BERKELEY – No. 2 California women’s crew hopes to defend the Lambert Cup for the fifth year in a row when the Golden Bears take on No. 4 Stanford in The Big Row on Saturday at Redwood Shores. The Lambert Cup is awarded annually to the winner of the varsity eight race. Cal will once again race in honor of Jill Costello, competing as Team Jill.
Costello was a former coxswain for the Bears who passed away shortly after the 2010 season. This has become a yearly tradition against Stanford since Cal first did it in 2010, when Jill was in France battling lung cancer and unable to race.
"This race means a lot for a number of reasons, and we expect Stanford to be very fast across the board,” head coach Dave O’Neill said. “The competition on the water is going to fierce, but there is always some good camaraderie off the water, as well. The Jill Costello influence on this day has been significant, and I hope we make her proud this year."
The schedule is set to begin at 9:30 a.m., with both the men’s and women’s teams competing against the Cardinal. The women’s fourth varsity eight opens the day for the Bears, racing against Stanford’s lightweight second varsity eight at 9:30 a.m. Following at 9:40 a.m., the women’s third varsity eight races Stanford’s lightweight varsity eight, with the women’s second varsity four race following at 9:50 a.m. The women’s varsity four race is set for 10:00 a.m., with the men’s freshman eight beginning at 10:10 a.m. At 10:20 a.m. the women’s second varsity eight will race for the Kolker Cup, with the men’s second varsity eight following at 10:30 a.m. The battle for the Lambert Cup in the women’s varsity eight is set to begin at 10:40 a.m., with the men’s varsity eight at 10:50 a.m. Following the morning of racing between the Bears and the Cardinal, there will be a trophy presentation at 11:30 a.m.
Cal fans should note that if weather conditions warrant, officials may reverse the order and start races as early as 9:00 a.m. You can stay up to date with the scheduling and follow the action with live, in-race updates using the Golden Bears' official Twitter handle @CalWCrew.
Since 1976, Cal holds the all-time series lead over Stanford, 27-11. Since 1997, the Bears have defeated Stanford every year except 2002 and 2009. Cal has swept Stanford in the Big Row in each of the past two years.
In last season’s Big Row, Cal swept the Cardinal by open water in every race. The Bears’ varsity eight won in 6:14.7 to Stanford’s 6:20.7. Cal’s second varsity eight posted a time of 6:23.2 to defeat the Cardinal (6:28.0). The Bears also took the varsity four with a time of 7:11.6 to Stanford’s 7:30.8 and the novice eight (6:48.0 to 7:07.8).
Last Saturday, the Bears split their four races against No.7 Washington at Redwood Shores, with Cal capturing the Simpson Cup, winning the varsity eight race for the 10th time in the past 11 years. The Bears also won the second varsity eight by three seconds, while the Huskies claimed the varsity four and novice eight races.
Following Saturday's Big Row at Redwood Shores, both Cal and Stanford will meet again on Sunday May 18 in the Pac-12 Championships in Lake Natoma, Calif.
Saturday’s Tentative Schedule
8:00 - Coach/coxswain meeting
9:30 - Cal Women's 4V8 vs. Stanford Lightweight 2V8
9:40 - Cal Women's 3V8 vs. Stanford Lightweight V8
9:50 - Women's 2V4
10:00 - Women's V4
10:10 - Men's Frosh 8
10:20 - Women's 2V8
10:30 - Men's 2V8
10:40 - Women's V8
10:50 - Men's V8
11:30 - Trophy presentations