Conditions: crews racing in the morning were met with a moderate cross-head, nothing too much to speak of, but after the lunch break, the wind had come around to a direct headwind that was especially stiff through the unprotected middle of the course. Were the wind and current in opposition, these would have been whitecapping conditions.
It was a tough day for Charley Butt; first the double he is coaching snapped an oar in two this morning, and this afternoon the Harvard varsity lost a seat in the first three strokes of the race when racing Cambridge. It looked from the launch like the seat was only partially stuck, as the affected five-man was rowing more or less half slide. However, the truth is somewhat more brutal: the seat became stuck at the frontstops, so the oarsman rowed the entire race sliding up and down on the deck in his unisuit, old-tyme greased seat style. Owww...
This afternoon's mean and direct headwind did in several lightweight crews: Cornell, Harvard, and NYAC all fell to much bigger crews. How much bigger? The numbers:Cambridge over Harvard, 33 lbs average per man
Oxford Brookes over Cornell, 41 lbs average per man
Molesey over NYAC, 51 lbs average per man
The Stanford crew, which is composed of four freshmen and four sophomores, did fall to a lightweight crew today, although it was the Irish national team crew, which is very focussed at the moment given their impending selection chances at Lucerne. The Stanford crew gave it a good run, but couldn't quite hang on in the end faced with lightweight fitness levels in a crew hungry to prove itself internationally.
The program listings for coxless sweep boats indicate who is steering, better for spectators to place the blame for swerves and clashes on the right person.
No surprise that Barney Williams would cheer for Cambridge's opposition, or for a Harvard crew that contains at least one Canadian team guy; he and Scott Frandsen were warming up for their race as the eights sat at the line, and Barney yelled: "Yeah Harvard! F#$%ing A, boys."
There were a couple blitzes of races containing US crews today, starting with the Yale women in the Remenham in the first race of the afternoon. Overall results were a mixed bag, with the Yale women and light men, the St. Joe's boys, the Brown Alumni advancing.
The Tasmanian eight facing the Brown alums was composed of club rowers from the OZ state of Australia, including one member of the Australian Athens team rowing in the six seat, BM Long. Chris Ahrens at two in the Brown alum boat evened out the Athens stat column. Out of the gates and into the first couple minutes, it was somewhat clear that the Brown alum crew hasn't done any racing whatsoever, but shortly before Fawley the crew found a rhythm for the first time, and was clever enough to recognize it and put the hammer down. By the finish line, they had 3-4 lengths, although they never really did drop the rating too much; perhaps better to burn one out than to wonder how long the course is going to feel when they need it. I also suspect they didn't have a shutdown plan; just a guess. Not bad for a pack of geezers who raced a Masters eight just a few weeks ago (and lost).
The Yale lightweights had to be buoyed watching the races this morning, as both of the crews on the other side of the bracket from them had brutal races, with the winners rowing from behind and winning by about 3-4 seats in one case, and by two feet in the other. On the other hand, they had a fairly easy contest this evening.
The Danish lightweight pair doesn't look too bad, although they were warned for their steering very early on; even vets can veer a bit.
That's it for today; row2k is knackered, as the quaint folks here like to say.