Claverly won the inter-dormitory crews championship yesterday in a very close and well-contested race in which the result was in doubt until the finishing line was crossed. By this victory Claverly retains possession of the Filley cup won last year and wins the cup offered this fall by B. A. G. Fuller '00.
It must be admitted that the outcome of the race was most unexpected. Although the Claverly crew had shown itself capable of pulling away from a pursuing crew, and thus avoiding a bump, on both days of the bumping races, Randolph finished at least half a length to the good on both occasions. Mount Auburn Street was a disappointment yesterday, for, although it was fairly well known that the crew was not good for a long distance, it had been expected to take the lead for the first part of the race. As it was, it was beaten by Matthews in spite of the atrocious steering of the Matthews coxswain. The race, contrary to the previous announcements, was rowed over a short mile and a quarter course, starting just above Fairfield street and finishing at the Longwood bridge.
The start, after being delayed for some time by the unreadiness of the various crews, was made at about 4.15 o'clock. The boats got off fairly well together, the three boats which finished first being almost nose-and-nose, and Mount Auburn Street about half a length in the rear. Randolph pulled the extraordinary number of 39 strokes in the first minute, while Claverly and Matthews rowed about 36 and Mount Auburn Street 35. Rowing such a fast stroke, Randolph rapidly forged ahead and led by half a length at the bridge. Claverly and Matthews, rowing a slower stroke, were on about equal terms, and Mount Auburn Street half a length behind them. After passing the bridge, Claverly and Matthews were pulling 35 strokes to the minute, while Randolph maintained a rate of 36 or 37. About half a mile from the finish Randolph led by a length, with Claverly just over-lapping its stern. Matthews was a length behind Claverly, and Mount Auburn Street was half a length back of it. At this point the high rate of stroke began to tell noticeably on the leading crew. The men were no longer able to respond to the frequent calls for a spurt, and both stroke and No. 7 began to show signs of fatigue. The Claverly crew, on the other hand, rowing a slower, steadier stroke, were still comparatively fresh, and their boat was spacing well. From then on, it was merely a question of whether Claverly could wear down Randolph's lead before the finishing line was reached; this was effected by a final burst of speed just before crossing the line, and Claverly won by a few feet. Matthews lost considerably through bad steering, and was finally run straight into the stake boat, three lengths behind Claverly. Mount Auburn Street came in about a length behind Matthews.
By way of general comments on the race, it may be said that the Claverly crew won, owing rather to its superiority in power and endurance than to any advantage in form. It cannot be disputed that the Randolph boat contained more experienced and finished oarsmen than the rival shell. At the same time, the men had not been taught to control their slides properly, the consequence being a decided checking of the shell between strokes. Had Randolph not attempted to row so many strokes to the minute in the early part of the race, it seems likely that they would have had better control over their slides, and been fresher for the struggle over the last half-mile of the course.
The Claverly crew was made up as follows:
Stroke, G. Martin '10; 7, S. Vaughan '09; 6, L. Hill '10; 5, J. R. Chapin '10; 4, J. E. Thayer '10; 3, R. Whitney '11; 2, F. W. Gilbert '11; bow, J. Shillito '11; cox., DeC. Fales '11