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Perfection doesn’t come easily, but the Harvard men’s heavyweight crew team sure made it look that way.
For the fourth consecutive season the Crimson swept the Thames River races, as it ran its dual meet record to 7-0—its second straight undefeated season. It was the 36th Harvard-Yale Regatta victory for Harry Parker, who has lost just six times in his 42 years as the men’s heavyweight coach.
“Our record was on the line, and we pulled through, as we have done all season,” senior stroke Kip McDaniel said.
The first varsity boats took aim at the four-mile course—far longer than the standard 2,000-meter race—with Harvard and Yale remaining close for the first quarter of the race. But, at the one-mile mark, the Crimson opened up a lead over the Bulldogs and never looked back.
Harvard finished in a time of 18:42.1—two-tenths of a second off the course record set in 1995—while Yale completed the course more than 24 seconds later in a time of 19:06.8. The Crimson posted the fourth-best finishing time in the history of the regatta, an impressive achievement considering the choppy conditions which dominated the Thames that day.
“Because of the rough conditions, it was hard for us to break away right from the start,” senior six-seat Cameron Winklevoss said. “We had some contact going into the first half-mile...[but had] a healthy lead crossing the mile and a half mark. By the two-mile mark we felt the race was secure.”
“Our best weapon is our base speed during the middle of the race,” senior five-seat Tyler Winklevoss added. “Like every race before, we walked out after the beginning high strokes and never looked back.”
The Crimson second-varsity boat routed the Bulldogs in an even more pronounced fashion, finishing the three-mile course in 13:46.1. Yale followed more than 30 seconds behind with a time of 14:16.4.
Harvard jumped out to a one-length lead just a quarter-mile into the race and open water by the half-mile point, as it cruised to the impressive victory.
The freshman race was the most hotly contested of the entire regatta. The Crimson never could shake the pesky Bulldogs, as the two boats were deadlocked at the midway point. Harvard managed to pull out to open water, but Yale stormed back to get within a length. The Crimson held on for a six-seat victory.
—Staff writer Michael R. James can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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