PHILADELPHIA - With the start of the fall schedule just a few short weeks away, second-year head coach Nick Baker has officially announced the full 2010-11 schedule for the University of Pennsylvania lightweight rowing team which features three home regattas this spring.
Penn will maintain its typical fall schedule, beginning on Oct. 9 as the host to the Navy Day Regatta. Two weeks later, the Quakers will take their boats to Boston, Mass., for the Head of the Charles on Oct. 24. The following weekend, the Red and Blue wrap up the fall season with two regattas. They host the Head of the Schuylkill on Oct. 30 and then travel to Princeton, N.J., for the Princeton Chase on Oct. 31.
For the second straight year, the spring season opens with a home regatta against Delaware and Marietta on April 2 which will then lead right into the Cup season as the Matthews and Leonard cups will be on the line when Cornell and Harvard visit the Schuylkill River on April 9. The next weekend, the Quakers and Big Green will go head-to-head at a site still to be determined.
"We are really excited to add Delaware and Marietta as well as the Dartmouth race to our traditional four cup races," Baker said of his team's spring schedule.
"Cornell will have a very fast crew this year," Baker added on the Matthews-Leonard Cup. Harvard topped the group last year, but Penn was just a photo finish away from taking home the cup for the first time in 20 years. "The Cornell freshmen won Eastern Sprints last year and we expect them to be very competitive for years to come, while Harvard had very good freshmen crew a year ago and return a very, very good varsity crew."
The spring season continues in Derby, Conn., when Yale hosts Columbia and Penn for the Dodge Cup on April 16. The Quakers nearly took home the cup last year, topping Columbia, but falling to Yale by a little less than two seconds.
"Yale is always great crew," Baker said. "We were excited about the close margin in the dual last year and we are hoping to improve upon on that this year. Columbia has really good recruiting class on campus right now and they are looking better and better."
The cup season concludes with the Wood-Hammond Trophy at stake against Princeton and Georgetown on Senior Day along the Schuylkill River (April 23), followed by the Callow Cup in Annapolis, Md., against Navy (April 30).
"As a premier Penn rival, we always look forward to Princeton and the Wood-Hammond race, while Navy is going to be special for me in my first trip back to the Severn River," said Baker, who coached at Navy prior to taking his current post at Penn.
The Quakers had a very successful postseason last year in which they will attempt to build on in 2011. The Quakers made the Grand Final at Eastern Sprints last year and will have a chance to duplicate that feat on May 15 in Worcester, Mass.
The IRA National Championships, in which the Quakers had their best finish since 2005 a year ago, will take place in Camden, N.J., on June 4.