All bragging rights belong to Harvard in regatta sweep

Members of the Harvard crew team heave head coach Harry Parker into water after the Crimson's three-race sweep of the 145th Harvard-Yale regatta on the Thames River Saturday, May 29, 2010.
Members of the Harvard crew team heave head coach Harry Parker into water after the Crimson's three-race sweep of the 145th Harvard-Yale regatta on the Thames River Saturday, May 29, 2010. Sean D. Elliot/The Day Buy Photo

Ledyard — With small but loyal crowds watching from the banks of the Thames River, Harvard crew swept Yale this morning in the 145th Yale-Harvard regatta.

The Crimson won all three races — freshman, junior varsity, and varsity — to sweep the regatta for the third straight year. Harvard won the four-mile varsity race with a time of 19 minutes, 40.3 seconds to Yale's 19:46.2.

The regatta is the oldest college sporting event in the country. The teams first raced on Aug. 3, 1852, the first intercollegiate athletic competition of any kind in the United States.

It was also once one of the country's premier spectator sports, with a reported 100,000 people watching the race in 1925. Saturday, a crowd of mostly friends and family gathered at each school's boathouse and on a famed rock along the river's banks near the finish.

With Kool 101 broadcasting the race live, the freshmen and junior varsity rowers huddled around a radio in the Harvard boathouse to listen until the boats came into view about three-quarters of the way through.

Yale stayed close to the heavily favored Harvard boat for about half of the race, until the Crimson started pulling away. Shortly after they crossed the finish line, Harvard rowers emerged from their boathouse with brooms in hand. The sweep was completed.

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