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Eli Cancellation Puts Red Top Race in Doubt; Harvard Seeks New Uses for Crew's Camp

By Richard W. Edelman

Harvard is trying to find alternate uses for its crew training quarters at Ledyard, Conn.

The crew has used the training base, known as "Red Top," to prepare for the Yale race since 1881.

Yale decided last spring not to compete in the annual June race because its school year ends in early May. The Elis will row Harvard instead in a 2000-meter race on May 18. The June race was a four-mile affair requiring considerable pre-race preparation.

Robert D. Watson '37, director of athletics, said, "It doesn't look like we'll row anybody at Red Top this year. Navy is a possibility, but I doubt it."

Only Navy and Yale have training facilities close enough to the four-mile course to prepare for the race, Watson said. No other schools want to row the four-mile New London course, he added.

Harvard faces problems other than a dearth of opponents. Connecticut has declared Red Top unsafe for occupancy until it meets certain fire and safety regulations.

Original renovation costs were estimated at $25,000 but subsequent negotiations have relaxed some of the requirements. A new estimate has not been made.

A Rise in Taxes

Taxes on the property will rise to $16,000 in 1974 from $7380 in 1973. Taxes alone now exceed the yearly $12,000 income from an endowment raised by the Friends of Harvard Rowing to pay for repairs and taxes.

The Friends of Harvard Rowing has agreed to pay for the renovation of the Red Top facilities, Watson said. No one has yet offered payment of the $4000 tax differential. The University will continue to pay the expenses of trips to Red Top, estimated at $12,000.

Watson asked Stephen S.J. Hall, vice president for administration, to find "ways to get revenue out of Red Top" since the property is used only two weeks out of the year. Hall has hired two Business School students to work on the problem during Christmas recess.

Watson said that because Yale has tentatively agreed to resume the June race in 1975, Harvard will not sell the property.

Harvard is engaged in negotiations to get a mid-June race, which may be held in Cambridge. Watson said that the opponent would not be from the Ivy League.

Since the Athletic Department has allocated no funds for this post-season race, the Friends of Harvard Rowing has agreed to pay for the meals of the Harvard oarsmen who will be competing in the contest.

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