HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England—The Harvard heavyweight crew's four advanced to the Prince Albert Challenge Cup final at the Henley Royal Regatta with a record-setting win, while the varsity and freshman eights lost close races Saturday on the River Thames.
The four gave the Crimson its second event record in as many days with its come-from-behind win against Newcastle University. Harvard trailed at each of the first two splits before rallying to win by two-thirds of a length in 6:57. Oxford Brookes University followed a similar script in the preceding Prince Albert race and briefly held the record itself at 7:00. The two winning crews will race for the cup Sunday.
The Harvard varsity eight, the defending champion in the Ladies' Challenge Plate, missed a return trip to the final by just one-third of a length to Leander Club A. The Crimson finished more than 10 seconds faster than the winner of the other semifinal but could not quite match Leander's time of 6:08. The loss was Harvard's first in a head-to-head race since April 2010, a span of 17 one-on-one matchups.
The Crimson's entry in the Temple Challenge Cup stayed with the national-champion California freshman eight, but the Bears held on to win by 1.25 lengths. Through the Barrier and Fawley splits, Cal was on pace to break the event record that Harvard set yesterday but ended up one second shy of the mark in 6:13.
Radcliffe alumnae Caryn Davies '05 and Esther Lofgren '08-09, racing in a U.S. National Team quad, moved on to the final of the Princess Grace Challenge Cup with a one-length win over an Australian national crew. Their boat won in 7:17, while Australia's other boat topped the other U.S. entry in the opposite semifinal to set up yet another U.S.-Australia matchup for the trophy Sunday.
Lofgren pulled double duty Saturday, joining the U.S. women's eight to contribute to a victory against Leander Club and Reading University. She rowed from the bow seat as the U.S. boat won by 4.5 lengths.
The U.S. men's eight, featuring Harvard alum Henrik Rummel '09, lost its semifinal in Grand Challenge Cup by two-thirds of a length to Ruder Club Hansa von 1898. The German crew won in 6:01 and will face Molesey Boat Club and Leander Club, which beat the Australian eight in the other semi.
In the Silver Goblets and Nickalls' Challenge Cup, the Australian pair of Brodie Buckland '06 and Will Lockwood fell to a pair from Italy's Centro Nazionale di Canottaggio Piediluco.