It is the only H-Y-P weekend of the collegiate racing season. For the Princeton men’s lightweights, it is also a chance to make a major statement as Eastern Sprints draws near.
The fifth-ranked Princeton Tigers will head to the Charles River Saturday morning to take on No. 3 Yale and No. 4 Harvard in the annual Goldthwait and Vogel Cup rivalries. While Yale is the top-ranked boat in the field, Harvard is the squad with both the all-time edge in Goldthwait Cups (44) and the current holder of the Cup; the Crimson has won four straight.
Princeton holds an all-time edge over Yale (25-19), but it hasn’t won a Cup since its 2009 Ivy League and national championship season. That was a second straight Cup win for the Tigers, and it followed their only win on the Charles River since 2000.
But this lightweight team has its own special memories of the Charles River. Princeton made some history in the fall, winning the prestigious Head of the Charles competition to highlight a strong offseason.
The Tigers also bring momentum into this weekend following their retention of the Wood-Hammond Cup last weekend. The Tigers, celebrating Senior Day, topped both Penn and Georgetown by nearly 10 seconds in their final race of the season on Lake Carnegie.
“I think our start to the Penn race was slightly better than in weeks past, but like all aspects of our rowing, there is certainly still room for improvement,” sophomore coxswain Sven Henningson said “The focus is high and the attitude is positive. As Casey Ward mentioned a few weeks ago, there is no off weekend in the EARC. Every race is important and competitive. However, reclaiming the Goldthwait Cup is one of the top priorities of the season, so it’s exciting to see everyone bring their best to practice this week.”
While Sprints and IRAs do traditionally define the success of the racing season, it is weekends like these that provide the added motivation to keep pushing forward at the highest level. Even besides the history of the Cup, which dates back to 1922.
Plus, it’s Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Put those three in any competition, and it’s bound to be fun.
“Getting to go out and compete for Princeton is always an honor; however, when it comes down to the Goldthwait and Vogel Cups, it’s just that much more special,” Henningson said. “While we bring our focus and dedication to the sport every week, we are just that much more mindful of our tradition and reminded as to what an opportunity it is to represent Princeton as we race our traditional rivals.”