Eight photographs graced the front of the program being sold here at the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges Championship yesterday: one crowd picture, three pictures of unidentifiable (at least to this viewer) crews, and four pictures of Harvard crews racing or accepting trophies.
If Harvard crews continue to row the way the Harvard varsity and second varsity lightweight eights rowed yesterday the sprints program will feature the Crimson for many years to come.
The varsity lights fully recovered from an early season ease of schizophrenia were all Jekyll yesterday, gradually drawing away from the rest of the field by a length during the first 1000 meters then weathering a late Princeton challenge to win by a comfortable--well, somewhat comfortable--third of a length.
The Rutgers eight which Harvard sank by 6.6 seconds against in their first race of the spring, powered home third. 3.6 seconds and just over a length behind the Crimson.
The varsity victory and the second varsity's 12th consecutive sprint triumph added up to give Harvard a six-point edge in the battle for the Jope Cup given to the best all-around lightweight squad.
The J.V.'s romped over their opposition by a remarkable 8.1 second margin--over two boat lengths and the largest margin of victory in a J.V. lightweight final since at least 1969. Times have not been kept for the years before that.
The J.V.'s tremendous afternoon win began with what cox Carlos Cordeiro called a "strong, hard" start that had them in front by about two seats at the settle Penn hung on tenacjously until 1000 but a superb power 20 broke the Quakers' back and gave the Crimson an open water lead.
Despite their walk-away win in the finals, the second varsity almost didn't make it, through the heats. In the morning as they rowed down toward the start the official starter's boat sent a three-foot wake their way and filled their boat half-full with water.
The Crimson hurried over to dock and miraculously managed to empty the boat, keep the shell intact and get back in the water with two minutes to go before the gun.
They were allowed a total of two practice starts--no other warmup--by the starter (yes, he was in the boat which swamped Harvard's) who asked them sarcastically if they "intended to row." They did indeed as they proved in the heat, rowing cold and at an extremely slow cadence of 31 but still winning by 5.3 seconds over Princeton.
The lightweight freshmen did not fare so well. Sailing smoothly along with a few seat margin before 1000 meters, their seven-man, MacMillan, pulled a devastating crab--his oar banged against and broke his oarlock and he had to sit watching his teammates row and other boats pass by as the seven-manpower machine slipped into fifth place, 18 seconds behind victor Dartmouth; an unfortunate end to an otherwise unblemished season for the freshman and first-year coach Jon Brock.
The varsity and second varsity on the other hand had a fitting end to another--this is getting boring--tremendous year. Look for their pictures on the cover of next year's sprints program.
Varsity: 1. Yale (5:58.0) 2. Harvard (6:00.9)