Harvard Triumphs at Henley

The Harvard varsity men's heavyweight crew win the Ladies' Challenge Plate at the regatta.

The Harvard heavyweight varsity pulls away from its Molesey/Oxford Brookes opponents.

With a stunning final sprint, the Harvard heavyweight men’s crew closed on the English Leander Club eight and, in a photo finish, won the Ladies’ Challenge Plate at the Henley Royal Regatta on July 1 by a mere foot after a race of one mile, 550 yards. Leander had led for the entire race, getting nearly a length ahead in the first mile, staying in front at the Barrier and Fawley splits, and holding a three-seat advantage with only 50 meters left. But the British eight, which boasted 14 world-championship medals among its oarsmen, could not hold off Harvard’s closing charge. The triumph put a capstone on Harvard’s season, which marked the fiftieth with Bolles head coach Harry Parker at the helm for the men’s crew. (The heavyweights’ international lineup included two New Zealand brothers, Sam and James O’Connor, who were recently profiled in Harvard Magazine.)

 The Crimson won their eighth Ladies’ Plate (an “intermediate” event, for club and university eights) overall and second in the past three years. Harvard’s winning time of 6:33 was the fastest recorded by any crew in any Henley event this year, including California Rowing Club’s winning time of 6:36 in defeating Brown University in the final of the Grand Challenge Cup, Henley’s top eight-oared event.

A detailed, anecdotal account at the rowing website rowt2k.com relates the story of Leander’s taunting the Crimson at the Ladies starting line, uttering words they were forced to dine on just a few minutes later.

During the week’s racing, three other Harvard and Radcliffe boats made the semifinals of their events: the varsity lightweight eight (U.S. national champions under head coach Charlie Butt), in the Temple Challenge Cup; coach Liz O’Leary’s Radcliffe varsity heavyweight  eight in the Remenham Challenge Cup; and a Harvard heavyweight four in the Prince Albert Challenge Cup. The Harvard freshman heavies got as far as the quarters in the Temple.  All these crews were knocked out by the eventual champions. “They each have a legitimate claim to being the second-best boat in their event,” said Parker, “and that’s very much to their credit.”


You might also like

John Manning Appointed Interim Provost

Harvard Law School dean moves to central administration

Facebook’s Failures

Author and tech journalist Jeff Horwitz speaks at Harvard.

Kevin Young Named 2024 Harvard Arts Medalist

Museum director and poet to be honored April 24

Most popular

Convocation 2017: What Should an Education Be at Such a Moment?

Speakers reflect on the goals of a liberal arts university. 

Nicco Mele

The director of the Shorenstein Center on how the Internet came to mean so much to him. 

Found in Translation

Maureen Freely ’74, longtime translator of Orhan Pamuk, shares the nuances of bringing a text from one language to another.

More to explore

Photograph of Winthrop Bell 1910

Winthrop Bell

Brief life of a philosopher and spy: 1884-1965

Illustration of people talking to each other with colorful thought bubbles above their heads

Talking about Talking

Fostering healthy disagreement

Vacationing with a Purpose

New England “summer camps” for adults