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In First Spring Action Since 2019, Crew Teams See Mixed Results

Harvard rowing competes in the 2021 Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 24. This past weekend, all four crew teams were back in action as the Crimson experienced mixed results.
Harvard rowing competes in the 2021 Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 24. This past weekend, all four crew teams were back in action as the Crimson experienced mixed results. By Owen A. Berger
By Mairead B. Baker, Crimson Staff Writer

The ceasing of bitterly cold days and snowfall signals the time for rowers at Harvard to take to the Charles River and commence the spring season. This marks the first time Harvard Rowing has competed in spring waters since 2019.

This past weekend brought the chance for Crimson rowers to welcome their Ivy League counterparts to the river and travel along the East Coast for competition against traditional rivals.


The No. 4 Radcliffe lightweight rowing team competed for the Class of 1999 and Class of 2004 Cups at Lake Carnegie, N.J., with traditional rivals Princeton and Georgetown, winning two out of four races in the regatta.

The Black and White started its new season with quadruple wins over the No. 5 Hoyas in all four races: the varsity eight, varsity four, novice four, and pairs, securing the Class of 2004 Cup.

The Radcliffe rowers ultimately succumbed to the No. 1 Tigers for the Class of 1999 Cup. Princeton outpaced Harvard by 5.2 seconds in the varsity eights and by 8.8 seconds in the pairs, which was enough to let the Tigers retain the Cup in their home waters.

The Crimson did manage to push past the top-ranked crew team in both the varsity four and novice four races, posting a mere 4.5-second win in the varsity race.

This weekend, Radcliffe lightweight rowing will compete in a two-day regatta at the Knecht Cup on the Cooper River in New Jersey.


The Radcliffe heavyweights greeted Ivy foe No. 4 Brown on the Charles River, opening their first home competition of the spring. It also marked the team’s first spring appearance since the 2019 NCAA Championships in Indianapolis, Ind. The Harvard varsity eight boat was unable to keep up with that of Brown, as the Bears outpaced the Black and White by 23.4 seconds.

The Crimson sought to redeem its fate in the second varsity eight race, but fell to its Ivy competitor. Both Brown boats passed Harvard’s, with the Crimson’s furious late-race rally eventually falling 3.8 seconds short.

In the varsity fours, the Radcliffe 2V4 boat beat the Bears’ second boat by seven seconds, but fell to the first boat, leading long-running rival Brown to claim victory in Crimson waters.

Next up for the heavyweights is a regatta at Fish Creek in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where it will face Princeton, Cornell, Bucknell, and Syracuse. The Black and White will face Princeton, Cornell, and Bucknell in the morning session and finish with a clash against the Orange in the afternoon.


Harvard men’s lightweight rowing sent out eleven boats to the National Collegiate Lightweight Invitational in Overpeck Park, N.J. against ten collegiate rowing programs. The regatta featured Ancient Eight rivals Columbia and Penn, as well as Cambridge neighbor MIT.

The competition marked the spring contest for the first time in nearly three years for the Harvard lightweights. It also gave them the chance to compete against teams they had never raced before.

The only win of the day for the Crimson was in the 3V boat, where the team pushed a 5.8 second victory past the Georgetown Hoyas.

The Crimson battled all the way to the line in the men’s 1V varsity eight boat, but ultimately allowed Penn to scurry past Harvard by a little over a half of a second.

Next on the docket for the lightweights will be the Biglin Bowl with Dartmouth and MIT, which the Crimson will host on the Charles River during Easter weekend.


The Harvard heavyweights hosted the Big Red in a dual on the Charles River this past weekend, picking up victory in all four races. The results broke with a historic trend; Cornell is the only Ivy League team with a winning record all time against the Crimson.

In the first race of the day, the first Harvard 4V boat led Cornell by 30 seconds, with the second trailing by 20.3 seconds. The heavyweights secured leads against the Big Red in both the 3v and 2V races as well, by 28.4-second and 11-second margins, respectively.

The closest Cornell came to beating the Crimson was in the 1V boat race, when the Big Red came up short by 4.2 seconds.

The Crimson heavyweights will compete next for the Stein Cup against Brown in Providence, R.I., on Apr. 9.

Correction: April 8, 2022

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Harvard men’s lightweight 1V varsity eight boat finished behind Princeton. In fact, the boat finished behind the University of Pennsylvania.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the teams the Harvard men’s lightweight crew team was competing against for the first time.

— Staff writer Mairead Baker can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @baker_mairead.

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