While Sprints and IRAs are the two focal races of every women’s lightweight rowing season, there are two special rivalries during the regular season that have something special on the line.
Princeton’s most historic series is for the Class of 1999 Cup, a showdown scheduled last weekend on the Charles River with Harvard. While the two did compete in the Lightweight Invitational, Saturday’s head-to-head dual race was cancelled due to the police activity in Boston on Friday.
Thus, Princeton’s only Cup race of the season will be Saturday, when the Tigers head south to take on Georgetown for the Class of 2006 Cup. The Tigers have dominated the series with wins in all 10 meetings, including a close victory by less than three seconds on Lake Carnegie last season.
“This weekend is very important for us in retaining the Class of 2006 Cup,” said sophomore Caroline Cochran, a member of the varsity eight. “I think we were all dissapointed we didn’t have the opportunity to compete for the Class of 1999 Cup, and so it is that much more important that we win this weekend.”
The race will be also be the final regular season tune-up for the EAWRC Championships, which will be held May 5 on Cooper River. Princeton and Georgetown will be joined by top-ranked Harvard and reigning champion Wisconsin for the league championship, an event Princeton won in 2011.
“There is definitely a new level of energy and focus at practice,” Cochran said. “These next few weeks of training before Eastern Sprints and IRAs are crucial. I think everyone’s really excited and you can definitely see an increased focused at each practice.”
One person who will have a special interest in the race is Princeton assistant Hank Zimmerman, who served as Georgetown head coach last season. He will have the rare opportunity of watching rowers he helped mentor in multiple boats on both sides.