neer also was a four-man boat with long sweep oars, as shown here. Naturally, the Harvard guys soon challenged some Yale rowers to a race and the first Harvard-Yale race was held in 1852. That competition is still going on, by the way, which ma kes it t he oldest cont inuous intercollegiate sporting event in America. But hold on…this Easton Point race was in 1826 ~ a quarter century earlier! Was competitive row ing
invented here on the Eastern Shore? Well, of course not. Rowing races had been happening since ancient times, whenever and wherever there were boats with skilled crews. In the days of the sailing navy, small boats took naval personnel between ship and shore. These were known as barges (or gigs or longboats), and their crews took pride in their rowing abilities. And that pride, naturally, led to competition between ships’ crews. Just two years after this Easton Point race, a crew of ferrymen from the Whitehall Landing at Manhattan’s Battery in New York wanted to race the boat-crew of a visiting British naval vessel. Their challenge was accepted, and the ferr ymen
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