9 June 2018
Göran R Buckhorn writes:
No, Yale could not repeat last year’s clean sweep at the 153rd Yale-Harvard Regatta held today in the late afternoon on the Thames River, New London, Connecticut.
The first race of the day, the two-mile 3rd Varsity race was won by the Crimson, who made a big push at 3:45 into the race and then continued to put water between the boats. The winning time was 9:08, a boat length ahead of the Bulldogs, who crossed the finish line at 9:11. So, the first pot of the day, The New London Cup, went to Harvard.
But that was what the Crimson could muster for the day.
The second race, the 3-mile race for 2nd Varsity went to Yale, who claimed The F. Valentine Chappell Trophy, winning by a boat length.
Of course, it is the Varsity race that is the race of the day. When the two crews were waiting for the start under the Gold Star Bridge to race the 4-mile course upstream to Bartlett’s Cove, the weather was perfect, no sun, comfortable temperature, flat water and a slight tail wind – all set for a fast race. Both crews got a good start and after ten strokes Yale had a slight lead, which increased after each stroke. Three minutes into the race, Yale’s cox, Vlad Saigau, was at Harvard’s bow ball. Forty-five seconds later, there was clear water between the boats. The Bulldogs then took off and were two, three lengths ahead. Getting closer to the blue painted ‘Rock’ with a big white ‘Y’ at Bartlett’s Cove, the Crimson had put in a spurt, but the Bulldogs had a comfortable lead by two lengths. Yale’s winning time was 18:50, eight seconds ahead of Harvard.
After the Bulldogs had crossed the finish line, the Yale launch came up from behind to hand over The Sexton Cup. Normally, the winning crew will receive the cup when they dock at their boathouse, but not this year.
Yale’s winning crew:
Cox Vlad Saigau (Great Britain)*
Stroke Sholto Carnegie (Great Britain)
7 Leonard Jenkins (New Zealand)
6 Cole Tilden (USA)
5 Charlie Elwes (Great Britain)
4 Paul Jacquot (France)
3 Thomas Beck (USA)
2 Thomas Digby (Great Britain)
Bow Jack Lopas (New Zealand)
Cox Cole Durbin (USA)
Stroke Arthur Doyle (Great Britain)
7 David Ambler (Great Britain)
6 Liam Corrigan (USA)
5 Lars Lorch (Germany)
4 Alexander Richards (USA)
3 Conor Harrity (USA)
2 Samuel Meijer (Great Britain)
Bow Sam Hardy (Australia)
It was interesting to see how many foreigners were rowing for the two schools. Of the 18 crew members in the Varsity crews, only 7 were Americans, while the remaining members of the crews came from Great Britain (6), New Zealand (2), Australia (1), France (1) and Germany (1).
Looking into how many foreign oarsmen who were rowing (and coxing) the Varsity boats, 2nd Varsity boats, 3rd Varsity boats and the Combination boats (4th Varsity) – a total of 72 crew members – 35 were Americans (roughly 48 per cent), while there were 12 from Great Britain, 11 from Australia, 7 from New Zealand, 2 from South Africa and 1 each from France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Ireland. The American race starts to look like another famous boat race across the pond.
Talking about the Oxford – Cambridge Boat Race, rumour has it that there were some scouts from a certain light blue team mingling at Friday’s cocktail party at Red Top… If this is true, the question remains which oarsmen/coxes from the ten countries were they studying? Time will tell.
*Update: It has been pointed out in a comment and elsewhere that Yale Varsity cox Vlad Saigau was born in Romania but moved to England at an early age. In the Yale-Harvard Regatta Programme it states that Saigau is from Hinsdale, a western suburb of Chicago, Illinois. The mistake has now been corrected in the article above, where certain numbers also have been adjusted. G.R.B.