Tomorrow, for the 149th time, Harvard will meet Yale for their 4-mile race on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut. This time the Crimsons will not have their legendary coach Harry Parker to back them up. Parker died of cancer on 25 June last year, after having been the Crimson heavyweight coach for 51 years. Charley Butt, the Harvard lightweight coach for 29 years, took over the heavyweights, and tomorrow will be his first race as their coach against Yale in the Harvard-Yale Regatta, which was rowed for the first time in 1852.
Harvard has won the race the sixth last times against Yale and the question is now if the Bulldogs will manage to turn the tide. Steve Gladstone, the Bulldogs’ heavyweight coach who came to Yale four years ago, told a reporter of the New Haven Register: ‘I’m pleased with the development. It’s been good. No coach is ever content. There is a clear indication we’re on the right track. We’re progressing.’
At the IRA National Championships, which was held on Lake Mercer last weekend, Harvard came fifth, while Yale was sixth, 6 seconds behind. Washington won, with Brown second, California third and Princeton fourth. It was a disappointing place for Harvard, while Yale took a step up, as it was the first time since 2006 they manage to make the final in the Championships.
Tomorrow afternoon, we will see if the famous ‘Rock’ at the finish line will be painted blue or red.
The races start at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, 7 June, with the freshmen’s race, which will be followed by the 2nd varsity race, and then the varsity (heavyweights). Today, the sparemen’s race will be rowed on the Thames.