The Crimson Heavyweights gave their season a very impressive beginning Saturday by sweeping more experienced crews from Rutgers and Brown on the Charles in nearly perfect racing conditions. It was a particularly fine start for Coach Harry Parker, who took over as varsity coach only this year.
The young varsity oarsmen, six of whom have never rowed under any other coach, pulled past twice-beaten Rutgers after a shaky start and went on to win by a length in 8:50.2 over the mile and three-quarter course. Brown straggled in four lengths behind the Rutgers eight, which was timed in 8:54.
The JV's and the first freshman boat also defeated Rutgers and Brown in the same order. Coached by Larry Coolidge, who was Lightweight coach before taking over Parker's former position, the freshman eight finished with a decisive length and a half lead in the excellent time of 8:55.4.
In the closest race of the day, the Crimson JV's outlasted an all-senior Rutgers boat to win by half a length in 9:04. But the margin of victory was much bigger when the third varsity and second freshman opened the regatta with victories earlier in the afternoon.
The Crimson Lightweights, meanwhile, had a much less successful day in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, where they faced their toughest competition so far in M.I.T. Both the Crimson varsity and JV's, while finishing just ahead of Dartmouth, lost badly to the Engineers by the large margin of ten seconds, or two and a half lengths.
"We didn't row as well as we should have," Coach Fred Cabot said, "but M.I.T. has a very good crew, there's no doubt about that. I don't see how they're going to be headed by anyone this year." The freshman eight salvaged some success for the Crimson, however, with an impressive seven second victory over M.I.T.
The third varsity boat also won its race, but after the disappointing results of the Biglin Cup, which the Crimson lost for the first time in eight years, Cabot will probably be experimenting with some boating changes in his top two crews this week.
There was nothing disappointing about the Heavyweight crews, however, as they made the most of a light tailwind and a glass smooth Charles. Stroked by sophomore Geoff Picard, the varsity eight settled down to a steady 32-stroke beat after the shaky start and slowly built up its Rutgers over Rutgers and Brown.
When Rutgers raised their stroke to 38 in an attempt to overtake the Crimson in the sprint, Picard needed only to go up to a 36 to keep the lead, and shortly afterwards Coach Parker had won his first varsity race. Though the boat's setup was unsure at many points during the race, the inexperienced sophomores rowed well for their first test.
The JV's, stroked by junior Rick Knauft, were seriously threatened by Rutgers in the sprint. While the latter finished at a 35, Knauft went up to a 37 to stave off the fast-closing crew from New Jersey by half a length.
For Parker, the Heavyweight victories were particularly encouraging, since he was facing both experienced and well-coached crews. Though the Rutgers varsity is filled with sophomores, it had experience from two previous races behind it