Home-field advantage knows no element.
Rowing on friendly waters this weekend, the Harvard men's heavyweight crew team continued its Charles River-dominance by defeating Princeton and MIT in the 65th Rowing of the Compton Cup Saturday morning. The Radcliffe women's squad followed suit by outpacing California, Syracuse and Dartmouth to take the inaugural O'Leary Cup.
While the results were perfect for Harvard, the weather was not. Rain and heavy winds forced race officials to alter the race. The morning's races were moved to an upstream course further down the river, and side-by-side competition was eliminated. Instead, the boats raced single file with crews starting about a minute apart.
The Crimson entered the weekend ranked fourth in the nation and more than solidified that ranking out on the river this weekend. All three varsity and both freshman boats were victorious, although the junior varsity and freshman boats shared their wins with Princeton after the races were ruled dead heats.
With a time of 5:28.9, the Crimson avenged last year's Compton Cup loss to the No. 5 Tigers at New Jersey's Lake Carnegie. Even though the "home" nature of this weekend's race may warrant an asterisk due to the change of venue, the men's team did not appear the least bit phased.
"I felt all the crews handled the format well," Harvard Coach Harry Parker said. "Moving the course gave us improved conditions."
Princeton finished second in the 1850-meter first varsity race with a time of 5:31.8. Northeastern, a late entry after its scheduled race with Brown was postponed, finished third with an unofficial time of 5:48.0. MIT's first varsity rounded out the field, completing the race in 6:06.9.