On a picture perfect day on the Charles River, the Harvard men’s heavyweight crew rowed a race that matched the conditions to retain the Adams Cup over Penn and Navy. The victory marked the 14th consecutive time Harvard has kept the Cup on the banks of the Charles.
Harvard, the second-ranked crew in the country, covered the 2,000-meter course in 5 minutes 39.7 seconds, followed by 15th-ranked Penn at 5:47.9, with No. 9 Navy clocking a 5:49.8.
“It was a great day on the river,” Harvard coach Harry Parker said. “There was really some very good racing.”
The three crews were even off the stake boats, but it didn’t take Harvard long to establish superiority. The Crimson stroked to a five-seat lead over Penn by the 500-meter mark, with Navy down by a seat to the Quakers.
Harvard continued to row at a consistent rate of 36 strokes per minute, and gradually increased its lead throughout the race. The Crimson led by three-quarters of a length at the halfway point, and rowed to open water over Penn by 1,250 meters. The lead increased to a half-length of open water at the 1,500-meter mark. Penn and Navy cut slightly into the Harvard lead over the final 500 meters but never challenged the Crimson.
“We had a strong row,” Parker said, after his crew captured the Cup for the 48th time overall, and for the 36th time in his 51-year tenure. “Penn and Navy also made a great effort. All three programs should be happy with the way they rowed.”
Harvard also took the second varsity and first freshman races. The race of the day was the second varsity. Penn held a one-seat lead at the halfway mark, but Navy made a strong move as the crews went under the Mass. Ave. Bridge. The Midshipmen rowed to a two-seat advantage over the Crimson at 1,500 meters, with Penn falling off the pace. Harvard saved its move until the final 500 meters and stretched out to a five-seat victory.
Parker was asked if competing against teams from out of the area has any effect on readying his teams for the upcoming championship stretch. He was quick to dismiss that idea.
“Northeastern is clearly a very strong crew,” Parker said of Harvard’s opponent next Saturday on the Charles. The Huskies, like the Crimson, have earned a close win over Brown this season. “We can’t look ahead. We need to focus on the task at hand.”
In the other cup race on the Charles, the Harvard-Radcliffe women’s lightweights defeated MIT in the fourth rowing of the Muri Cup. Harvard-Radcliffe rowed the course in 6:39.4 to MIT’s 6:51.9.
In other regattas on the Charles on Saturday, Yale’s openweight women’s eight upset seventh-ranked Harvard-Radcliffe 6:20.3-6:21.9. Northeastern was not a factor in the race. Also in the women’s openweight division, Boston University’s first varsity defeated Rhode Island, Northeastern, and MIT.