Gale's Ferry, Conn., June 23, 1915.--The Yale season this year began with the regulation fall practice for the two varsity boats, the men doing their work under the direction of the coaches. Last autumn was the time in which Yale raced their Princeton rivals. This year, however, the schedule was changed, the autumn work consisting merely of time trials and regular work. Two full crews reported daily, and the work lasted from September to November. The stress of the practice was put into rounding out two boats which should be well drilled in both unity and detail. The spring season could then begin with a long lead over what would otherwise have been a dull monotony of rudimentary work. At the end of the fall two well developed crews finished the practice and remained over the intervening months so that the same men were there to start with at the beginning of the final stretch.
Victory in Two Races.
The spring practice began in February. Much of the rowing had to be done on the machines, as the water was not open until March. Two crews of university calibre were immediately made from a selection of the three upper classes, and the freshman squad was kept together. Pennsylvania was met and defeated early in the season, during a blinding blizzard. The first crew met Princeton and Cornell on the Carnegie Lake in a triangular race. The Blue came out the victor, Cornell was next and Princeton brought up the rear. This race was the first which proved the high quality of the crew which Harvard faces Friday.
The Yale oarsmen planned this year to follow out their usual custom in arriving two or three days ahead of the Harvard crew, but they were unable to accomplish this as high winds and general unfavorable weather conditions prevented them from bringing around the boats. The men did not arrive until a day before the Harvard crews. The general rowing schedule for the daily work at Gales Ferry this year has included two work-outs each day. The morning is usually subordinate to the afternoon when the real work of the day is done. This consists of time rows when Coach Nickalls deems them necessary, and otherwise pulls varying from five to ten or fifteen miles in length. The times of the Blue oarsmen have compared very closely with those of the Harvard eight. In the only time trials which run close enough together to allow a very fair comparison Harvard's, was the fastest by a matter of three seconds, which means three-quarters of a length. The times were 20minutes, 2 seconds, and 21 minutes, 5 seconds. Yale was paced by their second crew during the last mile while their opponents rowed the whole trial independently.
The head coach for the Blue this year has been Guy Nickalls, the Englishman who had them under charge last season. He has done most excellent work with the crews and is well satisfied with his men. He has been assisted by Coach Giannini, who has in general had the second crew to train while Nickalls looks after the first and the freshmen.