Crimson Heavyweight Varsity, Freshman Eights Advance to Grand Finals at IRA Regatta

Crimson Heavyweight Varsity, Freshman Eights Advance to Grand Finals at IRA Regatta

Harvard's first varsity comes out of the water following a semifinal win (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).

Day 1 Recap | Result Splits | Full Schedule

GOLD RIVER, Calif. –
The Harvard heavyweight crew varsity eight and freshman eight finished first and second, respectively, at the second day of the IRA regatta Saturday on Lake Natoma. The crews will advance to tomorrow's grand final events, while the second varsity will row in its petite final after finishing fifth today.

"I thought the varsity raced really well, the freshman rowed a very strong race, the JV just missed, but put in a strong effort," said Harry Parker, The Thomas Bolles Head Coach for Harvard Men's Crew. "Overall, we are very pleased."

Northeastern took the lead after 500 meters in the varsity eight competition, as Brown and Harvard trailed close behind. The Bears pushed to two seats away from NU approaching the 1,000-meter mark with Harvard trailing three seats behind Brown.

All crews picked up the pace through the midway point and Harvard began to show its strength. The Crimson was within one seat of both Brown and the Huskies, which were even, with 700 meters remaining. The three boats had a quarter-length of open water on the rest of the field to all but clinch the three spots in the grand final up for grabs, but each continued to fight for first.

Harvard's pace proved to be the best, as the Crimson burst ahead and won by 1.113 seconds. Northeastern was second (5:44.023) and Brown was third (5:45.819).

The three advanced to tomorrow's 12:20 p.m. PST grand final, from the semifinal field, which was nearly identical to the EARC Sprints grand final group. Five of the six boats were the same, but the result was different as Northeastern surpassed Brown for the No. 2 spot.

Harvard will look to unseat two-time defending champion and No. 1 ranked Washington in tomorrow's marquee event.

"I think it's pretty wide open," Parker said about tomorrow's grand final. "I think Washington is still the favorite. They won their heat, they had a slightly faster time than we did, but they are not out of reach. We will go for it."

Washington's freshman boat, which also came in ranked No. 1, owned the freshman semifinal from start to finish. Harvard started in the middle of the pack, behind Washington and Cal, nearly even with Navy and Wisconsin as the crews approached the 1,000-meter mark. The Crimson began to make its move at the midway point and powered to within three-fourths of a length from Cal. Harvard continued to gain seats on Cal, as Washington opened water on the field, to eventually pull ahead in the final 250 meters.

In the second varsity race, Cal and Cornell took the lead early, with Brown and Harvard a couple of seats back. The Crimson fell off the pace to fifth place to start the second 500 meters and stayed four seats back until the 1,500-meter mark. Harvard picked up its pace to try to break into the top three, but could not gain on the field and crossed the finish line at 5:55.132.

Harvard also raced in the varsity four and open four semifinals and finished fourth and fifth, respectively. 

All of tomorrow's action can be viewed live for free at

Varsity Eight – Semifinal Two
Harvard – 5:42.910
Northeastern – 5:44.023
Brown – 5:45.819
Yale – 5:48.700
Cornell – 5:50.217
Boston University – 5:50.549

Second Varsity Eight – Semifinal Two
California – 5:49.708
Boston University – 5:50.734
Brown – 5:51.783
Cornell – 5:52.626
Harvard – 5:55.132
Yale – 6:05.455

Freshman Eight – Semifinal One
Washington – 5:50.951
Harvard – 5:55.577
California – 5:56.770
Navy – 6:02.482
Wisconsin – 6:04.966
Dartmouth – 6:25.126

Varsity Four – Semifinal Four
Jacksonville – 6:43.105
Northeastern – 6:46.361
Drexel – 6:46.560
Harvard – 6:50.441
Gonzaga – 6:54.781

Open Four – Semifinal One
Washington – 6:28.501
Brown – 6:35.932
Navy – 6:37.442
Wisconsin – 6:39.130
Harvard – 6:41.314
Gonzaga – 7:03.626

First Varsity

Coxswain: David Fuller; Stroke: Andrew Holmes; 7:Charles Risbey; 6: Vincent Breet; 5: Parker Washburn; 4: Josh Hicks; 3: Andrew Reed; 2:James O'Connor; Bow: James Medway

Second Varsity
Coxswain: William Hakim; Stroke: Justin Mundt; 7:Gregory Edwards; 6: Max Meyer-Bosse; 5: Ed Rippon; 4: Andrew Emmett; 3: Alex Macintosh; 2:Lachlan Hanbury-Brown; Bow: Ryan Furey

First Freshman
Coxswain: Don Kim; Stroke: Rory Glover; 7: James Croxford; 6: Achim Harzheim; 5: Adam Janes; 4: Stefano Belfiore; 3: Abraham Polinsky; 2: James Green; Bow: Jay Ditmarsch