SAN DIEGO—The Harvard heavyweight crew captured the Copley Cup by winning the varsity eight event at the San Diego Crew Classic Sunday morning on windy Mission Bay.
The Crimson came from behind to top California and win its eighth varsity title, its first since 1994, at the prestigious invitational regatta. The second varsity eight also put on an impressive comeback against a Cal boat, but the Golden Bears held on to win the Sharp Cabrillo Cup with Harvard finishing second, far ahead of the rest of the field.
"It was just a really solid row for both of our crews," said Harry Parker, the Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew. "The varsity stayed close enough to Cal to keep the pressure on them and then rowed a very strong body of the race, which is what you have to do. The JV did the same thing, but Cal was too fast off the line and we couldn't quite catch them."
Cal took an early two-seat lead in the varsity grand final, but Harvard hung close through the first half of the race and made a strong move heading into the 1,000-meter mark. The Crimson pulled ahead of the Golden Bears early in the third 500 meters and used another surge at 1,500 meters to leave Cal behind, winning by eight seats in 6:17.88.
The Bears finished 2.75 seconds back. Navy placed third and Cornell was fifth to make it three Eastern crews in the top five. Stanford placed fourth. The winning Harvard crew was made up of coxswain David Fuller and oarsmen Patrick Lapage, Michael DiSanto, Sam O'Connor, Parker Washburn, Caspar Jopling, Josh Hicks, Andrew Holmes and James O'Connor.
In the second varsity grand final, Cal again jumped ahead, this time by a wide margin. The Bears were a boat length ahead of the field just 250 meters into the race and led by open water after 500 meters. Harvard patiently gained ground on Cal as the race progressed. The Crimson got within five seats by the midway point, and the teams were racing neck-and-neck with 500 to go. Cal then used one more surge in the final 250, winning by 2.7 seconds in 6:19.26. Harvard's time of 6:21.99 was 7.5 seconds better than the third-place Cal B entry.
Second Varsity Eight
California A 6:19.26
California B 6:29.49
UC Davis 7:07.40