The VIIIth World Graduate School Rowing championships, hosted by the HBS Boat Club on the Charles River, were won Saturday by Yale SOM (senior men) and MIT Sloan (women).
Around 100 spectators from HBS, Yale, Sloan and Harvard Law School gathered to cheer on their crews, making the most of fine conditions on the bank. Things were somewhat different mid-stream, however, as a stiff head-wind made the going rough for all crews and left the umpires with their work cut out in getting the crews fairly lined up for the start.
Despite eye-opening pre-race aggression training from coxwain Andrea Stern, the HBS women provided the first scalps of the day for the eventual winners, MIT Sloan (who defeated Yale SOM in the final). Our men’s crew fared better in their three-aside encounter, buoyed on by vociferous support from the bank. Following a close-fought battle with Yale SOM and Sloan over the first 3/4 of the 1,200m course, they were out-sprinted over the finishing stretch to trail Yale by just under one length (roughly 3 seconds), with Sloan coming in third a further 3/4 length down. Sloan made it two titles out of three by taking the final race of the day, the men’s novices, by two lengths.
At the now-traditional post-regatta party, crews and supporters brought their own mid-afternoon atmos to the venerable Hong Kong. The ever-competitive Sloan women proved their staying power to be equally effective off the water, seeing off a record number of scorpion bowls before the opposition had even arrived. HBS crew members retaliated in deadly fashion by selling them a record number of commemorative regatta T-shirts. Regatta organizer Elly Hardwick was overheard remarking “we may have been a bit short in our race, but at least we broke even on the regatta”
With only three graduating from this year’s boat, the HBS men are well positioned to retake the trophy next year. The women’s crew is currently pleading with the administration to admit more Olympic ringers to offset the loss of Catriona Fallon, but with or without the help of the admissions office, the women are eager for a rematch. Next year, revenge will be sweet.