A Clean Sweep For Harvard, Again!

Harvard coach Harry Parker and his varsity’s winning crew: cox Kelly Evans, stroke Patrick Lapage, 7 Matt Edstein, 6 Nick Jordan, 5 David Wakulich, 4 Sam O’Connor, 3 Michael DiSanto, 2 Anthony Locke, bow Blake Pucsek (captain).

You had to be up and about early if you wanted to watch the first race between Harvard and Yale this morning. The freshmen’s race started already at 9:00 a.m., or a little thereafter. Last year, this race was won by Harvard at a time of 10:43.2, which was seven seconds faster than Yale’s 10:50.1. With cloudy skies, good water conditions, and a tailwind to push the two crews up the Thames River for their 2-mile race this morning, the Crimsons had no problem to take an early lead in the race. The Harvard crew crossed the finish line at 9:32.7 and Yale at 9:47.6. This was the Harvard freshmen’s fourth straight win, rowing against Yale.

A symbol for Harvard’s clean sweep: the Rock is Red!

Harvard’s second varsity boat also took an early lead in the three-mile race that followed the first race. During the race, the Crimsons had a comfortable lead and there was never any question of which crew was going to claim the victory. Harvard’s winning time was 14:46.8. Yale was three boat lengths behind and crossed the finish line at 15:02.4. This was a repeat from last year when Harvard’s second varsity also won, but then only with two seconds.

For the main event in this regatta, the four-mile race between the universities’ varsity boats, which started close to 11:00, the tailwind had shifted into a west crosswind, which is more difficult to row in. Like the Crimsons’ freshmen and second varsity, the varsity crew was rowing with longer strokes and under-stroked the Yale crew, which had a three-seat lead for most of the first mile. Harvard had, however, caught up with the Bulldogs before the 2-mile mark, and at 2.5 miles the Crimsons had a boat length lead. Even if the Yale crew fought bravely and refused to let go of the crew in front of them, Harvard rowed more relaxed knowing that they were going to claim their third straight victory. Harvard’s winning time was 19:40.3, and six seconds slower came Yale at 19:46.2. The Crimsons’ varsity now extended its all-time lead to 91 against Yale’s 54.

At Harvard’s boathouse, Red Top, a broom was quickly fetched from a closet to mark Harvard’s clean sweep. The broom travelled from oarsman to oarsman, and, of course to Kelly Evans, Harvard varsity’s female coxswain. As the tradition demands, she ended up in the water, as did the rest of the crew, whether they liked it or not. The crew’s legendary coach Harry Parker, who was doing his 48th season and has more victories under his belt than any other American coach, knew that he was also going to end up in the drink. So after his shoes and socks were removed, 1-2-3 and off he went high up in the air, only to land with a splash in the Thames River’s cold water. The smile on his face when he came up on the dock again told us that he did not mind.

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