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NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 1891.
To the Editors of the Daily Crimson:
It will be admitted that in a boat race there are four factors, at least, of some importance. They are: the water, the boat, the men, and the method the men take to get the boat over the water.
Of the first two little need be said here. As we have no control over the water, a crew that loses a race because the water was against them will not be blamed. As to the boat it is the duty of those in authority to secure the best boat obtainable, in order that this factor in a race shall at least not be against them.
The catalogue shows that we have 2,271 men from whom to select a crew, while Yale has 1,645. With an advantage of over 27 per cent. we have at least as good a chance to pick a crew physically perfect as has Yale. I have been told by recent Harvard graduates that while at Yale the best men get on the crew, at Harvard a seat in the boat is largely the result of social or society finesse. If this be true, while I doubt it, it ought to be stopped. Of course of two equally good oars it is natural to prefer your fellow club or society mate to an "outsider." But if the "outsider" outclasses your friend as an oar it is a college crime to reject him. Still with all I have heard of the methods of selecting crews at Cambridge I have no fear of the crew. Indeed "the finest crew Harvard ever put on the water" has become quite as familiar to us of late as have defeats.
Coming now to the last factor, the word "stroke" might be substituted for "method," and the following sub-division adopted: 1. Skill and form. 2. Time. 3. Recover. According to some, all that may be said upon rowing may be included under the head of "skill;" "form," referring to the appearance of similarity and uniformity throughout the crew. It will be apparent that both "form" and "skill" are dependent upon certain constituent elements. Two of these, "time" and "recover" may be considered in another letter.