Abandoing technique for power, the Radcliffe heavyweight crew ripped through white caps of the Charles River to a decisive, but not-so-pretty triumph over Northeastern and Brown Saturday.
The Black and White muscled through a powerful headwind, to capture a solid, final victory of the season.
The start of the race was delayed almost 15 minutes because of a series of mishaps caused by the horrendous conditions. For an Ivy crew, Brown showed little precociousness in attempting to locate the starting line.
After three tries, the Bruins finally sat ready at the start but drifted into a rope that snagged its rudder.
The now exasperated and tense Radcliffe crew exploded from the gun, leaving, the discombobulated Bruins four seats behind.
"Radcliffe took the race from the start," said Stone. "The first 500 were very aggressive."
The Black and White had more of a battle with the headwind than with Brown or Northeastern, who fought it out for second.
"The wind was so awful that our rowing felt like leg press, bench pull, leg press, bench pull the whole way," said seven-seat Alison Townley.
Despite their uncharacteristically low stroke rating of 33, three below normal, the Radcliffe crew continued to gain seats and by the 700-meter mark had a substantial lead.
"It took us 'til the 700 to go through them and get open water," said coxswain Mary Boland. "But, we held it 'til the end."
For the last 800 of the 2000-meter race, the Black and White held off the Bruins' final sprint and finished nearly a boatlength (six seconds) ahead of Brown. Northeastern paddled in three seconds after the Bruins.
Radcliffe's upset against Yale last weekend moved the heavies up four notches in the Eastern rankings to third.
on the Charles River