Harvard oarsmen had everything their own way Saturday as the heavy-weights swept Navy and Penn on the Charles to win back the Adams Cup for the first time since 1959, while the lightweights swept Yale and Princeton in the Goldthwait Cup to win the Big Three title at Yale for the seventh year in a row.
Racing nearly two hours ahead of schedule because of tornado warnings, coach Harry Parker's varsity heavyweight boat took advantage of ideal conditions to defeat Navy by over four lengths in the record time of 5:54.4, six seconds faster than last week.
Later a tail wind picked up without ruffling the water, and the JV's time of 5:59.4 in its four-length win over Navy was faster than both Navy and Penn varsities'. The freshmen too had a good 6:05.8 time as the Penn crews came in third in each contest.
In the Goldthwait Cup at Yale, coach Fred Cabot's varsity lightweight crew weathered a stiff headwind and very hot weather to defeat Princeton by two and a half lengths and Yale by four.
None of the lightweight crews was ever in trouble. The varsity led from the start and pulled out ahead in the body of the race, rowing at a 33 stroke per minute pace. Both the JV and the freshman boats won by four lengths, and the latter, rowing without headwind, posted a faster time than the varsity.
Yale Sets Record
The heavyweight varsity's impressive and seemingly effortless victory prompted Penn's coach Joe Burk to speculate that Harvard has the best boat in the East. But that was before Yale upset Cornell in an even faster time of 5:53, a new American record.
Trailing by only a half a length, Cornell's time was also faster than the Crimson's. Conditions are never the same, however, and the Yale-Cornell contest was a dogfight while the Crimson varsity, racing more against its own performance than Navy, was never seriously threatened.
But clearly the Eastern Sprint Championships at Worcester next Saturday are going to feature a three-way scramble for heavyweight honors among Harvard, Yale and Cornell.
Although Cornell can only improve over Saturday's performance, Yale is the favorite now, and the question is whether the Crimson can continue to cut down its 2000 meter time.
Also uncertain is how the varsity will react in what will be its first real competition of the year. So far the Crimson JV's have come closest to the varsity; when the JV's time was announced Saturday, the varsity oarsmen applauded, not because the JV boat had won, but because its time, with the tailwind, had not bettered their own.
Cabot's lightweights also have an excellent chance to win the sprints despite the loss three weeks ago to M.I.T. Victorious last week by three feet over the Engineers, Cornell the defending champions, promise to make the lightweight sprints a three-way scramble too.