The fourth-ranked Princeton heavyweights faced their first true test of the season, as a gritty 14th-ranked Penn squad pushed the Tigers hard during the historic Childs Cup regatta, but the Tigers made their way to 4-0 on the young season with a hard-fought win on Lake Carnegie.
Princeton, which won the Rowe Cup each of the last two years, remained unbeaten in the top four boats during a windy Saturday morning on Lake Carnegie. The 1V had the toughest challenge, as Penn stayed with the Tigers through about 1500 meters; it would be the final Princeton sprint that ended the Quakers’ upset bid and gave Princeton its milestone 50th Childs Cup, the oldest active trophy in collegiate rowing.
“We have had a solid block of training over the last few weeks, and with that we have also been able to pick up some good wins,” junior Thomas George said. “Being pushed by a good Penn crew came with different challenges. We brought a good start to the table, and were able to capitalize early, utilizing the momentum that this gave us before the conditions deteriorated around the 1k mark. Penn really threw everything at us and the way that the crew responded to this shows a gritty brutality that we have not had to draw upon yet this season.
Princeton has now won eight straight showdowns in the series, as well as 23 of the last 24. The Tigers now have 50 wins, while Penn has 44 and Columbia has 12.
“The race execution was largely good,” George said. “We knew the conditions were going to deteriorate around the 1000m mark, so it was vitally important that we had a butcher’s early on to assert our dominance in the race. Racing in gale force, swirling winds makes it tricky for any boat, it really narrows the margins, with no crew wanting to make an error that may cost them the race. With that in mind, I thought our execution of the race was strong. It is still early season, however, and we must not rest on our laurels but push on into the remaining weeks.”
The 2V also faced its toughest race of the season, though it came in at 6:15.0 to top Penn by 5.5 seconds. The reigning IRA champion 3V came in at 6:22.7 to win by more than 36 seconds, while the 4V posted a time of 6:42.1 to defeat the Columbia 3V by 17 seconds.
The fourth-ranked Tigers will now enter a daunting portion of the schedule, though all three historic Cup races will all be held on Lake Carnegie. Princeton will start that stretch with a Compton Cup showdown against sixth-ranked Harvard next Saturday morning on the Ivy League Digital Network. The Tigers are looking for their third straight win in the series, a three-year stretch that hasn’t happened in more than 80 years of this rivalry.
“The seagull follows the trawler because it thinks sardines will be thrown into the sea,” George said. “The rewards for winning these races are great, but winning them is never easy. They are gladiatorial rivalries like that of Ali vs Frazier, which makes them incredibly exciting to be a part of, they truly are what we train for. The close racing, historic rivalries and the ability for 16 blokes to give each other a bunch of fives for 6 minutes, and then shake hands afterwards makes these races special, and I can’t wait for the next two weeks to come. They provide us with a great springboard for the post season, allowing us to gauge our speed before the sharp end of the season.”
Second Varsity Eight
Third/Fourth Varsity Eight
Princeton 3V 6:22.7
Princeton 4V 6:42.1
Columbia 3V 6:59.1