Harvard's 1941 crew may well the best eight in the country but no one will ever have a chance to learn for sure if it is. The Crimson record of leaving every opponent somewhere in the wash of the shell is undisputably perfect so far as it goes, but Harvard can make no sure claims even to a mythical championship so long as there are undefeated boats in the country against which the Crimson 0arsmen haven't raced.
Only one way of establishing a valid claim to supremacy exists-victory at the Poughkeepsie regattas. Over the years the race on the Judson has emerged as a sort of national tournament and the winner is hailed as the champion. Harvard and Yale have never yet entered a shell in the Vassertown sweepstakes, mainly, it would seem, because the even would be an anti-climax to their own New London affair, which comes one or two weeks sooner. The Crimson and the Blue never get a chance to test their speed against that of the crews on the rest of the country, those of the Pacific Coast in particular.
Obviously it is too late too enter the 1941 crew in the Regatta with hardly a week to go. It must forever remain a moot point whether Tom Bolles' boys could lick his Washington alma mater, the other outstanding contender for the crown. But there is plenty of time to make arrangements for next year and the next and the next. It isn't as though this were the only good crew we were ever going to be able to boast of. Every Year the schools which specialize in producing oarsmen send their graduates to Harvard and Yale where Bolles and Ed Leader can mold them into Varsity eights. And every year the crews at New Haven and Cambridge rank far above average. Only infrequently is there such a lapse at one of the institutions that the shell would not make a good showing at Poughkeepsie.
There may be a host of objections to sending the Harvard and Yale rowers to the Regatta, particularly with the national emergency and the budget cuts filling the lives of the H.A.A. and the Y.A.A. with gloom. But if they could get out of their heads the notion that the New London race is the be-all and the end-all of crewdom, the difficulties could be overcome.
The championship situation has been poor around Cambridge lately. There is no way of proving our much vaunted academic superiority and our football team hasn't been of Rose Bowl caliber since 1920. Even our chess team, once the strongest threat of our Intercollegiate aggregations, is no longer undefeated. When it becomes obvious, therefore, that in one sport we are consistently among the strongest colleges in the country we should take advantage of that fact to test our crew against the other top-notch colleges and to see if Harvard can't come out on top of the heap.