Up front: In the V8's, Harvard heavy men and Navy light men topped off undefeated seasons, while Wisconsin shocked the light women by taking the last race of the year by near-curvature of 12 seconds.
You can see the results in results; here are some quick notes by event:
Harvard frosh 4 came out of the Sprints winning frosh light eight.
Winning Cornell pair came out of the lightweight 2V.
Open Fours with Coxswain
The Cal crew placed second at Pac-10 behind the UW crew that won the IRA Varsity Four (see below); Harvard placed 2-3 behind Cal, these crews were the Harvard 3V broken into fours, plus a frosh walk-on here or there
Varsity Four with coxswain
This is the same UW crew that won the Pac-10 fours championship; it was my pleasure to give them their medals.
Colgate's gold is the first IRA gold in program history; coach Warren Holland believes they may have medaled at the IRA in a fours event in the early 90s. (Former Colgate coach Dan DeBonis checked in on Sunday in response to my request for a Colgate historian: Colgate won IRA bronze in the Open 4+ in 1993.)
Shirt of the week: the Yale lightweights, racing in the four w/o, had simply the word STRAIGHT in white letters on a baby blue tee.
The race was age-handicapped from the starting line using multiple starting commands; a member of the winning Cornell crew was overheard to say "Finally!" on the awards dock. Syracuse placed second; bronze medalist Brown rowed over the line and straight to the return dock, skipping the awards ceremony.
The Cal frosh eight includes one walk-on rower, one former baseball player, two California junior program veterans (Marin and Los Gatos), a Czech, an Aussie, and a Yugoslavian. The cox is from Chaminade.
Second Varsity 8
This was Washington's first IRA win in either varsity eight since they won them both in 1997. The lightest oarsman in the crew weighed 200 lbs.
Lane Shift for Last Six Races of the Day
Beginning with the Varsity 8 petite, a northeast wind caused the ITA Fairness Commission decided to switch the lane assignments to "seed" the lanes from one to six, placing semi winners (or heat winners in the case of the light eights) in lanes 1 and 2, next places in 3 and 4, next in 5 and 6.
The Varsity 8 went like this:
Cal up 2 seats off start
Harvard 2 seats up at 500
Harvard 3-4 seats over Cal, Cal 2 seats over Washington at 1100; Princeton in sixth
Harvard half-length at 1000; field very tight behind them
Harvard open water at 600 to go
Washington pulled into second inside 200 to go
Harvard 5 seconds at finish (rowing 37.5, after having finished both the heat and the semi in the low 30s), followed by Washington over Cal by a couple seats, Navy over Princeton by about a foot, Dartmouth sixth.
Light Women's 8
Wisconsin blew this race open like nobody's business; a 12-second winning margin? Especially after placing a close second at Sprints, no one could have predicted improvement like this. Tim Storm advises me that only the bow seat was different from Sprints, and the seat was filled by Sprints LW four seat Andrea Ryan (not an open weight rower, as I incorrectly wondered slumped in my chair at 10pm on the last day of a long season). Princeton nipped Radcliffe to avenge their Sprints third place and take the lead in the nearly biweekly faceoff tally; in their five meetings this year, Princeton took three races, Radcliffe took two.
Light Men's 8
After trailing out of the gates, Navy won their first light men's eight championship, followed by Georgetown, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Cornell. Navy gets a triple first here: first undefeated season, first solo Sprints win (they were in a three-way tie in 1964), first lightweight National Championship.