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Washington’s reigning national titlists, who’ve won three of the last five crowns in the men’s championship eights, will be bidding on Sunday afternoon to become the first collegiate boat to repeat since Navy won its fourth in a row in 1983.
The Huskies, who displaced Harvard last year after a 10-second buoy penalty was overturned, again will be challenged by the Crimson as well as archrival California in what figures to be a reprise of last season’s IRA championship with Northeastern, Brown, and Princeton also in pursuit.
Two elite boats from both France and the Netherlands also will be in the mix as well as Melbourne Univ. US Rowing, which last won in 2007, is bringing a boat loaded with global medalists but they’ll be starting 26th after last year’s collision with Washington saddled them with three minutes’ worth of interference penalties and dropped them to last place.