Harvard Falls on Thames; Parker Crew Wins Cup
HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England--South Africa has, of late, caused Harvard great problems. That pattern continued over the weekend, when a South African crew nosed out the University lightweight shell in the semifinals of the Ladies Challenge Cup event here.
Harvard's defeat was one dark note in a day that saw the U.S. Olympic squad, entered as the Charles River Rowing Association and coached by Crimson mentor Harry Parker, capture the Grand Challenge Cup, and a slew of other American boats win their events.
The lightweight loss came at the hands of Witwatersrand, victors by half a length in 6:53.
Harvard had opened a gap of a few feet by the half-mile mark, only to watch the South African crew pull even and then slightly ahead by the three-quarter mile pole. Harvard rallied late in the race, but couldn't catch the South Africans.
Had Harvard won the race, they would have faced Yale in the final; the Elis eked out a tough preliminary win over Trinity College of Dublin, and then exploded to whip the Witwatersrand squad to win the Ladies Plate.
Parker's crew won a one-length-plus triumph over the New Zealand Olympic squad in the Challenge Cup final, despite catching a crab early in the race.
"There is not much doubt that it was a good strong row," Parker said after the Grand Challenge victory. "I expected a strong challenge from New Zealand... But we are delighted to have won and delighted to have taken part in Henley with all its pageantry."
The Olympic coxed and coxless fours and double sculls, all entered under the Charles River banner, also won their events.