Hall of Fame

richard-bayard-kennelly-jr
Richard Bayard Kennelly, Jr.
Crew

Graduation Year

1987

Induction Year

2005

Hall of Fame

Harvard Athletic Achievements

Kennelly was a three-year letter winner for heavyweight varsity crew and helped the 1985 men’s heavyweight crew team to its induction in the Hall of Fame. This crew achieved a remarkable record, including victories in the Eastern Sprint Championships, the Harvard-Yale Race, the National intercollegiate Championships in Cincinnati and the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta in England. No other crew from Harvard or any other university has duplicated this accomplishment. The crew recorded victories over every other major university crew in the United States and England over the course of the season and stamped themselves as one of the outstanding university crews of all time. The crew recorded a decisive victory over Princeton, Brown, Navy and the rest of the eastern universities in the Eastern Sprints Championships. They then switched gears very effectively and rowed to a convincing four length victory over Yale at New London, ending Yale’s four year win streak in the race. Just one week later the crew made the difficult adjustment back to the 2000-meter distance and rowed perhaps their best race of the season. In the finals of the National Intercollegiate Rowing Championships the crew rowed through a greatly improved and determined Princeton crew in the last few strokes of the race. It was both the closest and the fastest race for the Championship. Shortly after winning the National Championships, the crew traveled to Henley, England to compete for the coveted and prestigious Grand Challenge Cup. Olympic and World Championship crews often win the cup and only one US crew had won it in the previous 26 years. Undeterred, the crew entered the event full of confidence and went on to row three outstanding races over the 1984 Danish World Champion Lightweight eight, Cambridge University and, once again, Princeton. No other university crew from the United States or elsewhere has won the event until Harvard did it again in 2003.

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