HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England—The Harvard varsity eight won its first race at the Henley Royal Regatta and the Crimson freshman eight beat the Yale lightweight varsity in record-breaking fashion Friday on the River Thames, while two entries featuring Harvard alumni also won.
In the Temple Challenge Cup, the Harvard freshman eight won for the third time in as many days to reach the semifinals. The national-champion Yale lightweights led through the first split, the Barrier, but the Crimson went ahead by the Fawley and gained speed over the second half of the race to win by three-quarters of a length. Harvard's time of 6:12 was the fastest in the 21-year history of the event. Next up for the Crimson is a head-to-head matchup with IRA-champion California.
"Both boats raced well, so we're moving on to tomorrow," said Harvard freshman coach Bill Manning. Regarding the Temple quarterfinal win, he added, "We had to come from behind, which wasn't unexpected. We came through them nicely and won a hard-fought race. And our guys have that record until someone takes it."
The varsity eight began its defense of the Ladies' Challenge Plate with a three-quarter-length victory against the Penn Athletic Club Rowing Association. The Crimson posted a winning time of 6:21against a boat featuring former Olympic medalists to set up a meeting with the Leander Club A entry in Saturday's semifinals.
Former Crimson oarsman Brodie Buckland '06 and teammate Will Lockwood won their quarterfinal race against a pair of fellow Australians. They won by 3.5 lengths in 7:25.
Esther Lofgren '08-09 and Caryn Davies '05, both former Radcliffe rowers, competed in their first Henley race with a U.S. quad racing under the name "Princeton Training Center B." They easily defeated the Nottingham Rowing Club with a time of 7:10, advancing to the event semifinals.
Harvard's four will resume racing Saturday in the semifinals of the Prince Albert Challenge Cup, facing Newcastle University. The U.S. men's eight, featuring Henrik Rummel '09, begins its Henley competition Saturday in the Grand Challenge Cup.