No. 4 Heavyweight Crew Sets its Sights on 152nd Harvard-Yale Regatta

Harvard's varsity eight won the bronze medal at the IRA Championships June 4 (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - College sports' oldest rivals and a pair of Eastern Sprints varsity grand finalists take part in their 152nd head-to-head clash at the Harvard-Yale Regatta Saturday, June 10. Yale is looking for its second-straight win over Harvard for the first time since a four-peat by the Elis from 1981-84. Harvard is looking to spoil Yale's perfect record and win for the 15th time over the last 18 years.

Last year's event was the first no-race in the history of the series, as Harvard's boat took on water and could not finish. Harvard swamped at approximately first half mile mark with Yale well ahead. Referee stopped race with no official result declared. 

This rivalry dates back over 160 years ago 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.

Friday, June 9, 2017
Combination Race – 5 p.m.
Two-mile course, downstream, Bartlett's Cove to Mamacoke Hill 

Saturday, June 10, 2017
Freshman/Third Varsity Race – 9:15 a.m.
Two-mile course, upstream, Mamacoke Hill to Bartlett's Cove

Second Varsity Race – 10 a.m.
Three-mile course, upstream, Coast Guard Academy to Bartlett's Cove

Varsity Race – 11 a.m.
Four-mile course, upstream, Gold Star Bridge to Bartlett's Cove  

Watch Live
All the Harvard-Yale Regatta action will once again be streamed live on the Ivy League Digital Network. Last year, over 1,300 viewers in 29 countries watched on the ILDN. Gregg Stone and Andy Card will once again be on the call, giving viewers insight from the water.

First Varsity
Cole Durbin (coxswain), Liam Corrigan (stroke), Lars Lorch (7), Vincent Breet (6), James Johnston (5), Alexander Richards (4), Conor Harrity (3), Arthur Doyle (2), David Ambler (bow) 

Second Varsity
Jennifer Kunes (Coxswain), Ross Jarvis (stroke), Travis Taaffe (7), Pieter Quinton (6), Sam Hardy (5), Samuel Meijer (4), Chase Buchholz (3), Jack Kelley (2), James Clarke (bow) 

Third Varsity
Madeleine Zabriskie (coxswain), Dominic Glover (stroke), Juri-Mikk Udam (7), Henry Kennelly (6), Benjamin Cohen (5), David Fleming (4), Max Ferguson (3), Ryan Rasmussen (2), Benjamin Strathmore (bow)

Nicholas Yan (coxswain), Anthony Kenny (stroke), Niels Laurberg (7), Nicholas Plaut (6), Andre Dempsey (5), Andrew Morley (4), Max Mezger (3), Jack Richards (2), John Luby (bow)

 About the Harvard-Yale Regatta
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 playing field which presents a true test of each oarsman's endurance, character and strength. 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 two-mile combination and freshman/third varsity races and three-mile second varsity contest are nearly as exhausting.

This year's racing will be held in June for the fifth-straight year and to the upstream course on the Thames River for the fourth-consecutive time. The combination event is slated for Friday evening, and Saturday's first race pits Harvard against Yale in the first, second and third varsity boats.

Varsity Season Recap
Heading into the IRA National Championships, the Elis are looking to build off their third-strasight EARC Sprints Championship, a first in program history, while Harvard is hoping to improve on a second-place finish at Easterns and post a strong showing at the national championship regatta in  preview to the HY Regatta, the Bulldogs held off Harvard in 0.4 seconds, winning the 1V8 in 5:30.7 to 5:31.1. The Crimson's first varsity returns three rowers and its coxswain from the 2016 crew -- James Johnston, Alexander Richards and Sam Hardy and Cole Durbin. Yale  returns six athletes from the 2016 boat, five of whom also rowed with the first varsity in 2015. Harvard has two seniors – Vincent Breet and James Johnston, as well as three juniors, three sophomores and one freshman on the squad. For the second-straight year, Yale will have three seniors, three juniors, a sophomore and two freshman on its varsity boat.

Harvard owns a 6-0 dual record and finished a narrow second at Sprints. The Crimson has won nine duals in a row dating back to April 2016. This marks the fourth-straight year that Yale is undefeated heading into the IRA National Championships. The Elis have not dropped a dual race since the Crimson won the 149th Regatta on June 7, 2014. Since then, Yale has rattled off 19-consecutive victories.  

The Varsity Race
A year ago, following the successful completion of the second and third varsity races, the varsity eights lined up for the four-mile excursion. Yale took the early lead, but the large waves continued to attack and the Harvard crew took on enough water to sink by the half mile mark. The referee raised the red flag and blew the horn, indicating that the race had been stopped, and both crews stopped rowing. The Elis, who stopped momentarily when they saw a red flag, ultimately crossed the finish line. It was the first time that a Harvard or Yale varsity boat got swamped and had to stop racing. And was the first time since 1874 that both boats didn't cross the finish line. In Saratoga, New York, that spring, the Yale boat became disabled after colliding with the Harvard vessel.

The Second Varsity Race

After Yale won the second varsity event in 2015, for the first time since 2007, Harvard edged the Bulldogs in last year's race 18:03.67 to 18:11. 67. The Crimson used the first 90 seconds to create a length lead on the Elis. Yale did its best to stay within that length, but by the first mile Harvard's second varsity had created a full length of open water. When the crews reached the midway point a half mile later, the Harvard advantage was at two lengths and increased to greater than three at the two-mile marker. Yale did its best to close the gap over the final mile, but Harvard concluded the three-mile course eight seconds ahead of its rival,

Harvard's 2V owns a 5-1 dual record this season and finished fourth at Sprints. Yale, which posted a 6-0 overall record, was second at the EARC Sprints. 

The Freshman/Third Varsity Race
The Crimson has won 10 straight H-Y freshman/third varsity races and 14 in 15 seasons. Last year's race saw the Crimson sprinting away from Yale in the early stages and finishing a tremendous race in the two-mile affair. After a rolling start, the Crimson created an open-water advantage by the half mile mark. The Harvard lead had turned into multiple boat lengths by the mile mark, with the Crimson holding nearly a 20-second advantage. Harvard continued to widen the margin over the final mile, crossing in 11:39.78, over 40 seconds faster than Yale.

The Crimson 3V8 are a perfect 6-0 this spring. At Sprints, Harvard earned the gold  medal, besting the event with a mark of 5:37.03.  The Yale 3V holds a 6-0 overall record and finished second to the Crimson at Sprints, coming in with a time of 5:39.0.

Global Affair
Seven countries and four continents are represented in the Harvard and Yale varsity eights, and four of 16 oarsmen are from the Southern Hemisphere. The United States are also well represented, as four states make up the varsity eight boats, from as close as Old Lyme, Connecticut, to as far as Hinsdale, Illinois.