The 'varsity took the lead at the start and held it for the first half mile. Just before the Harvard Bridge was reached the sophomores, who were rowing 39 strokes to the minute, passed the 'varsity and when they came out on the lower side there was a half a boat length of open water between them. This distance was kept to within two hundred yards of the Union Boat Club, where No. 3 in the 'varsity boat caught a crab. The sophomores took advantage of the confusion and added another length.
The form of both crews was rather bad on account of the roughness of the water. Though the sophomores rowed between 38 and 39 strokes to the minute throughout the race, they splashed a good deal and they did not catch together.