Yale coach says committee will decide outcome of regatta with Harvard
By Associated Press | June 14, 2016, 6:26 EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Yale’s rowing coach says a committee will determine whether the Bulldogs won the 151st regatta with archrival Harvard, or if it will go down in the books as a no contest.
Yale was leading the varsity race in choppy conditions on the Thames River in Connecticut on Sunday when Harvard’s shell began taking on water and the Crimson crew had to be evacuated into launch boats.
Yale went on to finish the race, but was informed two hours later that because a judge had put up a red flag when the incident occurred, no winner would be declared.
Yale coach Steve Gladstone said Monday that the regatta committee, which includes officials from both schools, will meet to review that decision. He said it could take a few weeks to get a final ruling.
Gladstone said he believes the referee erred in declaring it a no contest.
“Yale was rowing, was not in danger,” he said. “But Harvard was sinking and clearly the primary concern was getting the Harvard oarsmen into our launches and to safety.”
Yale was ahead by a boat length about a half mile into the 4-mile race when a wave sent a large amount of water into the Harvard boat.
“It got to the point where it was just way too much,” Conor Harrity, a Harvard oarsman, told the Boston Globe. “There’s a little bit of panic. I think we tried to keep focused as best we could, but by the half-mile we were done.”
Harvard coach Charley Butt suggested a re-row, but Gladstone said the conditions made that impossible on Sunday.
He said there is no chance the committee will have the teams meet again this year, noting that the oarsmen from both schools come from all over the world and have busy summer schedules.
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.
No matter the decision, Gladstone said Sunday’s race adds a unique chapter to the story of the nation’s oldest collegiate sporting event.
“Let’s put it this way,” he said. “It’s an interesting narrative.”