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FIRST CREWS.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Three Miles.

The favorite had been Holworthy, who retained three of her last fall's crew and who had made no changes since early in the season. Weld had made some changes, which would probably have been very useful had they had ten days to row together before the race, but as it was they caused some distrust in the crew, and it was whispered that Matthews would probably come in second, and perhaps give Holworthy a hard pull for first place, for they were the stronger crew. Holyoke had made such radical changes at the last moment that none who know the necessity of uniformity of rowing doubted but that, barring accidents, she would come in last.

The race proved the correctness of the general opinion.

During the trial spins Holyoke excited some general approval, for they seemed to swing very well together. Their recover was, however, too much of that "elastic leap" which used to be so common, and which always looks so very "racy." Weld and Holyoke both had better individual polish than the Holworthy crew, but they lacked that certain and firm catch together, which is only the result of long pulls by the same crew, behind the same steady stroke.

The start was not good, though not bad enough to justify calling the boats back. Weld was backing, and did not seem to hear the word "Go."

All the crews rowed pretty well within themselves at first, none of the strokes apparently trying for the lead, though it would perhaps have been the best policy for Holyoke, for the crew, not being well together, though made up of men in good training, could not possibly row a stern race, but might do very well with the encouragement of being ahead, and perhaps might discourage or unnerve the crews behind. It is a game not often successful, but is the only one to be tried in such a case. Cambridge tried it this year, and although she did not win, she certainly came near breaking up the time of the Oxford boat during the first mile, and might have succeeded had there been a less steady, cool-headed stroke for the dark blues than Way.

From the very start Holworthy seemed to have the race in their own hands, though they by no means had a "hollow thing of it." At the end of the first half-mile Holworthy were timed at thirty-three strokes to the minute, Weld at thirty-five and one half, Matthews thirty-five and one half, and Holyoke at thirty-six and one half.

The Holworthy were seen to turn the stake first, soon followed by Matthews, then by Weld, and were not off before the broadside of Holyoke began to swing around.

Holworthy led all the way back, while there was a dead set-to between Matthews and Weld for second place.

Up to the stake Holworthy was steered too close to the wall, both losing the full advantage of wind and current, and making a longer course. On the home stretch Weld was kept too much out in the current, but the other crews held a very good course.

It seems strange that coxswains do not learn to take more advantage of tide and wind. During flood-tide there must be a current of one mile an hour at the least, and by avoiding half of that by keeping near the wall, during the ten minutes on the home stretch, a gain (if these premises are right) of 264 feet would be made. When the tide is running out at the rate of four or five miles an hour in mid stream, still greater loss or gain might be made by the steering.

The crews and time were as follows:-

(1.) HOLWORTHY. (2.) MATTHEWS.*

F. R. Appleton, '75 (st.). W. F. Weld, '76 (st.).

E. C. Hall, '76 (2). S. Perkins, L. S. S. (2).

G. W. Irving, L. S. S. (3). H. S. Milton, '75 (3).

J. C. Bolan, '76 (4). J. C. Patton, '76 (4).

R. W. Guild, '76 (5). E. T. Hastings, '76 (5).

H. Denton, L. S. S. (bow). O. W. Meeks, '76 (bow).

Paul Butler, '75 (cox.) S. E. Jennison, '77 (cox.).

Time, 19 m. 11 3/4 sec. Time, 19 m. 18 sec.

(3.) WELD. (4.) HOLYOKE.

A. P. Loring, '78 (st.). W. C. Riggs, '76 (st.).

H. P. Warden, '78 (2). W. B. Bacon, '77 (2).

F. S. Watson, '75 (3). P. V. R. Ely, '78 (3).

H. L. Harding, L. S. (4). A. W. Morgan, '78 (4).

E. S. Martin, '77 (5). J. W. Wells, '78 (5).

W. P. Richards, '76 (bow). F. A. Yznaga, L. S. S. (bow).

G. A. Long, '76 (cox.). E. H. Herrick, '77 (cox.).

Time, 19 m. 31 sec. Time, 19 m. 43 1/2 sec.

Holworthy, although well worked together, was not beyond criticism. The whole crew rolled badly out of the boat at the end of the stroke, and some bad faults at the finish of the stroke were made up for by "meeting" so as to be in time for the next stroke, especially in the upper part of the boat. Had Weld or Holyoke been as well "together" as Holworthy, they would have undoubtedly beaten, from superior strength and style. However, Holworthy had one important excellence which all the other crews lacked. They kept their oars in the water until the end of the stroke, getting the drag on the end, and keeping up the shoot of the boat, while the other crews each more or less snatched too soon from the water, and thus, besides losing a part of the stroke, which though not a hard is a very useful part, they also let their boats down too suddenly into the water, making them bury after the stroke and taking off the headway, just when it is most important that it should be kept up. It is indeed tempting in a race to hurry on to the strong part of the next stroke, and neglect the "elbows well home past the sides" and the "easy finish."

The time of the six-oar crews was astonishingly fast, being it is said more than a minute faster than the fastest class-crew shell time, and yet the crews rowed in laps twenty-six inches broad and carried coxswains. In taking the time, there were two stop-watches used, and one made the time about a minute longer than that given above; but the referee decided the official time according to the most reliable.

It is a great pity that the first crews do not row in shells, for watermanship will be a lost art outside of the University and Freshman crews, and the candidates for the highest boating honors of the College will have had no opportunity of learning how to "sit" and "trim" a light boat.

It is to be hoped that next spring the first-crew race will be opened to shells with no allowance to laps, and that the clubs will each own and enter a shell.

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