Waikato Bests Harvard Standouts in Great Race

Photo courtesy of Gallagher Great Race
Photo courtesy of Gallagher Great Race

HAMILTON, New Zealand – Despite a strong start, Harvard heavyweight crew standouts were bested by Waikato University in the 2014 Gallagher Great Race on the Waikato River.

The 13th-annual 3.8km race, held on the largest river in New Zealand, featured Alex Sopko '12, James O'Connor '13, Sam O'Connor '12, Mike DiSanto '12, Ben Lynton '14, Matt Edstein '12, Andrew Reed '14, Peter Scholle '14 and Patrick LaPage '12. The alumni boat was also coached by Lapage, the Crimson's current assistant coach.

The two boats clashed under the first bridge, with No 3 seat Richard Power tipped out of the boat. The judges ruled a re-start, giving Harvard a five second penalty, but it ignited the home crew who used a strong push from that point to win the coveted Harry Mahon Memorial Trophy for the ninth time in 13 years.

Waikato, who started on the west bank, moved across to cover the fast start from Harvard, and after some contact were forced to back off to fall behind the American crew.

Instead of pressing on, Harvard also eased, allowing Waikato to reignite the battle, overlapping on the eastern bank side as both crews collided under the bridge, which forced Power overboard.

Waikato finished ahead of both Harvard and Melbourne University.