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The Harvard and Radcliffe heavyweight crews will journey to New London, Conn., this weekend for the 112th annual Harvard-Yale regatta.
The regatta, commonly known as The Race, is America's oldest intercollegiate athletic event. As usual, it will be held on the Thames River, and Harvard will boat their crews from their riverside property at Red Top while thousands of spectators watch the confrontation from the banks and from private yachts anchored along the course.
The races, which will be held Sunday morning, will all be two miles long. In the past, the Harvard J.V. has raced three and the varsity four, but this year "we're just not ready for that distance," coach Harry Parker said yesterday.
The Harvard varsity, which convincingly took the Eastern Sprints last weekend, will face a tough challenge from a much-improved Yale crew. Last week the Elis were fifth at the Sprints, but "they're a good crew, and they've had the benefit of another week's training in New London," Parker said.
Harvard has not lost The Race since 1962, and then by a scant one second. Last year the heavies smashed Yale by a near-record 64 seconds.
At the Sprints last week the first-seeded J.V. fell to both Penn and Yale, and Sunday's race promises to be a close one. "The J.V. will set their own pace and just try to outrow them," Parker said.
The first and second freshman heavyweight crews will also face strong opposition Sunday. Last week the Crimson first frosh placed a disappointing fifth place.
Harvard will break its third varsity boat into two fours for The Race. "It's hard to predict this one. There's no way of knowing how fast the Yale crews are going to be," Parker said.
Over at Weld
Across the river at Weld boathouse the Radcliffe crews are also preparing for some tough two-mile races against Yale.
Last week at the Eastern Sprints the Elis stunned the first-seeded Radcliffe varsity eight at the finish of a close race, taking a narrow three-seat victory. "Last week we rowed a good, hard, and fast race against a touch crew. This race will be fascinating," coach Raymond said yesterday.
Last year the 'Cliffe stomped Yale by ten seconds in The Race after dropping the Eastern Sprints the previous week. "We have as good a shot as last year," Raymond added.
The undefeated J.V., solid sprint victors a week ago, should have an easier time with the Elis. "They just don't have a great deal of depth this year," Raymond said.
The 'Cliffe novice eight face an uphill battle against Yale. The Elis finished second to powerful Wisconsin last week, but "we're in this race pretty solidly," said Raymond.
Yale will send their heavyweight novice four up against Radcliffe's lightweight four in a two-mile tilt which should prove interesting. The lights finished a strong third in a six-boat field last week.
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