1903 Season

Andrew O'Dea
Andrew O'Dea
  Robert G. Stevenson
Robert G. Stevenson
 Results | Summary | Photos | W Winners 

Season Results


Season Summary

In Syracuse , Jim Ten Eyck was named head coach of Syracuse University 's crew team.

On May 7, the varsity, in its “first scrap of the year,” took on the second varsity and the freshman eights. With the frosh given a 7 length headstart and the second varsity about a 3 length starting advantage, the varsity beat the frosh by thre lengths. The varsity boating was Christman (bow), Quigley, Moffatt, Stevenson, Gaffin , Jordan , Miller, McComb (stroke) and Sawyer (cox).

On May 9 th , the Daily Cardinal reported several changes in the boat, including seat changes, Bartelt moved from the 2 nd boat to the varsity bow and Quigley dropped to the stroke of the second boat. Bartelt has “been taken to the training table.” The Daily Cardinal announced (incorrectly) the new shell, “Forward,” arrived from Philadelphia .

On May 18, the Daily Cardinal described the new shell as

...expected to arrive the latter part of next week and coming from W. H. Davy of Cambridge , MA . The new shell will be about two feet shorter than the present shell, or about 60'5”, and a trifle lighter. Davy has built almost all of Wisconsin 's shells in the past and also builds for Yale and Harvard. The shell is being built in a similar style to the Badger's “Camille,” which the varsity is now using. Unlike the current British style, also being used by Pennsylvania , the seats will be in a straight line instead of in a 4-inches-out-of-line configuration.

On June 1, the Daily Cardinal reported the new shell's shipmant has been postponed as it is about two feet too long for the car of the American Express Company. It was thought that the new shell would be shorter than the “Captain Frederick Pabst,” last year's boat. The shell was ultimately delivered to Poughkeepsie June 16.

The UW frosh ( 7:00 ), on a 1¼-mile course (on Lake Mendota ) defeated the second frosh ( 7:05 ) and St. John's Military Academy ( 7:24 ). The race took place June 5 (according to the Daily Cardinal of June 1, which paper stopped daily publication for the summer around June 3) and both UW crews planned to row. The Minnesota Boat Club has not decided to sell their straight four-oared shell to Wisconsin .

On June 3, the Daily Cardinal reported a telegram had been received from Columbia , “Will lend you a four at Poughkeepsie . Can you use it?” The Athletic Board must pass on UW's accepting as it means two more rowers must make the trip. If a four is entered, the men will come from the second varsity and the second freshmen boats. The varsity rowed seven miles, including some time near Maple Bluff. the frosh broke an oar on the way home.

In the June 12 Daily Cardinal (after a week of suspended publication), it was reported the cold north wind and rough water had the varsity “off color.” The freshman boat, the “Captain Pabst,” was out of service for a lost rudder and the “Chynoweth” was used. The frosh rowed in the “Camille” at Poughkeepsie .


At the IRA's:

The Badgers departed Saturday, June 13 th at 5:45 pm for the June 26 th Poughkeepsie Regatta. The crew was put up at the River View Military Academy , the same as last year, which is considered among the best of the Poughkeepsie accomodations. The storehouse at Buckeye dock was been given the Badgers for a boathouse. Coach O'Dea was without a launch as the Frank Brothers, who have always lent O'Dea the Walla Walla , have recently sold the boat and it is no longer in Poughkeepsie.

The Eastern week was one round of mishaps. The cold, wet weather was so disagreeable that a number of the men contracted severe colds, which greatly reduced their weight and spirits.

On the day of the race no less then three of the strongest oarsmen were ill and entered the contest only because there were no others to take their places. In such condition the race was rowed, and the result was - Cornell first, Georgetown second and Wisconsin third.

The first two miles was all the sick men could stand and the remaining distance was made with the help of nerve, sand and will; but when the line was crossed not a man was able to sit erect in his seat and yet, in spite of these facts and in spite of the fact that some of the men were rowing their first race, the crew pulled through the finish. It serves to add one more instance of the unconquerable, non-quitting Wisconsin spirit, which permeates all her athletics.

Perhaps it would not be out of place to say something concerning the outlook for the coming year. At present there are thirty-six men trying for the Wisconsin crew “W.” This is the largest number of candidates ever entered for the Varsity. Besides this, there are one hundred and thirty-six freshman training for the freshman race, and out of these there are four squads no man of which is under six feet.

With such an aggregation, Wisconsin 's prospects are very bright indeed and if it continues, as we all hope it will, it will not be many years before the aquatic sport will be, what it is in the East, the principal recognized branch of athletics.

-The Badger 1905 , Captain Robert G. Stevenson (No. 4)

Cornell (June 25 (sic), 1903) beat all her antagonists in three races on the Hudson . Cornell's university crew was a wonder both in material and in training, and romped away from the others without any trouble, finishing far in the lead. A good many farmers' boys and other mature youth who are well seasoned by manual work go to Cornell, and help her to keep in first place among college rowing. Boat races, especially the four-mile races, are dangerous affairs for men not in perfect physical condition, and thoroughly expert in their business.

-Harper's Weekly of July 11, 1903 (Vol. XLVII No. 2429, p. 1143.)

The New York Times' description of the race in their article dated June 27, 1903 (p. 1 and 2) read:

Cornell's cup of athletic glory was filled to overflowing this evening, when, just before 7 o'clock, the third of the college races was finished over the Poughkeepsie course, with Cornell victorious in all. (Cornell) Coach Charles E. Courtney was fairly deluged with congratulations upon the duplication of his three former Hudson River victories (of last year).

In the ‘Varsity (eight), Georgetown finished a surprise by crossing the line second, one-half length in front of Wisconsin . The Westerners were also third in the other two races, although in neither case did they make so pretty fight as in the four-mile event.

In the varsity eights, Cornell's were the heaviest, averaging 174 ½ pounds (average age 22 and average height 6 feet and ½ inch)), while Wisconsin was the second heaviest at 172 ½ pounds (age 22 ½ and height 5'11 ½”)

Final results in the varsity eights were Cornell (18.59), Georgetown (19.27), Wisconsin (1929.4), Penn, Syracuse and Columbia. Results in the two mile four-oared race, under favorable conditions, were Cornell ( 10:34 ), Penn (10:35.8), Wisconsin (10:55.6) and Columbia ( 11:14 ); while in the freshman race it was Cornell ( 9:18 ), Syracuse ( 9:22 ), Wisconsin ( 9:32 ), Columbia ( 9:41 ) and Penn ( 9:45 ).



Capt Robert G Stevenson

Capt Robert G Stevenson



A. H. Bartlelt
Arthur H. Christman
Albert B. Dean
Arthur J. Quigley


return to top

contact the webmaster