8 June 2019
By Göran R Buckhorn
Today, it’s time for the 154th Yale-Harvard Race, America’s oldest collegiate sporting event, on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut. The Bulldogs Varsity crew are the favourites for The Sexton Cup, the 4-mile upstream race from the Gold Star Bridge to Bartlett’s Cove.
At the Eastern Sprint last month, Yale took the Rowe Cup (for best overall team performance), which was the fifth straight victory for Yale. We have to go back to the 1960s for the last time it happened. That was when Harvard won seven straight wins from 1964 to 1970.
The Bulldogs follow this up with a third consecutive national championship victory at the IRA National Championship in Sacramento, California.
‘The three-peat for the national title felt awfully good. This is an exceptional crew… One of the most distinguished crews I’ve ever coached,’ Steve Gladstone, Yale heavyweight crew head coach, told media.
Gladstone, who was appointed Head Coach for Yale in August 2010, now has 14 national titles as a coach. He was also named the Ivy League Coach of the Year for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
This season, the Crimson heavyweight crew are ranked third in the nation.
The first race of the day starts at 12:45 when the 3rd Varsity crews row on a 2-mile course on the Thames, a race that was won by the Crimson last year. The second race, for 2nd Varsity on a 3-mile course, starts at 1:30, and the 4-mile race for 1st Varsity starts at 2:30.
Harvard leads the rivalry, 95 to Yale 57. In 2016, the umpire declared the race a ‘none race’ because Harvard’s boat sank although Yale’s boat crossed the finish line.