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Harvard rowers yesterday defeated squads from more than 140 other schools and clubs in the Head of the Charles Regatta, the world's largest rowing event.
Harvard finished first in five of the 18 events during six hours of racing, and Gregory E. Stone III '75 took two of those wins in the double sculls and the elite singles events. Stone, ranked as the number two oarsman in the nation, narrowly beat out his longtime rival, first ranked James Dietz, a member of the New York Athletic Club, in both events.
Tricky turns and high winds on the three-mile Charles River course made conditions torturous in the morning. 'It was the most brutal experience of my life,' one rower said.
By late afternoon the river was smooth, but wrinkles in the computerized timing system and an unusually high number of protests delayed the releases of final results, race officials said.
John Higginson, coach of Harvard's lightweight crew and a competitor himself, called the regatta 'splendid,' adding that Harvard's crew teams did not consider this a high-pressure event. "It's only a matter of pride, and the pride only surfaces after the results are in," he said.
Radcliffe strokers approach the Head semi--informally, Carrie Graves, coach of the women's team, said after finishing eighth in the women's singles herself.
She added that although the regatta was the sole event this fall for most rowers, Radcliffe freshmen look forward to the Tail of the Charles races in November.
Stone, explaining the appeal of rowing said, "it's like golf or tennis...but after one perfect stroke you get to do it again and again. It's very sensual."
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