DERBY, Conn. - On a cold, windy and - most importantly - rainy day on the Housatonic, The No. 16 Penn heavyweight rowing eight finished second in the Blackwell Cup to No. 10 Yale, but still traversed the difficult conditions ahead of No. 11 Columbia.
The Bulldogs won the Blackwell Cup for the 41st time, crossing first in 6:22.9, with the Quakers next in 6:35.9. The Lions rounded out the boats in 6:47.3.
A strong south/southeast wind wrecked havoc on the course, eventually forcing the day's races to be cancelled before the completion of the full schedule. To put some perspective on just how much the wind played a role in the final times, the winning mark the last time the Blackwell Cup was contested on the Housatonic was 5:51.3. In fact, the third place time back in 2008 of 6:09.1 still would have finished 12.8 seconds ahead of Saturday's champion.
The runner-up finish was Penn's first since the 2007 race on the Schuylkill and was one of two second-place outings on the day before races were called off. In the second varsity eight, Penn again came in behind Yale, with the Bulldogs winning in 6:41.0 to Penn's 7:16.1. Columbia was a distant third in 7:56.1.
The freshmen race and third varsity races were called off after swamping lead to boats in the frosh races beginning to take on water. The Red and Blue are back on home waters April 23 for the Burk Cup against Northwestern and the Adams Cup with Harvard and Navy.
Yale - 6:22.9
Penn - 6:35.9
Columbia - 6:47.3
Second Varsity Eights
Yale - 6:41.0
Penn 0 7:16.1
Columbia - 7:56.1