffe finished 7.1 seconds behind with a time of 6:49.7, while Bucknell placed third with a time of 7:03.1.

The loss gave the Radcliffe lightweights their second defeat of the season.