CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- College sports' oldest rivals and a pair of Eastern Sprints varsity grand finalists take part in their 148th head-to-head clash in the Harvard-Yale Regatta. The Crimson is looking to complete its third straight perfect dual season, while Yale's young varsity seeks to build on its fifth-place Sprints finish. This rivalry dates back more than a century and a half to a two-mile race, won by Harvard, held August 3, 1852 on Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire. To this day, it is the longest‑running intercollegiate rivalry and one of the richest in tradition.
Saturday, June 8
Combination Race – 5 p.m.
Two-miles, downstream, Mamcoke Hill to Bartlett's Cove
Sunday, June 9
Harvard Freshman vs. Yale 3V – 9 a.m.
Two miles, upstream, Mamacoke Hill to Bartlett's Cove
Second Varsity Race – 9:45 a.m.
Three miles, upstream, Coast Guard Academy to Bartlett's Cove
Varsity Race – 10:45 a.m.
Four miles, upstream, Gold Star Bridge to Bartlett's Cove
Sunday's racing will be streamed live online for free, Harvard Athletics announced today. The production will make the annual race between rivals in New London, Conn., available all over the world with WICH 1310 AM's radio call featuring Charlie Hamlin '70 and Andy Card, Yale's lightweight coach. The video stream's availability will depend on on-site weather conditions. Video stream updates will be available on the Harvard Athletics video portal, at GoCrimson.com/HYvideo.
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Coxswain: David Fuller; Stroke: Andrew Holmes; 7: Charles Risbey; 6: Vincent Breet; 5: Parker Washburn; 4: Josh Hicks; 3: Andrew Reed; 2:James O'Connor; Bow: James Medway
Coxswain: William Hakim; Stroke: Justin Mundt; 7: Gregory Edwards; 6: Max Meyer-Bosse; 5: Ed Rippon; 4: Andrew Emmett; 3:Alex Macintosh; 2: Lachlan Hanbury-Brown; Bow: Ryan Furey
Coxswain: Don Kim; Stroke: Rory Glover; 7:James Croxford; 6: Achim Harzheim; 5: Adam Janes; 4: Stefano Belfiore; 3: Abraham Polinsky; 2: James Green; Bow: Jay Ditmarsch
The Varsity Race
Eastern-champion Harvard's experience‑laden crew, featuring three senior rowers and a senior coxswain, has defeated each of its six dual opponents so far, stretching its dual win streak to 26. Yale, on the other hand, has no seniors and four freshmen in its ever-improving varsity eight. The Bulldogs posted their best Sprints finish in five years after posting a 3-3 record in their first six duals. The Sprints grand final, which saw Harvard win in 5:56.721 and Yale clock a time of 6:09.432, was the rivals' first pre-Sprints meeting in five years.
Guiding the Crimson
David Fuller, who is undefeated in dual competition at Harvard, will serve as coxswain of the varsity eight. Fuller has led the freshman boat (2010), second varsity (2011) and varsity eight (2012, 2013) during his time in Cambridge.
In three seasons in the Harvard varsity eight and one in the freshman eight, captain James O'Connor has gone unbeaten in dual racing (29-0) and captured three Eastern Sprints golds (two varsity) and one silver. He has also helped the Crimson varsity earn three national medals.
Despite Yale's youth, one-third of its top boat raced in last season's four-miler. Coxswain Oliver Fletcher is back with fellow juniors Zachary Johnson and Owen Symington. Five of the nine Harvard athletes have H-Y varsity experience. Junior stroke Andrew Holmes and seniors Parker Washburn and James O'Connor and coxswain David Fuller raced last year. Josh Hicks rowed in the 2011 race, along with O'Connor.
A Global Event
Seven countries and four continents are represented in the Harvard and Yale varsity eights, and eight of the 16 oarsmen are from the Southern Hemisphere. As many athletes (five) hail from Australia as from the United States. Those five are among 13 Aussies spread out among the nine competing boats. The lineups also feature 13 New Englanders, including four Connecticut natives and eight athletes from Massachusetts.
The Harvard heavyweight crew captured its fourth straight Rowe Cup for the fourth time in program history after a dominant performance in the first varsity race May 19 on Lake Quinsigamond in Worchester, Mass. The first varsity and first freshman both won grand final events, while the second varsity came in third. It was the 33rd overall Rowe Cup for Harvard and first time since 1976 the program has claimed four in a row.
Related Link: Harvard Heavyweight Crew Takes Fourth Straight Rowe Cup at EARC Sprints
Going the Distance
While most races are 2,000 meters in length, the Crimson and Eli varsities depart from that "sprint" distance to battle along a four-mile course. The varsity race is the longest of its kind in America and three times the distance of a normal race. (Each crew will take approximately 700 strokes to complete the course.) The combination and freshman races are two miles long, and the second varsity contest is three.
Sunday's race is the 126th on the Thames. Harvard leads the rivalry, 93-54, including a 76-49 edge in New London. The last non-New London race occurred on May 18, 1974, on Boston's Charles River. This is the 68th straight year Harvard and Yale are rowing each other. The last time they didn't meet was 1945, during World War II.
The Second Varsity Race
Yale won second varsity event twice in three years from 2005 to '07, but Harvard has since claimed five straight wins, including half-minute victories the last two years. The Crimson hung on for a dramatic two-second win in 2009 and won by 15.6 seconds in 2010. In last year's race, Harvard built a boat-length lead over the first two minutes and clocked a time of 14:55.5 to Yale's 15:27.2. Following a 5-1 dual season, Harvard's second varsity cruised to a Sprints medal, finishing more than eight seconds ahead of fourth-place Northeastern and trailing only Brown and Princeton. The Bulldogs went 2-4 in dual racing and finished second in the Sprints petite final.
The Freshman/Third Varsity Race
The Crimson has won six straight H-Y freshman races and 10 in 11 years. Last year's race was one of the closest and most unusual in recent memory. Harvard led by a length of open water after 1.5 miles, when waves from a passing power boat halted the race. The Crimson held off the Bulldogs after the restart to win in a combined time of 10:25.6, topping Yale by 8.5 seconds. Harvard lost its first two dual races but then beat three straight opponents and then the Sprints field. The Yale third varsity went 3-4 against freshman and varsity dual competition and placed third in the petite final at Sprints.
For directions to Red Top, Harvard's camp in New London, click here.
In addition to its 93-54 varsity series lead Harvard leads the second varsity series against Yale, 73-37, and the freshman series, 69-39-1.
Harvard has swept freshman, second varsity and varsity races at each of the last five Regattas. The Crimson previously swept the Regatta for seven straight times before the 2007 regatta. It was a feat not accomplished since Harvard recorded five straight sweeps from 1971-75. Yale won two of three races in 2007 and last swept the Regatta in 1996.