Wind-swept and rain-swept by an unprecedented series of meterological mishaps, the 1950 varsity crew will start its season at 5:30 p.m. to morrow against Boston University and M.I.T. The ghost of last year's Yale upset will be riding behind the coxswain.
Four sophomores, Lou McCagg, Steve Hedberg, Jim Slocum, and George Gifford will be rowing at stroke, five, six, and seven oar respectively.
The strong sophomore element in the first boat reverses Coach Tom Bolles' early March boating estimates of a varsity shell made up mostly of voteran oarsmen and confirms his early March statement that building crews is full of imponderables.
Clancy Asp at bow, Ken Keniston at two oar, Ollie Iselin at three oar, and Ted Reynolds at four oar are the experienced men who will be rowing in the first boat. Only Iselin and Reynolds were on last year's boat.
Bill Leavitt, last season's coxswain and this season's captain, will be back at his old post.
19 Days Behind
This spring's consistently cool, wet, and windy weather has put the crew 19 days behind its practice schedule. It will take ten days before the crew will be up to snuff for this stage of competition.
The eight oarsmen in the varsity shell began rowing as a crew April 13 and took time trials Saturday and Wednesday. While not up to last year's boat because of its late start, Bolles reports his varsity has "definitely improved in the last seven days--for which God be thanked."
Warmth, particularly important to crews in training, has been non-existent until this past week. Bolles compares the conditions under which the crews have been working to a pitcher who has to warm up in shorts and a T-shirt in near freezing temperatures.
Look, No Hands
"Then douse that pitcher with a bucket of ice water occasionally and pretty soon he won't know whether or not he has his hands on," Bolles explained. "That's what happens to the boys out on the river."
Though unwilling to help his opposition by announcing time trial results, Bolles hinted that his first boat has rowed the mile and three-quarter course on the Charles in better than 9:30. This is a long way, however, from times such as the 8:48.4 which the crew registered over Navy, MIT, Columbia, and Penn last year.
Bolles feels fairly confident, though, that this year's crew will develop with a little time. It should. The four sophomores come from an undefeated shell which ran the varsity crew several close races in practice last year. Those back from the varsity worked in a boat that was the sprint champion of the East and lost only the traditional four mile race with Yale, an upset in which both crews broke records.
The most conspicuous absence from the varsity shell is Ted Anderson, who rowed at five oar in the first boat last year. Anderson has worked on a different side at six oar this season and hasn't adjusted fully to the switch yet. He will row in the J.V. boat tomorrow along with Charlie Rimmer, Buffy Bohlen, Bill Bliss, John Caner, Al Carter, Frank Peale, Art Rouner, and George Walker.