BOSTON – The Brown men's crew picked up a pair of victories in the third varsity and freshmen eight races, but the Bears were narrowly edged by Ivy League rival Harvard in the varsity eight as the two squads battled for the Stein Cup early Saturday morning on the Charles River.
In the first race of the day, the second freshmen and fourth varsity combination boat raced against a similar combination boat from Harvard. The Brown crew was able to stay on terms with Harvard through the first half of the race, but lost some speed in the face of a strong push by the Crimson in the third quarter, and finished about a boat length of open water back.
The tone of the day for Brown changed a bit in the second race, when the third varsity eight dashed out of the blocks and came through the middle of the piece almost level with Harvard, before making a big push through the third 500 for nearly a six-seat advantage. Heading into the last quarter of the race, the Brown rowers showed the cost of their big move, with the Harvard boat creeping up as the race came to a close. Nevertheless, Brown was able to hold off the onslaught, and finished one seat up on the Crimson boat.
In the freshmen eight race, Brown opened with a strong start and a ferocious first half, gaining distance on the Harvard freshmen until they were almost seven seats up going across the halfway mark. At this point, the Harvard freshmen started to chip away at the Brown crew, and with 500 meters to go, the margin had closed to only a few seats. The Bears mustered one last push to stay ahead and held on for the close victory, winning by only a fraction of a second.
The second varsity event was another close race as Brown jumped out to a quick start before the two boats were even at the quarter mark. Through the middle of the race, Harvard took advantage of a slightly more efficient rhythm to create a lead of about a half a length. The third quarter had both boats fighting for control of the race, but going into the last 30 strokes, Brown's final sprint was not enough as the Crimson held on for the victory at 6:03.9. The Bears finished the race at 6:06.4.
In the final race of the day, the varsity eight, Brown and Harvard both came flying off the blocks, but Harvard claimed the opening volley and held a five-seat lead at the quarter mark. The two boats were neck-and-neck over the next 1,000 meters as the Bears fought back into contention and nearly pulled even by the start of the second half. After Harvard gained a slight lead at the third quarter mark, the two boats made a late charge with the pace increasing stroke for stroke, but the Crimson found a final gear in the last 100 meters for the five-seat win at 5:53.6. Brown crossed the line at 5:54.7.
The Bears return to action on Saturday, April 20 when they host Northeastern on the Seekonk River.
Harvard – 5:53.6
Brown – 5:54.7
Second Varsity Eight
Harvard – 6:03.9
Brown – 6:06.4
Brown – 6:12.5
Harvard – one foot
Brown – 6:06.6
Harvard – one foot
Harvard – 6:29.5
Brown – 6:41.5