We have already reported to our readers the observations of the N. Y. Herald on the three university crews. The following concerning the same subject from the Tribune will undoubtedly be of interest Of Columbia a correspondent writes : "Taking the men in boating costume, it must be confessed that they do not strike one as a burly, rugged-looking set. They are not the sort of men that the 'Aggies' sent out in '71, that gained the prize for Amherst in '72, that carried the blue and white in '74, or that gained laurels for Harvard in '77, '78 and '79. There is a weedy look about some of the men, and a suggestion that their muscle is too much of a forced growth, that they are rather hot-house products than men naturally of great power and stamina. Strong men they are undoubtedly, men who can pull four miles at a good pace, but despite the fact that five rowed in last year's crew, they have not yet gained a thoroughly seasoned look."
The following comments on the personnel of the Harvard crew are given : "Curtis, slender, intellectual of countenance, as becomes a true Bostonian, who proved last year that a man may lack avoirdupois, wear eye-glasses, and yet row a splendid race, sets the crew a beautiful stroke. Behind him the ponderous Chalfant, with a trunk like Schwartz's and with massive legs and thighs, in boating parlance, "puts plenty of beef into his oar" at every stroke. Then come Hudgens, tall and squarely built; Clark and Hammond, men of height and brawn; Sawyer at No. 2, where he rowed last year, while Cabot, last year's No. 3, occupies the bow. The stroke is a familiar one to those who have watched the Harvard crews for the last six years. It is the same that Bancroft, the best boating man known at Harvard for years, taught his crew in 1876, and which the Harvard crew pulled in their victorious races of '77, '78 and '79. The feature of the Harvard stroke is still the hard catch at the beginning. The stroke consists of a firm catch, using the back and shoving with the legs, while the arms are not used in the first part, being kept straight until the hands are above the knees. Then the arms are bent and the oar-handle drawn well in to the chest, when the hands are quickly shot out over the knees, and the body follows in the long slow recovery. The swing is of fair length, and a great point is for the men to swing up and 'get their backs in' on the beginning of the stroke before they use their slides. The members of the crew believe in scientific rowing; they have a stroke that has been frequently tested, and as a whole they row in admirable form. The accuracy and finish of their movements make their rowing something to be admired, whether it brings them victory or not."
Complaint is made of the oppressive secrecy preserved by all at Yale with regard to the crew. Of the new boat it is said : "There has been a dreadful mystery hanging over this boat. No one except members of the crew has been allowed to see it and all information in regard to it has been kept profoundly secret. Under-classmen have refrained from talking about it lest they might become disliked. A portion of the boat-house has been divided off from the rest by a partition and a very small door with a very large lock has been an eye-sore to inquisitive visitors at the boat-house. During the last week an unpleasant looking bulldog with his ponderous jaws ajar, each available space of which bristled with a tooth, has made his lair in the boat-house, and has been a gentle reminder to approach only within hailing distance.
The stroke this year is rapid, being about forty-two per minute. The muscles of the back are brought into use to a large extent, although the appearance of the men while rowing such a quick stroke indicates the contrary.
Of the individual faults of the crew it is not easy to speak, because the range of observation from the boat-house is exceedingly limited. The general impression is that they row raggedly. 'We don't care how ragged they row,' said an enthusiastic student standing on the veranda of the boat-house, 'if they get that boat over the line first we are satisfied.' That is the way the whole college seems to feel. Yale has labored throughout the year under the disadvantage of having no regular coach. One of the members of the junior class has followed the crew in the steam launch and has told them all he knew on the subject of form, time and style. Collins, captain of last year's crew, arrived at New Haven this week from Europe, and is at present giving the crew some valuable aid in the coaching line. The old coach, Wood, has been unable to give his attention to the boating interests this year, and his absence has been a cause of regret to the whole college. It is expected, however, that he will coach them during their training at New London. They leave for their headquarters on the Thames River next Thursday. The race occurs one week from the following Friday.
The men pull eight miles each day, four miles in the morning at about ten o'clock, and four miles in the evening at about six o'clock. The crew is the heaviest that Yale ever put on the water, and, if 'beef' tells, and there's reason to believe that it does, they will not be very far behind Harvard at the finish. Among the members of the crew there is considerable confidence, more so in fact than is either necessary or good for them. The college at large is very non-committal on the subject, and no one seems to have such a decided opinion one way or the other as to lead him to wager much money. There has been no perceptible tendency on the part of the college faculty to spend sleepless nights in concocting schemes to make life happy to the members of the crew. This is, of course, strange.
There has been no time in the history of Yale boating when every thing pertaining to the University crew has been kept so distressingly secret as during the present year. Whether this seccrey is an advantage or not is one of those things which every one must wait to find out."