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The pernicious Cambridge weather, which had plagued varsity crew practices all week long, continued its devilment last Saturday as a 15 m.p.h. head-wing during the varsity race brought whitecaps to the Charles River and frustration to the rowers. When the race was over, a strong Princeton eight had outclassed the Crimson with a blistering sprint in the last quarter mile to win the Compton Cup.
The afternoon actually started out with almost perfect rowing conditions as a slight tailwind favored the first two races, both won by Harvard. The second freshmen heavies won the combination race, and then the first-string yardlings won by a length over Princeton in 8:58.4, more than half a minute better than the winning Princeton varsity time of 9:33.8.
With the start of the JV race, however, the wind had shifted around and now came off the Boston shore. A superior Princeton crew won by a length and a half over the JV's with a time of 9:09.8. The Harvard boat rowed a much better race than they did against Syracuse, but this time they were up against stiffer competition.
Tigers Take Early Lead
The Tiger eight quickly jumped to a slight lead at the start and kept command throughout the race, withstanding a Crimson sprint near the end. "The JV rowers had few misgivings at the end of their race," Coach Harvey Love commented, "nor should they; they were beaten by a better crew."
By the start of the varsity race, the wind had completed the half-circle and was directly on the rowers' backs. It affected both crews equally, but the varsity did not have a decent day's practice all last week, while the weather at Princeton was relatively calm. Consequently, the Tiger crew was in somewhat better shape for the race and had the stamina to put on the finish that they did.
The race started as it did against Syracuse: the Crimson jumping into a slight lead, Princeton about a deck length behind, and the rest of the crews wallowing in their wash. As the race progressed, the varsity, rowing a steady 31, maintained this lead over Princeton, while the Tigers, stroking 32, were content to lay back and wait for the finish.
With a half mile to go, both crews increased their beats by two strokes, with the Crimson still slightly in the fore. Then with about a quarter of a mile to go, Princeton made a determined bid for victory. From a 34, they went to a 36, then a 38, and finally, a 40.
The varsity responded by upping their beat to a 38, but the Tigers had already passed them. At the finish, both crews were rowing well in spite of the conditions, but it was Princeton who had the reserve power to win the race.
The lightweights spent a very successful weekend in Hanover as they easily swept Dartmouth in all five races. The varsity, in a warm-up for the Goldthwait cup against Princeton and Yale next weekend, won their race with a fine 6:32 clocking for the Henley distance
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