The Harvard lightweight freshman eight edged out Yale lightweight crew’s varsity boat by three quarters of a length at the Henley Royal Regatta on Friday, ending the Bulldogs’ run in the Temple Challenge Cup at the quarterfinal stage.
Still, the Elis’ top-eight finish came as a result of two wins: a one-and-a-quarter length victory over a crew from St. Hild and St. Bede College, Durham, on Wednesday and a half-length verdict against Florida Tech on Thursday.
The Bulldogs qualified to compete at the Temple Challenge Cup after a photo-finish victory against Harvard’s first varsity boat at the June 4 IRA National Championships. But on Friday, Harvard’s freshman boat – which saw victory at the May 15 Eastern Sprints and a third-place finish at the IRA’s – avenged their more senior boat’s loss.
Although the Yale boat was in the lead at the Barrier – the first of two progress markers along the approximately 2,112 meter course – by the Fawley, the Crimson had struck ahead, holding on to finish the race in a time of 6:12, a new record for the competition.
The loss ends the Bulldogs’ run on the River Thames, a course on which they have seen success in the past. Yale was the first non-British school to win the Temple Challenge Cup, claiming victory in 1996 and most recently, in 2000.