For the fourth straight year Harvard swept the Thames, and in addition this year's edition of the Tom Bolles special completes its season undefeated and stamps itself as one of the greatest of Crimson eights, if not the greatest.
This fact is born out by a survey of the records which reveals that only once during the spring was Harvard pressed, and that was by Navy under weather conditions which would tend to make any race an upset.
Varsity Race Climaxes Weekend
As a fitting finale to the season the Varsity crows of both Harvard and Yale paddled to the starting line in Bartlett's cove, half way from the Crimson training quarters at Red Top and the Eli's camp at Gales Ferry, late Saturday afternoon. Previously the combination crew composed of substitutes had whipped the Elis by a length and three quarters, the Freshmen had turned the same trick by three lengths, and the Junior Varsity had been hard pressed in winning by a length.
From the very start there was little doubt as to the eventual outcome. In the first ten strokes Bits Curwen paced his boat to a deck-length advantage, and the big Harvard shell kept the power on all the way down the course, going over the line a three-length victor in 20:40.
As it has since early this spring, the Harvard crow was rowing with beautiful precision. Those who watch it from launches are hard pressed-to find anything about which to quibble, although Tom Bolles can generally find something which doesn't please him. Eight oars hit the water outboard with chronological precision, and following a powerful pull-through, dip cat with scarcely a splash, all leaving the water at exactly the same moment. Inboard the crew is not quite as balanced, but what few faults there are seem to counteract each other, and the shell's run, even at very high strokes, has been the envy of all who have seen it.
One of the constant sources of wonder about the 1941 crew is the presence of a slightly-built sophomore in the vital number seven position. It is his duty to pick up the beat from the stroke and pass it down through the starboard side of the boat, and the man to whom this job falls this year is Dave Challinor, a St. Paul's product, as the majority of sweep-swingers seem to be.
Challinor is not the artist's idea of a crew man. His muscles don't seem to bulge in the right places, and although he stands a good six feet two, he doesn't seem to have the wherewithal to hold him together. On the New London program he was listed at 168, the first time that the powers that be have acknowledged him to be less than 170, although it has been rumored consistently that he scales less than 165. He makes up with a perfection of style for what he lacks in "beef," and has certainly proved a proficient filler of the rowing socks left empty by Fluff Stevens, the 1940 captain.
Ted Lyman Captain 1941 Crew
Next year's captain is Ted Lyman, who rowed the third Varsity race of his career Saturday. Lyman, who prepared at Noble and Greenough, seemed slated for more fame via his gridiron achievements than through his oarsmanship when he came to college. He was captain of the 1942 undefeated Freshman football team, which boasted such luminaries as Spreyer, Lee, Peabody, Gardiner, Miller, Ayres, and a host of others but during his Sophomore fall he played on the Jayvees, and emerged into prominence last fall only in the Brown game as a third string blocking back, where his work was deemed by the public at large to be very efficient.
Sophomore spring he made the third Varsity, and this year was rowing five on the Junior Varsity until Bolles moved him and stroke Bus Curwen to corresponding positions in the first boat before the race with Navy and Pennsylvania.