The Compton Cup, a large, ornate gold object which has rested undisturbed in Newell boathouse since 1937 goes on the block this afternoon at 5:30 p.m., when the varsity crew opens its season against Princeton, M.I.T., and Rutgers.
The one and three-quarters mile grind will be the finale of a six-race regatta which will keep the oily waters of the Charles churned up most of the afternoon
Crew is one of the few sports where previous results can mean something--but in the middle of April this doesn't help much, since only one of the contending boats has raced. Rutgers has already absorbed defeats from Columbia and Penn, the former winning by one length, and the latter by the healthy margin of six lengths. The Scarlet is never highly regarded among Eastern rowing circles, and these defeats have not helped its reputation any.
Tigers, Tech Strong
Unfortunately, Princeton and M.I.T. cannot be dismissed so lightly. Tech has been bolstered by the wholesale appearance of last year's strong freshman crew in the varsity shell, while the Tigers may practically be rated as a southern crew.
This winter, for instance, they have been able to row outdoors the entire season, while it will be remembered that in the 1948 Compton Cup race the Crimson had to break the course record to finish 12 inches ahead of the Orange and Black. (In two meetings later in
Boatings and lanes for today's races appear on page eight. the season, Harvard defeated Princeton handily).
This jump in training gives the Tigers the edge in all of today's encounters, but Bolles-coached crews can never be called the underdog. The Crimson was on the river earlier this season than at any time in the last decade, which is no handicap at this stage of the season.
Veterans Bolster Boat
Five veterans of the great 1948 boat are back at their ears, which also goes down on the plus column of the ledger. And rowing in home waters is also a help, especially when the weather bureau predicts stiff winds, which are wont to rough up the water in a way calculated to bother the lake-dwelling Princetons.
Three men will be rowing their first varsity race, however. Ollie Iselin has a year's experience in last year's freshman boat behind him. Ted Anderson, at five, also rowed in the '51 shell, but this will be the second race of any kind for sophomore Clancy Asp, who only broke into the freshman lineup in time for one race last year.
But no one can predict the outcome of this one. Coach Bolles, the man who knows most about the situation, will only say "Why should I predict the outcome? --that's the reason we have the race."