No. 1 Harvard Lightweight Crew Battles Elements, Races Past Navy

No. 1 Harvard Lightweight Crew Battles Elements, Races Past Navy

Harvard celebrated its fifth straight Haines Cup win Saturday morning (photo courtesy Harvard Lightweight Crew).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. In the first sporting event in the Boston and Cambridge area since the city was on lockdown Friday, the Harvard men's lightweight crew took three of four races from Navy Saturday morning on the Charles River. The Crimson's No. 1 ranked first varsity beat Navy by 10.5 seconds to retain the Haines Cup for the fifth straight year.

Harvard and Navy faced challenging conditions all morning from high winds and rain on the Charles. The winds were strongest in the early going, creating the roughest waters of the day for the first varsity race.

"Under very difficult circumstances, the guys did a great job in the races," said Charley Butt, The Friends of Harvard Lightweight Rowing Coach for Men's Lightweight Crew. "It says a lot to get out there in these conditions after not knowing until late last night about the status of the race."

The freshman race started the event at 7 a.m. with a Crimson victory. Harvard held an open-water lead for much of the race and won by 13.5 seconds as the wind began to pick up.

The first varsity was the next on the course that featured a floating start. Navy broke out to a slight advantage off the start, but Harvard's cadence through the second 500 meters pulled the Crimson ahead. Harvard continued to build on its lead in the second half of the race to eventually win, 6:44.3-6:54.8, and claim the Haines Cup for the 40th time in 47 tries since 1964.

Harvard's second varsity, which is ranked No. 1 in the EARC lightweight men's seeding poll, also cruised to victory. The Crimson rowed the 2,000 meters in 6:41.6, compared to Navy's 6:50.8, as the weather slightly let up.

Navy ended Harvard's chances of a sweep of the day's action by winning the last competition, the third varsity race. The Midshipmen stopped the clock in 6:55.7, 12.9 seconds quicker than Harvard's third boat.

The Crimson is in Princeton, N.J., April 27 for its next regatta against Yale and Princeton. Harvard's undefeated first varsity will race for the Goldthwait Cup and the Vogel Cup will be awarded to the team with the best overall performance.

First Varsity
Harvard – 6:44.3
Navy – 6:54.8

Second Varsity
Harvard – 6:41.6
Navy – 6:50.8

Third Varsity
Navy – 6:55.7
Harvard – 7:08.3
Navy 4V – 7:17.9

First Freshman
Harvard – 6:44.9
Navy – 6:58.4
Harvard 2F – 7:22.8