Poor Walter J. Stein, Ten years ago this kindly Brown crew alum placed a trophy in competition for the Bruins to vie for in their race with Harvard, and Brown is still vying for it.
Joining Brown and the Harvard heavies at the stake boats tomorrow at noon will be a newcomer to the Stein race, the University of Massachusetts.
The jump for UMass into Ivy competition will be a big one, with the Minutemen, although a power in college division crew (winning the Dade Vale Regatta the past two years), still in their infancy as a crew program.
Last year the Crimson third varsity boat, crippled with sloppy blade work, was edged out by the UMass eight on Lake Quinsigimond, And this year the Minutemen have been touched with a little Harry Parker magic in the form of rookie coach Bill Mahoney '73, Mahoney was the captain of Parker's eight in 1973 and spent three varsity years with Parker, his mentor.
It is doubtful that UMass will provide any competition for the number one crew in the country, but look for a battle of oars in Harvard's wake, as the weak Bruins may well find the Minutemen inspired by the hoopla of the bicentennial.
Parker announced his boats Thursday, including a change from the West coast searing. Al Shealy is still pulling the Pocock at the stroke position. Ron Shaw is at seven. Dick Cashin at six, and John Brock at five.
The change from the boat that cruised through a star-studded field in San Diego is at the four seat. John Wright, a dark horse from last year's third varsity, took the final starboard seat over Hovey Kemp, who raced in the California outing, and Ed Woodhouse, a two-year varsity man.
The German-rigged boat rounds out with Tif Wood at three, captain Blair Brooks at two and Greg Stone balancing out the shell from his how position.
"We're not all that serious about the race, I'm afraid," coxswain Bruce Larson said yesterday, "but we really don't expect much from Brown and just a little from UMass."
Saturday's real race will be the J.V. affair, with the young Crimson boat out to redeem its third-place finish in San Diego, its first loss in four years.
The Stein race, which traditionally has been a gauge for the potential of Parker's crews, will once again give the Charles bank spectator an idea of the things to follow, although the California show has taken away some of the drama and pre-race second guessing.
The festivities get under way today at 9:45 a.m. with the freshman race, and continue through until 12:15 when the varsity shoves off en route to Stein trophy number eleven, Poor Walter J. Stein.