Heavyweight crew coach Harry Parker, whose varsity squads have not lost a college race since the Sprints in 1963, sees Northeastern, Brown, and Princeton the toughest competition his oarsmen are likely to face this season.
Hampered by an unusually late thaw this month, the Crimson is "scrambling to make up for lost time," according to Parker.
This year's first race -- with Northeastern April 15 -- comes a week early, Parker calls the Huskies "one of the strongest crews in the East."
The Crimson is blessed with seven returning lettermen from the 1966 varsity, including cox Paul Hoffman. There is a three-way fight for the stroke position: senior Clint Allen last season's stroke, is being challenged by Ian Gardner '68, and Bob Goldkamp, who paced the first freshman shell last spring.
Besides Allen, Gardner and Hoffman the other returning lettermen for the heavies are: captain Jake Fiechter. Curt Canning, Andy Larkin, and Eric Sigward. Sophomores who show special promise are Goldkamp, Dave Higgins, Fritz Hobbs, and Cleve Livingston.
The lightweights have the first full-time varsity coach since Bert Haines retires in 1952. He is Bo Andersen, a 1966 Dartmouth graduate from Vienna, Va.
Andersen will take over the crew which triumphed both in the Sprints and at Henley last year. There are five returning lettermen captained by Gib Vincent.
The troublemakers for the Crimson lightweights this spring are likely to be Pennsylvania, which is rapidly recruiting itself into a major power in both the light and heavyweight classes, Princeton, M.I.T., and, as usual, Cornell.
But Andersen, with in-depth strength across the board, says he knows both the varsity and JV crews will be "good," and has "high hopes" for finding the particular combination which will move his varsity shell to another undefeated season.
First race: April 14 with Columbia on the Charles.