Princeton Tops Varsity Eight for Compton Cup
After 15 years the Tiger finally caught Tom Bolles. Not since 1936, the year before Bolles came to Harvard, had the Princeton varsity crew beaten the Crimson in the Compton Cup regatta, but Saturday on the Charles the Orange and Black pulled a slight upset and finally broke Harvard's string of Compton Cup victories at nine.
The Tigers also won the freshman heavy race, with Harvard second and Tech last. In the J.V. race, the Crimson won easily over Princeton, but Tech never finished after catching a crab in the final sprint. Three Crimson crews swept the 150 regatta held prior to the heavy races, beating Tech and Tabor Academy.
In the varsity heavy race, after spotting the Bolles-coached crew half a length, an inspired Princeton boat gradually moved up, passed Harvard at the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, and won by a length and a quarter going away. M.I.T., which lost to the Crimson by one foot in last year's Compton Cup race, was never in the running, and finished over four lengths behind the winners.
Crimson Fast Start
Racing in near-perfect conditions under a warm sun over the mile and three-quarters upstream course, the Crimson eight shot to an early lead with a blazing start. After the first ten strokes, the beat settled from a 42 to a 35 for the next twenty, unusually high for a Harvard crew. When the stroke finally dropped to a 32 the Crimson was leading Princeton by three-quarters of a length.
The Tigers, rowing at 32, then began to creep up gradually but steadily. Harvard held them off with a power ten at two minutes gone, but by the three-quarter mile mark the two shells were almost even. Princeton passed Harvard as the crews went under the Massachusetts Avenue bridge, upping the beat to 53. Just after the bridge the Crimson put on another power ten, but failed to make up any of the lost ground. From then on, Princeton, rowing with perfect precision, kept pulling out. The Tigers finished the race with a 35 stroke in 9:12.3. Harvard sprinted to a 35 and then a 36, but couldn't gain, and finished in 9:17. Tech's time was 9:30.
Bolles' rowers' form was near-perfect throughout the race, but they just couldn't seem to realize their potential speed. The boat had no "swing" in it, and after Princeton had once pulled ahead, it seemed dead.
Princeton's big, powerful freshmen let the Crimson '54 get out to an early lead, but caught up and went out ahead at the half mile, and were never threatened from then on, finishing two lengths ahead.
Bert Haines' varsity 'fifties won by one second over M.I.T. in the closest race of the afternoon. Tech had a three-quarter length lead at the mile mark, but the Crimson closed fast and outsprinted the Engineers to win in 7:21 over a mile and five-sixteenths. The jayvees defeated Tabor's varsity by two and a half lengths, and M.I.T. by five, and the freshman 'fifties went ahead at the start and were never headed, winning by six seconds over Tech.