The Princeton open crew is facing a new postseason challenge this season, and it will get an early sense of more than half of its opponents by the completion of its second race.
Gone are the traditional EAWRC Championships, which will be replaced this season and beyond by an Ivy League Championship regatta. In 2013, that race will serve as an automatic qualifier to the NCAAs, but this season it will serve only as a coronation for the 2012 Ivy champion.
Princeton, ranked fourth in the latest CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll, will come in as the reigning champion, and it opened its season two weeks ago with a victory over perennial
contender Brown during the Class of 1987 Trophy regatta.
The Tigers, who did see their 27-race win streak ended by third-ranked Michigan, defeated Brown by more than six seconds in the varsity eight showdown. In fact, Princeton topped Brown in each of its four races, including a win of more than 11 seconds in the varsity four.
This weekend, Princeton will take on Harvard, Cornell and Columbia in The Class Of 1975 Cup regatta.
Princeton has won this regatta in each of the last four years, and it leads the series between the three boats (excluding Columbia) with 23 victories. Harvard is second with 12 wins, while Cornell won its lone Class of 1975 Cup in 1983.
Princeton won both the varsity eight and second varsity races last year by wide margins, though Cornell topped Princeton in the varsity four. Head coach Lori Dauphiny felt that both of those programs could be contenders this season when she looked at the league for her season preview video.
Harvard, which fell to Brown last weekend, had been ranked 13th in the latest poll, while both Cornell (16) and Columbia (19) are in the Top 20.
The regatta is scheduled to start at 9 am, with the varsity eight race taking place on Lake Carnegie at 10:10.
Princeton Open Women
The Class of 1975 Cup v. Harvard, Cornell & Columbia
9:00 • Varsity Four B
9:20 • Third Varsity
9:35 • Varsity Four A
9:55 • Second Varsity
10:10 • First Varsity: Class of 1975 Cup