In football, the Harvard, Yale game is the highlight of the season, with either team's contest against Princeton usually running a close second.
In men's lightweight crew there's none of this pussyfooting around--the Crimson, the Elis and the Tigers battle it out all at once in the Harvard-Yale-Princeton (HYP) Goldthwait Cup competition. More often than not, the winner also emerges as the Eastern Sprint Champion once the second weekend in May rolls around.
This year, HYP is on the Charles and crew-watchers are on pins and needles.
"This is always the best race of the year," says Yale Coach Dave Vogel "This is the dual meet that everybody's pointing toward."
And it's not yet the participants doing the pointing A coaches poll released this week puts the 5-0 Yale varsity eight first in the East, the squally unbeaten Harvard squad (3-0) third, and Princeton--with only one defeat on its record fifth.
"From a spectator's point of view," promises Harvard Coach Bruce Beall, "they'll never see any more exciting races."
With Harvard and Yale looking like the two stronger crews, this race may be more exciting than anything since--would you believe a certain gridiron contest last November.
The first Eli eight includes seven returning letterwinners from last year's squad, which came in second in the Eastern Sprints--four tenths of a second behind Princeton and six-tenths ahead of the Crimson.
But only two Harvard varsity oarsmen and their coxswain remember that contest--all the others have graduated and Beall fields five juniors in the first eight.
Still, that's no reason to think that Harvard can't come out ahead "We're not going to concede and inch," says Beall.
"We've done all the preparation necessary to win," says varsity oarsman Paul Natterson. "There's no reason to believe that we won't take this race."
Vogel is a bit more cautious I'm sure we'll have some good faces he says No matter what happens.