With probably few tears and much anticipation, the aspiring oarsmen of Coach Bert Haines summer crew will leave their bulking Leviathan next week and take to the faster shells.
This change will not put Harvard's newest crew candidates into racing shells, however. The next step from the assuring stability of the Leviathan is a shell barge.
Barge Similar To Racing Shells
Although the barges are similar in appearance to the racing, shells, there are certain differences which are of paramount importance to the untried crew. Some of the differences, said Coach Haines, are a wider span, a false keel, and a general all-around greater stability.
Racing shells are, according to Haines, 24 to 25 inches wide; while the barges are a welcome four inches wider. Another important difference is the so-called "false keel." This is a six foot long stabilizing fin on the bottom of the barge. The false keel projects about three or four inches downward.
Five Crews To Be Formed
This keel is different from that on racing shells, since the racing keel is only about a foot long and projects about six inches.
Haines said that he was going to divide the men who have been touring the Charles on the Leviathan into five crews. These crews will have informal competition later in the summer.
Although there are no more available openings for oarsmen, the crew coach emphasized the need for small men to act as coxwains. He pointed out that acting as the "slavedriver" of a husky bunch of sweep devotees was perhaps the only way for small men to win their "H's."
This Summer's work is just to get material for the next competition in the spring and even though there is no immediate objective, Haines proclaims that the men's spirit is "fine."
Down at the Weld Boat House they aren't saying much about Harvard's future in the rowing business, but every once in a while someone mentions the 1948 Olympics. When this happens the men seem to get the far-away look and the feeling of wanderlust runs rampant.
Oarsman's Best Year His Second
This is especially so now, since Haines often dropped the remark that an oarsman's best year is his second. This fact is causing a lot of sweat to stain the bottoms of Harvard's shells, since most of the men working out with the coach now are novices. Thus in two years these men will reach their peaks, and the competition for the American shell entry in the Olympics will be underway.
At this time Haines maintains that every college will have an equal chance to make the trip to England, since nearly every collegiate crew will have a complete turn-over in two years. He figures that the odds against any single college now stand at 10 to 1.