Patriotic pride wasn’t enough to lift the Harvard men’s crew to victory this July 4 holiday, as the NCAA champion Crimson was forced to settle for second place in international competition at the Henley Royal Regatta on the Thames River. Coming off its second perfect collegiate season, Harvard’s varsity couldn’t overcome a sluggish start in the Grand Challenge Cup, finishing two-thirds of a length behind the Dutch national team. Later in the day, the 2V boat fell to the Leander Club – London’s renowned rowing club – by three-quarters of a length in the Ladies Plate.
The Crimson last entered a boat in the Grand Challenge Cup (the most competitive category at Henley) when it captured the event in 1985. This past June, Harvard’s eight finished sixth in the Grand Finals at the BearingPoint Word Cup Regatta in Switzerland to knock out Olympic entries from both Great Britain and France.
Even with the 2004 season done and gone, Harvard and Radcliffe rowers will continue to shine in the international spotlight as members of the U.S. Olympic contingent. All told, seven rowers and two coaches will make the trip to Athens this August. They are Wolfgang Moser ’98 (men’s four); Henry Nuzum ’99 (men’s double sculls); Artour Samsonov ’02 (men’s pair); Patrick Todd ’02 (men’s lightweight four); Gregory Ruckman ’96 (men’s lightweight double sculls); Carolyn Davies ’04 (women’s eight); and Michelle Guerette ’02 (women’s quadruple sculls). Harvard coaches Bill Manning and Charles Butt were both named assistant coaches to the U.S. Olympic coaching staff.