Each year the Harvard's crew's record becomes harder and harder to match, but this spring heavyweight coach Harry Parker really has his work cut for him. He lost 14 lettermen from last year's spectacular boats, and that means an extensive reconstruction job ahead.
Next week the crew will spend six hours a day rotating oarsmen so that Parker can decide who will row in which boat and in which position. By the end of vacation, the three boats should be selected and should begin working out for the first race against Brown and Rutgers, April 23.
Only four lettermen are returning from last season's undefeated varsity and junior varsity heavyweight squads. This year's captain, Jim Tew, rowed in the number four position for last year's first boat. He is a veteran of the Olympic Games at Tokyo in 1964, where he rowed in the four-with-cox which Harvard sent to represent the United States. Other returning lettermen are Brian Clemow, who rowed five for the varsity, and Bill Goodman and Roger Howe, both up from the junior varsity.
As a result of the large graduation depletion, Parker will have to depend heavily on sophomores. Last year's freshman squad under coach Ted Washburn also went undefeated, and Parker describes them as having "good potential," but not much experience.
The most dangerous competition this spring will come from Navy and Cornell, both of whom have a lot of returning lettermen. The Cantabs face Navy in the Adams Cup at Pennsylvania, May 7, and take on Cornell in the Eastern Sprints at Worcester the following week.
Yale's crew this year should be stronger than the crew which took a ten-length beating from the Crimson at New London last June.
Strong Lightweight Competition
According to new lightweight coach Bill Weber, his squads will also face unusually strong competition this spring.
Several schools which have generally been counted out as serious contenders in the past -- like Columbia and Navy -- have brought in new coaching staffs and their strength will not be known until the actual racing begins. Cornell and M.I.T., both traditionally tough, should pose a serious threat.
The lightweights have departed from the traditional American style of rowing this year in favor of the slower more constant stroking motion practiced by many European crews. Parker adapted this European style for Harvard heavyweight crews last season. The switch-over proved somewhat difficult for the lightweight oarsmen earlier in the fall, but Weber says that they have now taken to the new style very well.
Headed by Captain Jon Eddy, three varsity lettermen from last year's bow four are returning, and Weber has the undefeated '65 freshman squad to work with as well. At this point, he says that he is "cautiously optimistic."