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The Yale crew, which is nearly the same as that of last year, says the New York Tribune, began rowing in the harbor on Feb. 15, at which time they used a barge. On Feb. 27 they rowed in their shell, and have been rowing in that ever since. It is the same boat used in the race at New London last year. Each day the crew rowed not less than four miles. But the regular training was not begun until April. Now they pull from five to eight miles a day. Since regular training was begun not a day has been lost. Ten A. M. and five P. M. always find the crew pulling over their course in the harbor. Beyond their work in the boat the crew take no other important exercise. They are all in fine condition, and pull the boat through the water with speed that augurs well for them in the race at New London. Their diet has been more liberal than heretofore. In matters of drink they are limited to water, iced tea and milk. The stroke will be the same as that pulled last year. It is the common belief among the boating men here that the fast stroke is in every point better than the English stroke taught by Robert Cook. Consequently the stroke will be quick - about forty-five to the minute. They are now pulling about forty-one or forty-two in practice. It is expected that the time made this year at New London will be considerably less than it was last year, although the time then was better than ever before made by any Yale crew.
All questions as to weight, physical condition, strength, in fact any thing that refers directly or indirectly to the crew, their rowing and their boat, are regarded as impertinent at Yale, and are never answered. Consequently the members of the crew appear to their college mates as something above the ordinary run of mortals, who possess untold mysteries and secrets that are invaluable. As far as getting any information whatever about the crew is concerned, one might as well be a Harvard as a Yale man. A ridiculous air of mystery and secrecy, which is only equalled by that which surrounds the senior societies, pervades the boat house. The members of the crew answer all questions which they cannot avoid, but show the greatest reticence about talking on boating topics. The boat house is not guarded at night this year, however, by a savage dog, as it was last year, but will no doubt be provided with one very soon. A part of the boat house has been partitioned off for the housing of the University shell, and is kept continually bolted, barred and locked. Nobody enters there unless he is a member of the crew or a coach. There is great anxiety lest some one interested in the Harvard crew may see and report to them something about Yale's peculiar boat and the new style of rigging. Matters have come to such a pass nowadays that the crew resort to all sorts of tricks to deceive those who are watching them. They will pull a very slow or a very quick stroke, as fancy pleases them; or they will row a long distance in good form, and then suddenly appear to be "all broken up." They find it almost impossible, however, to prevent someone seeing their boat. For when it is taken out of the boat house and placed in the water it is right under the noses of people in the street above. The possibility of a long and careful study of this delicate piece of boat-building is precluded, however, by a little expedient on the part of the crew that is as ridiculous as it is stupid.
Besides having entire confidence in their stroke, the boating men and the college generally believe thoroughly in the new style of boat and rigging used by them last year. It is said that the test of the boat was not made last year. They will therefore row in the same kind of boat, and the men will row in pairs. There have been some minor changes in the rigging, but practically it remains the same. The belief was so general last year that the race was lost through the bad steering of the coxswain, and the feeling against him was so strong, that he embraced the first opportunity he got to leave college. This year D. B. Tucker, the man who ought to have been coxswain last year, and would have been if the captain had not had more authority than the coach, will steer the Yale boat. Mr. Tucker weighs 115 pounds and is twenty-eight pounds heavier than his predecessor was. He has had a long experience as coxswain and has always brought his crew in ahead. It was contrary to all advice that Mr. Tucker did not steer the boat last year. The only coaching that the crew have had or will have has been given by T. R. Hilliard, of the senior class. He has had considerable experience, and is thought by the crew to be competent to do that very important work. The quarters of the crew at New London are being put in readiness for their reception, which will occur June 20.
The date of the race is June 28. The general feeling among the students, as well as among the members of the crew, is one of confidence. There is a determination manifested by the crew to defeat Harvard this year. There is unusual interest in boating matters generally, as evidenced by the crowds that gather at the boat house every afternoon.
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