When the Princeton heavyweights dropped their first race of the season last weekend to No. 2 Harvard, most immediately looked forward to a potential rematch at the EARC Championships.
The fourth-ranked Tigers, however, saw a far more immediate challenge looming.
Princeton will take on a pair of Ivy League rivals this Saturday morning on the Cayuga Inlet in Ithaca when it competes in the annual Carnegie Cup competition against both Cornell and Yale. Racing begins at 8:30 a.m., with the varsity eight race slated for 9 a.m.
This has been an extremely tight competition historically, but even moreso in recent years. Princeton holds the all-time lead with 36 Cups, while Cornell stands a strong second with 33. Yale is third with 20.
Each of the three teams has won the varsity race once in the last three seasons, and no program has won back-to-back Cups since Princeton won three straight between 2004-2006. The home team has had the decided advantage recently; since 2006, the home crew is 6-0, including Cornell’s nearly six-second win on the Cayuga in 2009.
The regatta is scheduled to begin at 8:30 am, with races held every 30 minutes. The varsity eight competition is scheduled for a 9 am start.
Princeton won this race last year, topping Cornell by 3.6 seconds, and it also claimed wins in the second varsity and freshman eight races as well. And with the closeness of the three teams in the first EARC seeding polls, which were announced Wednesday, Saturday’s races could play a big role in qualifying heats for the May 13 Eastern Sprints.
Princeton and Yale are currently 4-5 in the varsity eight poll, with Cornell coming in at eighth. Princeton, Cornell and Yale are 4-5-6 in the second varsity poll as well. Cornell leads the three in the freshman eight (third), though Yale (fifth) and Princeton (sixth) aren’t far behind.