The History of the Harvard-Yale Boat Race – Part 2

Once again, we take up our oars and take to the water to learn more about the Harvard versus Yale Regatta. We paused our rowing as this famous race had to be canceled in 1943 because of WWII and it was not competed again until 1946, with a new location of the Charles River.

1947 saw the reappearance of the Regatta as it was known in New London. And the post-wa race saw Harvard rowing to victory by a margin of six seconds. The race also took place with a new road bridge that had been erected over the river.

The Century of Racing

1952 was an auspicious year for the Harvard-Yale Regatta as there was actually two races, the first in June in New London. And to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the race another regatta was held in August on Lake Winnipesaukee. It was Harvard that were victorious on the big day with a lead of nearly three seconds. Then in 1954, Yale stamped their dominance of the event winning it five times in succession. This five year winning streak by the Elis saw the overall tally of winners come to 48 versus 46.

Harvard Dominance

Since 1954 the upper-hand has been seized by the Crimson, and Harvard have shown their dominance of the water winning twenty one times in a twenty-two year period that included an eighteen year unbeaten spell. It was also the period that possibly the most famous name in this most auspicious rowing event came to the fore, and it was that of Harry Parker. The final year of the eighteen year winning streak saw a record being set that until this day has not been conquered. The time of eighteen minutes and twenty-two seconds has never been beaten by Harvard or Yale and is still the benchmark both universities try to overcome every year.

The Resurgence of Yale

It was not until 1996 that Yale started to once again become the major force in the Regatta, and they had a second win three years later both in downstream victories. In the two years in between it was Harvard that came out victorious but now Yale were providing stiffer competition.

However, in recent years it has once again been the Crimson who have been the dominant force. Prior to the 2007 Regatta, Harvard won seven victories on the bounce then in 2015 it was Yale that were crowned the winners. There was no official result in 2016 due to the sinking of a boat, but in 2017 and 2018 Yale have been victorious bringing the difference in the amount of all-time victories a little closer. Going into the 2019 Regatta it has been Harvard that have notched ninety-five victories as opposed to the fifty-seven wins that Yale have managed to achieve.

There is no doubt that the overall winning margin of thirty-eight races by Harvard up to 2019 has shown just how dominant that the Crimson have been in the Harvard versus Yale Regatta. But still the crews and supporters of both universities go into each subsequent Regatta with high expectations of victory.