When the University crew crossed the finish line at New London last July, a winner over Yale by six lengths, the victory culminated perhaps the most notable week in the history of Harvard rowing, a week in which Harvard had won six out of six races from Yale, each race in a clean-cut and decisive manner. In 1899 the University crews were all victorious at New London, but at that time there were only three races, those between the university eights and fours and freshman eights, so the out come of this year's races was even more triumphant.
From another point of view the results of this year's races were especially gratifying. Coach Wray has just finished his fifth year at Harvard and the record of his crews in this period is remarkable. During these years Harvard has won three out of five races for university eights and four out of five for freshman eights.
The eleventh hour change which removed Sargent from stroke, placed R. W. Cutler in his seat, and took P. Withington from the four for Cutler's place at 6, was only another proof that Coach Wray had the courage of his convictions and knew what he was about. The crew tested Yale's sprinting capacity in the first half minute, held itself well in hand for two miles, and then romped away. Harvard's time was 21 minutes, 50 seconds. Yale finished 20 seconds later in 22 minutes, 10 seconds.
The University race was rowed upstream from the railroad bridge to the finish line opposite the Harvard quarters at Red Top, and was started promptly a few minutes after 6 o'clock. By her method of taking shorter strokes in starting Yale gained a slight advantage at the crack of the starting gun, showing 19 strokes in the first half minute to Harvard's 18. But this slight lead was soon cut down and before a quarter of a mile had been rowed Harvard took the lead and settled down to a steady pace of 33, a stroke which was maintained for two miles. At the half-mile the lead was one-third of a length, and after the first mile had been passed Harvard was about two-thirds of a length ahead. From this point up to the two and one-half mile flag the race was a gruelling one and very exciting, Harvard's stroke never varying from 33, while Yale's was being continually broken by vain spurts. Just before reaching the half-way mark before the Navy Yard, Yale made a supreme effort to cut down Harvard's lead, but it was her last. It was right here that Cutler proved himself to be a stroke up to every emergency, for without changing his pace in the slightest manner he allowed Yale's spurt to shorten the load about twenty feet, and then, as Yale's stroke was lowered again, he raised his own stroke for the first time since the start, and the boat drew away rapidly. Harvard had met Yale's last spurt with disastrous results for Yale, and now began to increase the lead at will. Passing the two and one-half mile mark Harvard had a good margin of open water. At 3 miles the lead, was 3 lengths and over a length was added in the next half-mile. During the last half-mile Cutler worked the stroke up gradually, until the crew crossed the finish line rowing 39 strokes to the minute in beautiful form, a winner by six lengths.
The races for the university fours and freshman eights were held in the morning, before the university eight-oared race. The fours started at the finish line opposite Red Top and rowed over the last two miles of the course to the Navy Yard. The eights rowed two miles from the Navy Yard to the rail-road bridge. In point of closeness the four-oared race was the best of the day. Both crews started at 36 to the minute, with Yale having a slight advantage, which was increased to almost a length by the time the half-mile flag was reached. On nearing the mile mark, where rough water was encountered, Harvard made her supreme effort, and soon after passing the mile flag went into the lead, rowing a clean 31 to Yale's desperate 34. Yale held on doggedly, but at the mile and one-half mark was a length and three-quarters behind. Harvard finished in 13 minutes, 14 seconds, three and one-half lengths ahead. Yale's time was 13 minutes, 22 seconds.
The race for freshman eights early proved a runaway for Harvard. The Freshman crew came up to its reputation of being the fastest Freshman eight that Coach Wray has ever turned out, and finished about 14 lengths ahead of Yale in 11 minutes, 22 seconds, giving a splendid exhibition of fast, clean rowing throughout the course. Yale finished almost a whole minute behind in 12 minutes 9 seconds.
Harvard opened up a lead of 10 feet in the first twenty strokes. Rowing 36 to the minute Harvard passed into the second half-mile over two and one-half lengths ahead. Soon after this Stroke Newton dropped the beat to 32 and the boat forged ahead with every powerful well-executed dip of the oars. Entering the last mile Newton again shoved the stroke up to between 35 and 36, a pace which was kept up to the finish. At the mile Harvard was seven lengths ahead, and at the finish line from 14 to 16 lengths separated the two shells.
On Saturday morning, June 26, the second University four handily defeated Yale in a mile race by about three lengths. Two more preliminary races were held on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 30. The graduate eight defeated Yale in a half-mile race by a length and a half in 2 minutes, 25 seconds, making the fourth successive win in this event for Harvard. Unfortunately the race for freshman fours was a farcical affair as Yale had only three men to fill her boat, the fourth man being used in her freshman eight. The distance was cut down from a mile to a half-mile course, both crews rowing without a bow oar. Harvard won in 2 minutes, 48 seconds, a scant three-quarters of a length ahead.
The orders follow:
University eight--Stroke, R. Cutler; 7, Waid; 6, P. Withington; 5, L. Withington; 4, Bacon; 3, Faulkner; 2, Lunt; bow, E. Cutler; cox., Blagden.
Yale university eight--Stroke, Wallis; 7, Van Blarcom; 6, Howe; 5, Baker; 4, Hyde; 3, Wodel; 2, Glenny; bow, Rice; cox., Fearing.
University four--Stroke, Sargent; 3, Severance; 2, Forster; bow, Whitney; cox., King.
Yale university four--Stroke, Frost; 3, Brainerd; 2, Colburn; bow, Thorne; cox., Cass.
Freshman eight--Stroke, Newton; 7, Metcalf; 6, Strong; 5, Higginson; 4, Leslie; 3, Balch; 2, Richardson; bow, Wiggins; cox., Faxon.
Yale freshman eight--Stroke, Dilworth; 7, Maitland; 6, Buckingham; 5, Baker; 4, Paul; 3, Kerr; 2, Stout; bow, Emmett; cox., Wood.