The water was not in the best condition, for quite a heavy breeze blew down the course and made a choppy sea. The head wind was expected to be of advantage to the heavier sophomore crew, but this was neutralized by the fact that the juniors had the most protected course next the wall. The seniors rowed in the roughest water on the outside of the other two crews, and surprised everyone by their excellent showing. They succeeded in leading the '97 boat until almost at the finish, and in all probability would have won if their men had been in the best of condition. Youngman who took Greene's place had only rowed in the boat a few times before, and although he pulled strongly, his stroke was quite different from the rest of the crew. Davis, at stroke, also showed a lack of training. Both the other crews rowed in excellent form, the juniors being especially good. Their long slow stroke proved very effective.
The plan of rowing the race up stream made the crowd smaller than usual, though perhaps 1500 people watched the race from the two bridges, the shore and the two tug boats which followed the crews.
The shells were launched from the Union and B. A. A. boat houses about half past six and after warming up for a few minutes the crews backed into line with the juniors next the wall and the seniors on the outside.
At the word all the crews caught the water together, though the sophomores gained an advantage of a few feet. For a few moments they rowed on even terms, but then '97 slowly dropped back until the other boats had a lead of about a quarter of a length. All the crews had now settled down and were pulling in fine form, the juniors gradually increasing their lead till at Exeter street they were a length ahead. The seniors held them well and kept a few yards in advance of '97. The relative positions remained unchanged at the Harvard Bridge but the distances between the boats had increased to one and one-half lengths and one length respectively. The seniors raised their stroke and tried to close the gap between them and the leaders, and slowly picked up half a length.
At this point a schooner and tug appeared, heading down the course, and passed between '96 and '97, although not causing much loss of time to either boat.
The seniors began to show the effects of their spurt and their body work became quite ragged, though their stroke remained fast. The sophomores slowly overhauled them, and near the finish were on even terms with them. The juniors had the race well in hand, and finished two lengths before the '97 boat, which was directly in their wake. Many of the spectators near the finish line could not tell which crew had won second place, but the judges decided in favor of '97 by half a length. The slow time of 11m. 43s. was caused by the rough water.
The 'varsity crew watched the race from the tug boat while the freshmen were out in their shell.
The winning crew was made up as follows:
Stroke, A. M. Kales, 145
7 F. M. Forbes, 152
6 C. S. Stillman, 164
5 G. S. Derby, 167
4 C. Brewer, 147