November 10, 2006

Cornell Travels to Princeton for Belly

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With temperatures expected to drop below freezing on the East Hill this weekend, the freshmen of the men’s heavyweight and lightweight crews and the novices of the women’s crew will head south looking for fast times and warmer temperatures at the Belly of Carnegie, held this Sunday in Princeton, N. J.

Competing on a 2 3/4 mile long course on Lake Carnegie, the Belly is an invitational head race for freshmen and novices only. Crews start near the Kingston Dam end of the lake, rounding a bend at the two-mile mark and finishing just before the Washington Street Bridge.

The Red will send A and B eights for each of the three classes, and the school with the top combined time from the top two boats in all three classes is awarded the Belly Bowl Trophy. Cornell last won the trophy in 1993.

Princeton has traditionally dominated this home race, winning seven of the last 10 regattas. However, the Tigers were upset last year by the Harvard/Radcliffe crews which turned in a composite time of 1:36:58.83.

Cornell finished in fifth place overall last year with a composite time of 1:39:03:60. The Red finished a little less than 10 seconds behind fourth-place Navy and just over minute behind third-place Yale and second-place Princeton.

Cornell’s lightweight crews led the Red charge at the 2005 Belly. In a field of 20, the lightweight’s A boat edged out Navy for first with a time of 14:56.18, while the B boat took third with a time of 15:06.49.

Racing in a field of 25 boats, the heavyweight’s A boat finished in 13th place with a time of 15:59.00 while the B boat took 18th with a time of 16:24.64 on the day.

The women’s eights finished neck and neck in 17th and 18th place, respectively, out of a field of 33 boats.

Sunday’s regatta should provide valuable experience for Cornell’s younger rowers. For the men’s crews, the Belly marks the end of their fall seasons, while the women’s crew will row at the Foot of the Charles next Saturday before putting its oars in storage for the winter.