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Harvard-Yale regatta ruled ‘no result’

  • Yale rowers celebrate on the Yale Boathouse dock after they thought they defeated Harvard in the 151st rowing of the Harvard-Yale Regatta in Ledyard, Conn., June 2016. ap file photo



Associated Press
Thursday, February 09, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. — A committee investigating a disputed Harvard-Yale regatta last year has determined that nobody won the race and responded by codifying the first official rules for the oldest active collegiate sporting event in the United States.

The regatta committee has informed both schools that the trophy for the event will be engraved with the words “no official result.”

Yale was leading the 151st edition of the varsity heavyweight race in choppy conditions on the Thames River in Connecticut on June 12 when Harvard’s shell began taking on water and the Crimson crew had to be evacuated into launch boats.

Yale finished the race and celebrated victory over their archrivals, but was informed two hours later no winner would be declared because a referee put up a red flag when the incident occurred.

Yale coach Steve Gladstone appealed the result.

Yale was ahead by a boat length about one-half mile into the annual 4-mile rivalry race when a wave sent a large amount of water into the Harvard boat. Harvard coach Charlie Butt suggested a re-row, but conditions on the river made that impossible.

The first Harvard-Yale race was held in 1852, and it became an annual event in 1864, more than a decade before the first Harvard-Yale football game. There have been a few breaks in the series, mostly because of events such as world wars. The regatta has been held on the Thames river since 1878. The schools attract some of the best rowers in the country, including athletes who compete in the Olympics.

Yale, which won the 2015 race, was looking for its first back-to-back victory since 1984. Prior to last year, Harvard had been dominant, winning seven in a row and 14 of 15.

This year’s race is scheduled for June 10, weather permitting.