The Radcliffe Crew, sporting a 3-1 record on the season, will take one final tune-up for the Sprints this Sunday, meeting the two powerful eights from Williams and UConn in an 11 a.m. regatta on the Charles River Basin.
If comparative times are any indication (and while they're tricky they are a pretty accurate way to gauge talent) Williams and UConn should be just about evenly matched with the 'Cliffe eight. All three teams have lost once each. Princeton, probably top seed at the Sprints, has beaten all three.
Radcliffe lost to Princeton by a scant one-second margin in a race in the midst of the seat-racing shake-up three weeks ago. Since then, however, the 'Cliffe team has molded itself into as solid a woman's eight as there is in the East.
UConn lost to Princeton by five seconds and Williams was nine seconds behind the Nassau women.
There will be a fourth boat in the race, University of Rhode Island, but short of divine intervention, there is likelihood that the Rhode Island squad not will be close enough to the finish even to see who wins, let alone to influence the outcome.
There will be one personal change in this week's boat, and a number of seating rearrangements. Veteran number three rower Jenny Getsinger will miss the race because of a field trip for a course and will be replaced in the lineup by Kathy Barbash.
To compensate for the loss of Getsinger, Baker has shuffled his seating plan. Barbash will row bow, moving Anne Robinson to three. Kathy Sullivan will be at two, Charlotte Crane at four, Connie Cervilla at five, Lillian Hunt at six and Allison Hill at seven, with Ginny Smith as stroke. Nancy Hadley will cox.
Besides the feature eights race, there will be fours and a second eights contest after the main contest Sunday. Williams and Radcliffe will compete in the fours competition and UConn is bringing a second eight to challenge Radcliffe's second team. Baker still hasn't decided what sort of lineup he'll come up with for the second eights race.