Harvard Lightweights Take First in Decisive Fashion
Both the Harvard men’s lightweight and heavyweight crews turned in strong performances over the weekend in their first home races of the season at the Head of the Charles Regatta.
An overturned violation left Harvard in second place in the men’s championship eights, while the men’s lightweight eights registered a big victory over the crew that edged them out a year ago, USRowing.
A buoy violation in the men’s championship eight race on Sunday originally added 10 seconds to Washington’s time, resulting in the Harvard heavyweights being temporarily declared the winners of the race.
But hours after the competition, the penalty was reversed, putting Harvard in second place.
Despite a crash with USRowing eight before the Eliot Bridge, the Huskies finished the three-mile course in 14:37, outpacing Harvard’s time of 14:42. Cal Berkeley finished third, nearly five seconds behind the Crimson.
“Washington rowed a great race and were the victim of an unfortunate crash, but that’s the nature of the race,” said senior six-seat Josh Hicks.
The Huskies, the third boat to start, began to gain on USRowing, the second to start, but the national squad did not yield to the Huskies, and the two boats collided.
“I was sitting in stroke seat, so I could see it all unfold,” senior James O’Connor said. “[There was] angry yelling coming from the Washington crew.... It was quite funny to watch.”
USRowing, another predicted contender for victory, was docked a full three minutes for yielding infractions, causing them to finish last in a field of 28 boats.
The Tideway Scullers, composed entirely of Olympic sculling competitors, and Princeton rounded out the top five.
“The Tideway guys are off their peak from the Olympics and [they’ve had] a little bit of time off,” O’Connor said. “It was really cool today that we beat those crews. I think we all understand that those guys are incredible athletes.”
The first freshman boat also competed in the championship eight race, taking 19th place.
The third Harvard entry came in 25th with a time of 16:06. On Saturday, the two Harvard boats that competed in the club eight race took sixth and tenth places, respectively.