? What is the significance of the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Regatta?
•The IRA, a three-mile race sometimes called the Syracuse Regatta because it is held on Onondaga Lake, Syracuse, N.Y. (since 1952), is the World Series of intercollegiate rowing and the most representative distance event in the country. The winner of the IRA can legitimately call itself the best crew in the U.S.
? Is this opinion unanimous?
•Positively not! On the day of the IRA, Harvard races Yale in their own private regatta. This Ivy League row-off is the oldest U.S. intercollegiate competition, and it will be a long time before Harvard and Yale concede that any race but their own is the nation's most significant.
? Which crew has been the biggest winner of the 60 IRA regattas held since 1895?
•Cornell has won 20 races, 10 of them in a 12-year stretch (1901 to 1912), and is the defending champion this year. Seven other colleges have won the IRA regatta—Washington 9, Navy and California 8 each, Syracuse 5, Columbia 4, Penn 3 and Wisconsin 2.
? What is the fastest time ever recorded by a crew over the present three-mile course?
•Rusty Callow's "Navy Admirals," considered by many to be the greatest of all American crews, won the 1952 IRA regatta in 15:08.1. Cornell's 1957 crew, also one of the best ever, had the second fastest time—15:26.2.
? What section of the country has dominated the IRA?
•From 1895 to 1922 it was all East, but from 1923 until the present, West Coast colleges have won 17 (over the same period, eastern schools were winners 14 times). On only two occasions has a midwestern school (Wisconsin) come in first.
? What was the most convincing victory in the history of the IRA?
•In 1905 Cornell came in 20 lengths ahead of the field.