HENLEY-ON-THAMES, England—The Harvard heavyweight freshman eight began the Henley Royal Regatta with a win, advancing to the second round of competition in the Temple Challenge Cup. The Crimson's other two boats racing Wednesday faced each other, with four oarsmen from the Harvard second varsity defeating members of the Harvard lightweight crew.
The freshmen defeated the University of the West of England by two and three-quarters lengths in a time of 6:39. The race was tight early, but the Crimson pulled away down the course. The margin was wide enough for Harvard to lower its stroke rating significantly and ease across the finish line at 29 strokes per minute, saving strength for Thursday's matchup with the B entry from Durham University.
"It was a typical first race at Henley," said Harvard freshman coach Bill Manning. "Our opponent came out strong and raced well, but our two-mile experience at Harvard-Yale really helped us as the race went on."
In the Prince Albert Challenge Cup, the Harvard fours battled each other closely throughout the race, with the heavyweights prevailing by 1.75 lengths in 7:15. The winning Crimson crew will face Bath University B in the quarterfinals.
"The two fours had a good, tight race all the way down the course, and the heavier guys pulled it out," Manning said.
The Harvard heavyweight varsity eight begins its defense of the Ladies' Challenge Plate Friday.