‘The Bulldogs Bite’

P1020542Maybe Charley Butt, the Bolles-Parker head coach for the Harvard men’s heavyweight crew, already had a feeling last Thursday what was coming at Sunday’s four-mile race between his crew and the Bulldogs. During a short speech on Thursday at the Harvard-Yale Regatta Luncheon, Butt praised his team’s opponents, saying that Yale had a very good crew, and by that showed what a gentleman he is.

Earlier during the season, the Elis had become EARC Champions and their coach, Steve Gladstone, had been named the 2015 Ivy League Coach of the Year. However, Gladstone seemed to have been a little surprised by his crew’s strength, if not by their victory. ‘I had no idea they could go that fast, it’s so hard to predict’, he told an interviewer for the Bulldogs’ website.

Butt, who is in his second season as the Crimson’s heavyweight coach, told the Harvard crew website:

Both crews were out to row their best and make a statement. You could see that early on, as the crews were making moves, Yale was getting a little more movement on us. I am proud of how well our guys rowed and how they never gave in. It was a race that any rowing fan could appreciate because you had two crews rowing well and that had had heck of a seasons. And Yale came away better.

And the 150th race between these crews was brilliant. Under a blue sky, the race started at 11:30, as the third race of the day, under the Gold Star Bridge on the Thames River in New London. Yale was quickest off at the start and had a 5 second lead at the first mile mark, eventually winning with the splendid time of 18:35.0 which is a new upstream record, beating the Crimson’s time from 1995 of 18:41.9. Harvard’s time was 18:52.6. The Bulldogs’ victory also means that they managed to stop Harvard’s seven-year winning streak, as it was the first time the Bulldogs won since 2007.

Yale cox Chris Carothers told the Boston Globe: ‘It’s a huge statement for our program’.

With this year’s victory for the Bulldogs in the Varsity series (Sexton Cup), Harvard has 95 victories and Yale 55. According to Harvard’s website, the race was seen by more than 600 viewers in 29 countries on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Yale not only won the four-mile varsity race, the three-mile second (junior) varsity race also went to the Elis. Yale team captain Lyon Van Voorhis told Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register: ‘We planned one big push and we took it right before the mile mark, took probably six or seven seats. We just walked away and kind of held them off. We were pretty comfortable in the lead for the last mile and a half.’

Racing for the F. Valentine Chappell Trophy, Yale won in 13:43.4 while Harvard’s time was 13:47.8. Harvard has the total victories with 75, and Yale now 38.

The first race of the day on the Thames River was third (freshman) varsity, a two-mile race. Harvard was quickest out and at mid-course Crimson had a boat length’s lead. Harvard won in 9:23.0. Yale’s time was 9:27.4. The series (New London Cup) is led by Harvard, with 72 victories, Yale 39 and one dead heat.

Not only Harvard 3rd varsity/freshman cox got a victory swim in the Thames River, the whole crew ended up in the Thames River.
Not just the Harvard 3rd varsity/freshman cox got a victory swim, the whole crew ended up in the Thames River.

Saturday’s combination race was won by Harvard in 9:48.

During Saturday, different Yale and Harvard alumni crews also gathered at Harvard’s Red Top to celebrate 150 years of rowing between the university crews. Watch a short video about the row below:

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