RHD TOP, Conn., June 15--Harvard's unbeaten varsity eight, although a heavy favorite over Yale in the 100th annual meeting of the two crews this Saturday, will have an uphill stream to row against the Bulldogs--if you believe in time trials.
The Elis came within 16 seconds of breaking the downstream record for the four-mile course on Connecticut's Thames River last Saturday. The record of 19 minutes 21.4 seconds was set by Harvard in 1948. The Crimson's times have not been released, but supposedly were somewhat higher. As always however, bare statistics do not tell the whole story. The Blue crew rowed in near-perfect weather, while Harvard's race was timed under somewhat poorer conditions.
The chances for a record-shattering time in the varsity heavies look fairly dim. For one thing, the 1948 race was rowed with a favorable tide and a substantial tailwind. This year's wind direction is an unknown factor and local fishermen are looking for a slack tide. So, unless the Crimson gets a strong north wind at their backs, there won't be a new record. In any case, Harvard should win and be on their way to Henley and Lucerne by this time next week.
Yale coach Jim Rathschmidt finally seems to have his boats set. He used last week's time trials to determine which of his two varsity crews would race on Saturday, and he now seems satisfied.
On the contrary, the Crimson boat will remain as it has been all year. Harvard's only change will come in the combina- tion race, which is made up of members of the second freshman and third varsity boats, and is raced only on this occasion. The Harvard boating will be: bow, Tony Parker; two, Ed Poliakoff; three, Bill Wolbach; four, Andy Larkin; five, Jake Fiechter; six, Geoff Lister; seven, Tom Scarvie; stroke, Clint Allen; and cox, Quentin Sullivan.
The combination race, which will be run over the two-mile course Friday afternoon rather than on Saturday with the rest of the regatta, presents the second most serious challenge to the Crimson. Yale has been taking this race very seriously, and has had the combies working out with their own coach--a departure from the custom of doubling up combies and freshmen.
The freshmen race, also two miles, will probably be the most hotly contested. The Crimson freshmen, undefeated Eastern Sprints champions, looked better last Saturday than they've ever been--but the Yale crew has also rowed good races, and the finish should be very close.
Over the three-mile course, the JV race will also be tight. Although Harvard beat Yale by two-and-one-half lengths in the Sprints, plenty can happen in the 4000 additional feet the crew will be rowing this Saturday. Last week's time trial made the JV's even greater favorites