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
VARSITY 1. RADCLIFFE (bow Deborah Porterfield; 2, Jennifer Lowe; 3, Ellen Kennelly; 4, Anna Seaton; 5, Jennifer Hale; 6, Eleanor Prior; 7, Alison Townley; stroke Marianne Romak coxswain, Mary Boland) 8:07 45 2 Brown 8:13 11 3 Northeastern 8:16 44
SECOND VARSITY 1 RADCLIFFE (bow Laurie Doucette; 2, Lauren Crocker; 3, Mary Farrell; 4, Christina Erickson; 5, Serena Eddy; 6, Anne Gregory; 7, Liza Paschal stroke Jocelyn Mcarther; coxswain Rachel Ward) 2 Brown 3, Northeastern.
FIRST NOVICE 1 RADCLIFFE (bow Julia Holland 2, Beth Steinhorn; 3, Martha Rodgers; 4, Donna Marcin; 5, Kim Brown; 6, Carolyn Greis; 7, Jenny Honig; stroke Susan Forter coxswain Margaret Liu) 2 Brown 3 Northeastern.
In two weeks, the Black and white head for Lake Waramaug in New Preston, Conn, for the Eastern Sprints. The heavies will confront the most talented crews including the top-ranked Badgers from Wisconsin, whom they don't race during the regular season.
The J.V. heavies season had a happy ending this weekend.
After losing every race of the season, the J.V.'s last race doubled as their first victory. The Black and White eked out a narrow win over Northeastern by just two seconds, while Brown fell by a boatlength.
Eager for a victory, stroke Jocelyn McArthur, replacing injured stroke Tina Holt, started the race at an unbelievably aggressive 44-stroke rating.
The first noviees' stroke, Jenny Rudolph, was also sidelined with an injury. The novices suffered their second disheartening loss of the season to Brown Radcliffe held the lead for the almost entire race, until the Bruins sprinted to a tour tenths of a second triumph.
THE NOTEBOOK: Townley yesterday scored the best hour-mile ergometer time in the country, notching a 303. Townley's efforts bettered the marks of several members of the 1984 United States Olympic team.