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To the Editors of the Crimson:
If you will permit me I will add a few words in support of the suggestion advanced in my letter of December 16.
It has been said that our boys ought to have as much endurance and stamina as those in England, who take part in the Oxford-Cambridge races. I certainly hope they have as much, but that is not the point. What I contend is that our boys are called upon to bear, not merely a strain equal to that of the Oxford-Cambridge contest, and of the preparation for it, but a greater one. Greater because, as I have previously pointed out, of the difference in weather conditions during the contest, and during the period of preparation for it, because of the added worry of the final examinations, and further because our race at New London is, if anything, slightly longer in time. It is true that the Oxford-Cambridge race is about three-eighths of a mile longer than our race, but the rate of flow in the river there is so much greater than at New London, that the time required to cover the longer distance, is no greater than that required in our race, and it is the time that counts.
I do not wish to hurt or in any way detract from the value of our annual race with Yale and am entirely willing to take the present risk of four miles, if a test of that length can be proved necessary for the best results. What I contend is, that a four mile test is not necessary, that we will lose by the change nothing of good which we now have, and that therefore, as I have today seen Dr. Brooks quoted, three miles will be a "desirable substitute," desirable because there is less danger in it.
Let us consider for a moment the amount of risk incurred. Even if not unduly great, it is nevertheless more than in any other sport, because the strain is admittedly more severe, and this too when the men engaged are physically sound, and in good condition. Think for a moment of the risk to a man who is perhaps not in the best of condition, or who has perhaps some slight physical imperfection. This should not be allowed to happen you will say, and should not be considered. It has happened, however, more than once. It is a very difficult matter to prepare a crew so that all the men in it are in the best condition, because while it is very necessary for the men to row in the same places for a considerable time before the race, it is not best for all the men to do the same amount of work every day, so that a coach is constantly worried between what is best for certain individuals and what is best for the crew.
It should also be remembered, that if three miles is tried and found wanting, it will still be possible to go back again to four.
I hope you will consider this suggestion carefully and not condemn it simply because it is a change and you do not want a change. Most changes are hard to make, but it is only by making them that any advance is secured. EDW. C. STORROW.