The 'Varsity Crew is nearing the end of its work on the Charles. Little more than a week remains before the crew goes to Poughkeepsie for the final training for the quadrangular race, which will be rowed on the Hudson, June 26.
Since Mr. Mumford has taken hold of the crew there has been a very noticeable change in the stroke. Mr. Watson taught the men a hard catch with the shoulders-one which was apparently so hard that the crew could not carry the stroke through. Although Mr. Mumford still insists on a hard catch, it is one that can be carried way through by the men. The result of thus applying the power all through is that the stroke is longer-the proportion of time that the oars are in the water to the length of time they are out is greater. The development of the leg drive was commenced by Mr. Watson, but has been carried to a much greater point by Mr. Mumford.
Since the crew has been on the river the greater part of the coaching has been on the outboard work, but during the past two weeks more attention has been given to inboard work. The result has been that the crew looks much better in the shell than it did a month ago.
The crew as a whole has two faults; they are apt to rush their slides, and when the stroke is raised they are in too much of a hurry to pull through and the stroke is shorter because the men do not draw through to the end.
There is a marked difference between the starboard and port oars. The starboard oars are about as nearly perfect as they can be, but the port oars are uneven. The time is broken by stroke and by four, which causes the shell to ride down to the port side.
Since the class race there have been no races because there have been no crews to race. There have, however, been stretches rowed on time which show that the boat is travelling faster than it did some weeks ago. But the crew seems to have lost much of its dash in trying the different shells, and only during the past few days have the men again shown some of their former dash.
The condition of the men is and has been very good; the light men have held their weight and the heavy men have come down. The crew is in good form for the hard training that is to come and judging from the rapid improvement and the earnest work of the men thus far, there is every reason to suppose that this year's crew will be much superior to those of the last few years.
Individually the men still show slight faults. Goodrich at stroke, who weighs 169 pounds, brings his oar back too far from the water, which makes him clip. The fault of rushing the slide seems to start with him.
Captain Bullard at seven weighs 165 pounds. He rows with more dash and precision than the other men, but covers his oar gradually instead of entirely at the beginning of the stroke. This makes him bad in backing up stroke at the beginning.
Sprague at six has come down very much in weigh, although he is still the heaviest man in the boat, weighing at present 179 pounds. He sits in the boat beautifully, but gets a little extra body swing at the full reach and is apt to be slow in driving his legs.
Fennessy, who now weighs 175 pounds. is still at five, where he will very likely remain, as the order of the crew will not be changed unless it is absolutely necessary. The chief fault he has is that he shortens the stroke by not pulling through from the stretcher all the way in.
Townsend at four weighs 172 pounds. He handles his oar badly on the recover; in fact he is slow in getting away at the beginning of the recover. Another fault is that he does not swing his shoulders on quite enough all through.
Perkins at three, is the second heaviest man in the boat, weighing but a pound less than Sprague. Perkins slumps at full reach-at the catch, and at the finish-when he draws in his arms. He also rushes his slide.
Hollister at two, weighs 172 pounds. His chief fault is that he is slow in applying his power at the catch.
Derby, who weighs 170, has been in the boat only since the class race-not long enough to criticise his work. He is getting on well and will probably remain at bow.
The substitutes, Bull, Moulton, Ames and Adams row daily in a four-oar in the above order.