The varsity crew, minus stroke Bill Curwen, left for Ithaca last night to try and break the Cornell jinx. In the fourteen years since Tom Bolles took up coaching here, Harvard has never beaten the Big Red on the waters of Lake Cayuga.
Until last Tuesday, this looked like the year to snap the losing streak. But at that point Curwen went to Stillman with a high fever, induced by a virus infection. Twenty-four hours later, seven oar Ollie Iselin came down with intestinal troubles, which kept him away from practice.
Iselin will be back in the lineup for tomorrow's race, but Curwen is still confined to the Infirmary. Sophomore Art Rouner, the regular jayvee stroke who gave him a battle for the varsity berth earlier this year, will be stroking today. John Hutchinson has moved up from the third boat to take over stroke in the Jayvees.
These changes deal a bitter blow to both crews' chances of beating the Big Red, but the situation is not hopeless. The main problem has been one of integrating the new combinations on short notice. Rouner and Hutchinson have each had only three days in their new positions, a situation Coach Bolles is trying to counteract with two practice sessions today and another tomorrow morning.
Since Rouner has already put in some time in the varsity boat, and since Iselin rowed behind him last year, the Crimson should not be too hampered by Curwen's loss, provided Iselin is back at normal strength. In fact, the loss of a key man may even act as a psychological boost to the Harvard boat, which might have run into the problem of overconfidence had they faced Cornell at full strength.
Harvard's misfortunes this week will probably do no more than make tomorrow's race a close one.
The Boatings, Varsity: Rouner, stroke; Iselin, seven; Strong, six; Anderson, five; Felt, four; Reynolds, three; Asp, two; Scully, bow; Leavitt, cox.
Jayvee: Hutchinson, stroke; Carter, seven; Merrick, six; Taggart, five; Bohlen, four; Hewitt, three; Saltonstall, two; Cox, bow; Aldrich, cox.