Harvard's varsity eight placed fourth at the IRA Championships last week (Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - College sports' oldest rivals and a pair of Eastern Sprints varsity grand finalists take part in their 153rd head-to-head clash at the Harvard-Yale Regatta Saturday, June 9. Yale is looking for its third-straight win over Harvard for the first time since a four-peat by the Elis from 1981-84. Harvard is looking to spoil Yale's perfect record and win for the 15th time over the last 19 years.
Last year's event saw Yale win by a margin of 18:56.1 to 19:01.4.
This rivalry dates back over 160 years ago to a two-mile race, won by Harvard, held August 3, 1852 on Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire. To this day, it is the longest running intercollegiate rivalry and one of the richest in tradition.
Friday, June 8, 2018
Combination Race – 6 p.m.
Two-mile course, upstream, Mamacoke Hill to Bartlett's Cove
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Freshman/Third Varsity Race – 4:45 p.m.
Two-mile course, upstream, Mamacoke Hill to Bartlett's Cove
Second Varsity Race – 5:30 p.m.
Three-mile course, upstream, Coast Guard Academy to Bartlett's Cove
Varsity Race – 6:30 p.m.
Four-mile course, upstream, Gold Star Bridge to Bartlett's Cove
All the Harvard-Yale Regatta action will be streamed live on Facebook Live on Harvard's Facebook Page. Last year, over 1,300 viewers in 29 countries watched the stream. Gregg Stone and Andy Card will once again be on the call, giving viewers insight from the water.
About the Harvard-Yale Regatta
While most races are 2,000 meters in length, the Crimson and Eli varsities depart from that "sprint" distance to battle along a four-mile playing field which presents a true test of each oarsman's endurance, character and strength. The varsity race is the longest of its kind in America and three times the distance of a normal race. (Each crew will take approximately 700 strokes to complete the course). The two-mile combination and freshman/third varsity races and three-mile second varsity contest are nearly as exhausting.
This year's racing will be held in June for the sixth-straight year and to the upstream course on the Thames River for the fifth-consecutive time. The combination event is slated for Friday evening, and Saturday's first race pits Harvard against Yale in the first, second and third varsity boats.
Varsity Season Recap
Yale is coming off its fourth-straight EARC Sprints Championships, marking the first time in 41 years since a heavyweight crew has won four in a row. The streak is a program record for the Elis and is the first such run since Harvard accomplished the feat from 1974-77. Yale won the first varsity eight race by a little more than three seconds over the Crimson, providing a great preview for the 153rd HY Regatta. Yale also captured gold in the third varsity, while its second varsity finished as the runner-up. Harvard's fourth varsity garnered silver at Sprints, while the third varsity captured bronze.
The Crimson returns six rowers and its coxswain from last year's HY Regatta. Cole Durbin will guide the varsity eight for the third-straight year. He is joined by senior classmates Alexander Richards, Sam Hardy and captain Conor Harrity. Liam Corrigan, Lars Lorch, Samuel Meijer and Arthur Doyle represent the juniors, while David Ambler is the lone sophomore.
Yale's varsity boat features a larger helping of youth with five rowers listed as freshmen or sophomores and highlighted by a first-year coxswain in Vlad Saigau. Fellow rookies include Jack Lopas and Charlie Elwes supported by sophomores Leonard Jenkins, Thomas Beck and Thomas Digby. The Elis elder statesmen including senior captain Paul Jacquot, Sholto Carnegie and Cole Tilden.
Harvard owns a 6-1 dual record and finished a narrow second at Sprints. The Crimson had won 11 duals in a row dating back to April 2016 until a close loss to Brown this year. This marks the fourth-straight year that Yale was undefeated heading into the IRA National Championships, and Bulldogs captured the IRAs for the second-consecutive time. The Elis have not dropped a dual race since the Crimson won the 149th Regatta on June 7, 2014. Since then, Yale has rattled off 25-consecutive victories.
The Varsity Race
Last year, the crews broke from the starting line together and maintained a neck-and-neck standing through the opening 3:30. Over the second mile the Bulldogs began to pull away and by the 8:00 mark they had a length advantage. Harvard closed the gap over the next mile, shortening the Yale lead to just five seats entering the final mile. By the 13:00 mark, Harvard had cut the deficit to three seats, but down the stretch Yale pulled away to earn the victory by five seconds.
The Second Varsity Race
Yale won the second varsity race for the second-straight year, defeating the Crimson by about nine seconds in 2017. Following an even start, Yale pulled away in the second miinute and had an open water margin by the second mile. Harvard made a move to close the gap around the 5:00 mark, but Yale responded and stretched its advantage back to over a boat length by the end of the competition.
Harvard's 2V owns a 5-2 dual record this season and finished fifth at Sprints. Yale, which posted a 5-1 overall record, was second at the EARC Sprints.
The Freshman/Third Varsity Race
Harvard jumped out to an early two-seat lead, but the Bulldogs erased the deficit by the two-minute mark. Nearing the midway point, Yale opened an open water lead and continued at that pace for the next 500 meters. The Bulldogs went on to win the two-mile race by 5.5 seconds, taking it in 9:33.7 to 9:39.9 for Yale's first victory in this event since 2006.
The Crimson 3V8 are 5-1 this spring. At Sprints, Harvard earned the bronze medal. The Yale 3V holds a 5-0 overall record and captured gold at Sprints.
Six countries and four continents are represented in the Harvard and Yale varsity eights. The United States are also well represented, as five states make up the varsity eight boats, from as close as Old Lyme, Connecticut, to as far as Sandy, Utah.