The Harvard-Yale Regatta, the oldest intercollegiate sporting event will take place for the 144th time June 13, 2009 in New London, Conn.
For the first time since 1999 the racing will be held downstream. The races will be begin in the late afternoon with the freshman starting off the regatta at 2:30 p.m. The junior varsity race will begin at 3:15 p.m., followed by the varsity crews at 4:15 p.m. All three races will end at Gold Star Bridge with the freshman race starting at Mamacoke Hill, the junior varsity beginning upstream from the Coast Guard Academy and the varsities taking off from Bartlett’s Cove.
Yale has won the last two downstream races, in 1996 and 1999, while the Crimson last tasted victory in 1992. The Crimson holds a slight, 34-26, lead in races held in this direction.
On the Airwaves
The 2009 Harvard-Yale Regatta will be broadcast on WKNL Kool 101 (100.9), where Charlie Hamlin and Andy Card will again call the action. Hamlin, a 1970 Harvard graduate, was a standout Crimson oarsman who rowed in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics in the four without coxswain. Card is the head coach of Yale’s lightweight crew, which he has led to four national titles. The broadcast can be heard via the internet at www.kool101fm.com.
144 and Counting
Crews from Harvard and Yale first met August 3, 1852 in a two-mile race on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee, marking the first time American colleges formally competed against each other in athletics. Harvard won that contest by two lengths and has built an 89-54 edge in the varsity series by winning seven of the last nine contests. Yale snapped Harvard’s seven-year reign in 2007 with a come-from-behind win in the final strokes. The Crimson has won 21 of the last 24 and 42 of the last 50 races. Harvard swept all three races in the regatta from 2001-2004 and in 2008.
In 2008, Harvard won the second varsity eight by 20 seconds to increase its lead in the series to 69-37, while the freshman eight’s seven-second margin of victory gave them a 64-40-1ead in the rivalry.
Last Time Out
Harvard heavyweight crews advanced to the grand finals of the Intercollegiate National Rowing (IRA) National Championships in four of the five races they entered last weekend.
The Crimson had its best showing in the freshman eight, as the Yardlings bounced back from a slow start and the sixth-place position 500 meters into the race to take the silver medal. Harvard rowed the fastest final 500 meters to claim its best finish since 2005.
The varsity eight took fifth in a very tough grand final, while the second varsity eight also battled against a strong field to finish fifth in its race.
Harvard was fifth in the varsity four and eighth (second in the petite final) of the open fours.
The 2008 H-Y Recap
Harvard came back from a significant Yale lead to win H-Y Regatta last June. The Crimson used a 20 stroke push two miles into the race to go from six seats down to six seats ahead and led the rest of the way. Harvard’s time of 18:54.1 was the seventh-fastest time in Harvard history and fifth fastest upstream. Yale’s performance cannot be overlooked, as the Bulldogs’ time of 19:01.6 was the 11th-best time in regatta history.
Harvard won the second varsity eight race by 20 seconds to earn back the F. Valentine Chappell Trophy. The win capped off an unbeaten dual-racing season for the second varsity eight. After a strong start, the Crimson led from start to finish, opening its lead throughout the race. The Crimson rowed cleanly throughout the final 1.5 miles to finish in 14:03.2. Harvard’s time was the fastest since 1997, when the Crimson rowed under 14 minutes. Yale finished in 14:23.4.
Harvard won the New London Cup for the second year in a row and seventh time in the last eight years as JV champion. Yale took an early lead off the start and led by two seats through the submarine base. The margin was less than a seat just before the mile marker, which is where Harvard took the lead for the first time and moved out to three-quarter length advantage. The Crimson maintained its lead through the finish and clocked in at 8:53.8. It was the third-fastest time by a winning crew in the freshman race. Yale finished with a time of 9:01.3.
Both the heavyweight and lightweight varsity eights finished second in their respective races at the EARC Sprints last month.
The lightweights won the Jope Cup as team champions for the 20th time in program history. Harvard claimed gold in the third varsity eight, silver in the varsity eight and freshman eight and bronze in the second varsity eight and freshman eight. The Crimson claimed the team trophy for the third in the last six years.
The heavyweights were second in the Rowe Cup standings after all five boats qualified for the grand final. The freshman eight and third varsity eight won silver as well, while the second freshman eight was third and the second varsity eight was fifth.
Dual Racing Recap
In the other four regattas this season, the varsity eight was 6-0, winning the Stein Cup (Brown), the Adams Cup (Navy and Penn), the Compton Cup (MIT and Princeton) and the Charlie Smith Cup (Northeastern).
The Varsity Boat
Harvard is looking for its 20th unbeaten dual racing season under Harry Parker, the Stone Family Head Coach for Harvard Crew. The varsity eight was second at the EARC Sprints and fifth at the IRA National Championships.
The varsity eight boat is made up of three seniors, three juniors and three sophomores, including the coxswain. Two members of the boat were in the 2007 boat that won gold at the Sprints and silver at IRAs.
The 1V has an international flare as six members of the boat hail from outside the United States. Two rowers and the coxswain hail from Europe (England and Germany) ,while three come from Canada.
First Time for Everything
Unlike previous years, the varsity eights from Harvard and Yale have not raced in the same heat (at San Diego or Sprints) during the spring. The 144th Regatta will be the first and only test between these two rivals in 2009.
The varsity eight will look to finish off an undefeated dual campaign when it races Yale. The Crimson has gone undefeated 19 times under Harry Parker, but has not done so since 2005. Harvard came close in 2007, winning four of its five regattas. Yale pulled off the upset in the 142nd edition of the Regatta with one of the closest finishes in series history 0.5- second margin.
Second Varsity Eight
The Crimson’s 2V has spent most of this spring trying to find its speed and the best combination of oarsmen. After taking third in the Sharp Carbillo Cup race at the San Diego Crew Classic, Harvard went 3-2 in its first four dual races. The Crimson finished fifth in the grand final at Sprints and in the same spot at the IRA National Championships.
After playing around with the line-up several times this season, the second varsity eight line-up should remain the same as the IRA regatta crew. Sophomore Ben French, who won a bronze medal at the IRAs as a freshman moved into the stroke seat after Sprints, replacing senior Sam Kenary. Senior William Rueter returned to the boat to replace classmate Tom Fleming.
Rueter moved into the bow seat, while Duncan Gilchrist switched from bow tothe five seat, Mark Fuller moved from the two seat to six and John Stroh changed to the two seat from the six seat.
Harvard and Yale raced in their preliminary heat at Sprints earlier this year, with the Crimson edging the Bulldogs to move on to the grand final.
Harvard’s 2009 freshman boat was edged by Brown in the grand final at Sprints. The Yardlings went 6-0 in dual racing action. Yale’s rookie boat went 5-1 in dual action and finished sixth at the Sprints
The combination boat, or third varsity crew, will be made up of rowers from last week’s varsity fours and open fours and two seniors from the Sprints second varsity line-up.
The 11 seniors on the team have all rowed in the varsity eight and/or second varsity eight at some point in their careers. Harvard’s seniors have combined to win 26 medals at the EARC Sprints. This class helped us win the 2007 Rowe Cup for the most points scored at Sprints in the top three races.
Simon Gawlik and Henrik Rummel were gold medal winners at Sprints and were a part of the 2007 boat that went on to win the Ladies Plate Challenge at the Henley Royal Regatta.
A Worldy Crew
The Crimson rowers come from the United States and nine other countries. Twenty-four oarsmen on this year’s roster hail from three different Canadian provinces, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, England, Germany, Serbia, the Ukraine and New Zealand.
Harvard and the National Championship
Harvard won its third-straight IRA National Championship in 2005 in Camden, N.J. The Crimson also won the Cincinnati Regatta in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1992. Harvard won “unofficial” national championships (undefeated against all major college competition) in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1980.
On the Thames
This is the 35th-straight year and the 122nd time overall that the Harvard-Yale race is being held on the Thames River in New London, Conn. Harvard holds a 72-49 lead in varsity races at this location. The first time the Regatta was held in New London was on June 28, 1878, a downstream race won by Harvard. The last non-New London race took place on May 18, 1974, on the Charles River in Cambridge. Harvard was victorious in that contest as well.
Only five times in the last 128 years has the race not been held in New London. In addition to 1974, they are: June 25, 1897—in Poughkeepsie, NY; June 1, 1918—in Derby, Conn.; May 23, 1942—in Derby, Conn.; June 1, 1946—in Cambridge. Prior to settling in New London, the race was held in New Hampshire, Springfield (Mass.), Worcester (Mass.) and Saratoga (N.Y.).
Adding Up the Years
This is the 64th-consecutive year that Harvard and Yale are meeting in crew, as the series was renewed in 1946 with a 1.75-mile race on the Charles River, following a three-year hiatus during World War II. Since the first meeting between the schools in 1852, the only years the Harvard-Yale race was not held are: 1853, 1854, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1871, 1896, 1917, 1943, 1944 and 1945.
Harvard leads the upstream series, 38-23, and has won 17 of the last 18 upstream races (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008). Prior to Yale’s win in 2007 its most recent upstream victory came in 1984.
In 1995, both Harvard and Yale shattered the upstream record with the Crimson winning in 18:41.9, one length ahead of the Elis’ 18:45.5. Those times bettered Harvard’s mark of 18:52.4, set in 1994. Harvard’s time in 2004 (18.42.1) was the second fastest upstream time in regatta history.
Upstream regattas have been the norm in recent years; 26 of the last 33 have been held in this direction. In downstream races on the Thames, Harvard owns a 34-26 advantage. Harvard set the downstream and course record on June 7, 1980 with its time of 18:22.4. Yale has won the two most recent downstream races, held in 1996 and 1998. Harvard won the three downstreamers previous to that—in 1989, 1991 and 1992.
Getting Out the Broom
Momentum can be a big advantage as 15 of the last 22 Regattas have produced a sweep for one of the schools. Harvard has recorded 14 sweeps in this span (and four straight from 2001 to 2004), accomplishing the feat in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2008. Yale swept the 1996 Regatta
Harvard’s 11-year win streak that ran from 1985 to 1995 is the second-longest in Regatta history. The record is 18-straight wins, accomplished by Harvard between 1963 and 1980 (in Coach Harry Parker’s first 18 years at the helm). The Crimson won 10 races in a row between 1936 and 1948 (the race wasn’t held in 1943, 1944 and 1945). Yale’s longest series winning streak is six, which it has accomplished three times (1893-1898, 1900-1905 and 1921-1926).
H-Y Series Leaders
Harvard has held the varsity series lead since 1941, when that year’s Regatta win gave the Crimson a 40-39 advantage. Yale pulled within 47-46 with its victory in 1958 (completing a streak of five-straight Eli triumphs), but Harvard won the next three races to take a 50-46 lead after a Bulldog win in 1962, 18 straight by the Crimson gave Harvard a 68-47 lead. The Elis have only won seven times since then, most recently in 2007.
Harvard took over the lead in the freshman series in 1966, with a nine-second win that put the Crimson ahead, 32-31-1. It was the second of 11 consecutive frosh victories by Harvard.
The Crimson JVs won the first four races of their series and have never trailed in that rivalry. An eight-year winning streak from 1997 to 2004 by Harvard in that race padded the lead
Harvard head coach Harry Parker (Penn ’57), perhaps the most recognized figure in the sport of rowing, is in his 47th season as the head coach of Harvard heavyweight crew.
Entering the Yale race, his regatta record is an amazing 177-40 (.813), and his record vs. all dual opponents is an even more astounding 290-43-1 (.870). Highlights of his tenure include 19 undefeated seasons, 20 EARC Sprints varsity titles, nine official national championship victories, and eight unofficial national titles (undefeated varsity crews against all major competition) over the preceding two decades.
Parker’s crews won official national championships in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1992, as well as back-to-back-to-back titles in 2003, 2004 and 2005. His 1985 crew scored what would be considered a Harvard grand-slam: a win at the Sprints, a triumph over Yale, a victory at Cincinnati and a win in the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta. He has led Harvard to seven San Diego Classic titles and two championships each at the Potomac Regatta and Redwood Shores Regatta. He has also led them to significant success at Henley, as 2002’s varsity won the Ladies Challenge Plate, part of a three-boat sweep at the prestigious event. Harvard’s 2V four captured the Britannia Cup, and the freshmen were victorious in the Temple Cup that year as well.
Under Parker, Harvard crews have competed on a world stage. The Crimson won the 1967 Pan American Games and captured the 1968 U.S. Olympic trials before taking sixth in the Games at Mexico City. Most recently, the 2004 varsity took sixth at the Bearing Point World Cup Regatta – an Olympic tune-up for national team boats – in Lucerne, Switzerland.
A long-time coach of U.S. Olympic Rowing, Parker himself was an Olympian in 1960. He was the U.S. single scull champion in 1959 and 1960, was the Pan Am Games winner in 1959 and placed fifth in that same event in the 1960 Games. He has coached 52 Olympians while at Harvard, most recently Malcolm Howard ’05 and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss ’04, who all rowed in 2008 in Bejiing. Howard won a gold medal in the Canadian Eight, while the Winklevoss twins rowed together in the grand final of the men’s pair.
Freshman Coach Bill Manning
Harvard’s freshmen are coached by Bill Manning, a 1987 Holy Cross graduate now in his seventh season at the helm. He has a 68-8-1 coaching mark – including an 8-1 record vs. Yale – and has directed the Crimson Yardlings to five EARC Sprints titles (1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2008) and the 2001 and 2002 Temple Cup victories at Henley.
Manning, formerly a coaching intern on the Crimson staff (where he worked with the varsity heavyweights), served as an assistant with the U.S. Junior National Team that won silver medals at the 1997 World Championships in Austria and 1998 Worlds in Belgium. He also worked with former Crimson oarsmen in 2004 as a member of the United States coaching staff in Athens at the Olympic Games.
A native of Plattsburgh, N.Y., Manning was a history teacher and crew coach at Buckingham, Brown & Nichols School in Cambridge prior to joining the Harvard staff. He earned a Ed.M. in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard in 1998.
Sprints Title Leaders
Harvard heavyweight crew has captured a combined 64 Eastern Sprints crowns (1V, 2V and 1F), more than twice as many as any other school. Penn is second with 24.5 championships, while Brown is third with 20, followed by Cornell with 18, Navy with 17 and Yale with 15.5.
Harvard-Yale in the Spotlight
The Harvard-Yale crew rivalry was featured in the cover story of the June 2000 issue of Yankee Magazine. ABC then followed 2002’s 150th anniversary race for an extended piece that ran on World News Tonight. Even Sports Illustrated, in its college sports issue in April 1997, called the Harvard-Yale crew race “college sports’ most venerable rivalry.” The magazine has also praised Harvard for having the largest athletic program in Division I (41 sports, 1500 athletes) and named it the 41st-best “jock school” in the country. In 1999, Sports Illustrated for Women labeled Harvard the ninth-best school in the country for women’s collegiate athletics.
Last summer, Harry Parker, who graced the cover of SI in 1965, was the feature of an ESPN.com piece. Earlier in the year, Harvard rowers appeared on NBC’s Today Show (Sunday) and ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition as well as in numerous publications in Boston.
And Don’t Forget about Football
The Harvard-Yale football contest, known simply as “The Game,” will have its 126th playing on Saturday, November 21, in New Haven, Conn. Harvard won the Ivy League title last November by defeating the Elis, 10-0. Yale leads the all-time series, 65-51-8.
Foes Can be Friends
The Harvard and Yale men’s and women’s track and field teams combined to compete against a squad from Oxford and Cambridge in the 42nd H-Y vs. O-C meet this past April in New Haven, Conn. The first meet was held in 1899 and has continued biannually. Every four years the Crimson and Bulldogs travel to Europe.
Overall vs. the Elis
Including Saturday’s crew race, Crimson and Bulldog teams will have squared off in head-to-head competition 40 times during the 2008-09 athletic season — and that number doesn’t include any number of league championship events or individual tournament matches. Yale fields 35 varsity sports and Harvard has 41, the most of any Division I school in the nation.
Crew Season Ends With 144th H-Y Regatta Saturday Afternoon