CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The No. 2 Harvard lightweight varsity eight held off top-ranked Princeton by one second and defeated No. 4 Yale by nearly five Saturday morning on the Charles River Basin to complete its second straight perfect dual season.
The Crimson varsity eight (9-0) won a thrilling race against its top rivals to claim the Goldthwait Cup and go undefeated for the 28th time in school history. The second varsity eight also won and the third varsity placed second, helping Harvard secure the Vogel Cup as HYP team champion with 36 team points, compared to 23 for the Tigers and 21 for the Bulldogs.
The varsity raced was as thrilling as anticipated, with all three teams racing evenly over the first half of the course. That changed in the third 500 meters, when the Crimson surged ahead and led by about four seats heading into the final 500. The Tigers (8-1) sprinted hard and gained ground, but Harvard was first to the finish in 6:03.7. Yale (7-3) finished 4.8 seconds behind Harvard and 3.8 back of Princeton.
"It was a great day," said head coach Charley Butt. "We were strong in every phase of the varsity race. It feels good to have it come down to an exciting finish like that and be able to get it done. I think we had the best 30 or 40 strokes in that third 500, and that was the difference."
The morning followed a similar storyline to last season's HYP regatta in Princeton, N.J., when the second-ranked Crimson downed the No. 1 Tigers to complete its first perfect dual campaign since 1997. This year's win increased Harvard's Goldthwait Cup win total to 42, while Princeton has won the trophy 25 times and Yale 19.
Princeton's second varsity held a narrow lead on Harvard through 500 meters, but the Crimson pulled even and then moved ahead before the race's midway point. The margin was approaching a boat length by the final 500. The Tigers maintained contact the rest of the way, but Harvard won by three-quarters of a length in 6:12.2. Princeton crossed the finish in 6:14.1, nearly eight seconds ahead of Yale.
The Bulldogs won the morning's other three races. The Yale freshman eight used a strong sprint to erase a significant Princeton lead and win in 6:14.7, two-fifths of a second back of the Elis. The Crimson finished in 6:22.2. Yale's third varsity posted a 10-second win, while Harvard beat Princeton by 6.6 seconds in 6:28.6. Harvard's second freshman eight recorded a time of 6:51.4, trailing the fourth varsities from Yale and Princeton.
Harvard 36 points
Second Varsity Eight
Third Varsity Eight
Fourth Varsity/Second Freshman Eight
Yale 4V/2F 6:38.2
Princeton 4V 6:47.7
Harvard 2F 6:51.4