NEW LONDON, Conn.—The Crimson heavyweight crew put the finishing touches on a perfect dual season with its fifth straight sweep of the rival Bulldogs, including a 9.9-second win in the varsity race, at the 147th Harvard-Yale Regatta Saturday afternoon on the Thames River.
The Crimson (8-0) celebrated Harry Parker's 50th H-Y race day the same way it did Nos. 46-49, by winning all three races Saturday as well as Friday's combination event. Harvard won the varsity matchup for the 12th time in the last 13 years to extend its series lead to 93-54 and help Parker improve to 43-7 against the Elis. The second varsity cruised to a 31.7 second win, after the freshmen started the day with a win by 8.5 seconds in a race that was interrupted with a half-mile to go.
With only next weekend's Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships remaining in their collegiate season, Harvard's three competing eights concluded their dual campaign with a combined 23-0 record. It is the Crimson's 22nd perfect dual season under Parker. The Class of 2012 completed its H-Y career without participating in, or witnessing, a loss to Yale.
"It was a very good day," said Parker, the Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew. "All our crews rowed well. The varsity race was a good race. We took control early, but Yale rowed a good, hard race."
The Crimson varsity asserted itself early on and gradually moved further away as the crews raced downstream toward the Gold Star Bridge. The Bulldogs pushed to stay close, but Harvard was able to lower its stroke rate to a more conservative rhythm without giving any ground. The Crimson crossed the finish line of the four-mile race in 19:41.3, rowing 33 strokes per minute, compared to the Elis' 36.5 for a time of 19:51.2.
Patrick Lapage, Michael DiSanto, Caspar Jopling, Matthew Edstein, Sam O'Connor, Parker Washburn, Andrew Holmes and James O'Connor rowed in the winning varsity boat, steered by coxswain David Fuller.
The second varsity race belonged to Harvard from the start. The Crimson led by a boat length after just two minutes and only increased that margin over the next 13 on the way to a time of 14:55.5 for the three-mile distance.
The freshman race was the closest and most unusual. Harvard built a hard-earned lead of a length of open water over the first three-quarters of the two-mile course before a power boat zoomed by on the side of the course, sending huge waves toward the racing shells and forcing officials to halt the race. The Bulldogs charged hard off the restart, but Harvard withstood their early push and went on to lengthen its lead and win in a combined time of 10:25.6.
The combination event Friday was raced in fours. Both Harvard entries defeated the lone Yale boat. The Harvard A rowers finished five seconds ahead of their teammates and 16 ahead of the Bulldogs.
The varsity event was the last head-to-head competition of the year between Harvard and Yale. The Crimson held a 34-12 edge in wins against Yale across all sports.
Second Varsity Eight
Combination Fours (Friday)
Harvard A 11:22
Harvard B 11:27