HENLEY-ON-THAMES, JULY 2 -- The Boston Rowing Club, the United States' national lightweight crew, lost the Wyfold Cup today when it was disqualified amid controversy at the 148th Henley Royal Regatta.

On a day when U.S. and Soviet crews produced three victories each, Boston, which had won the cup last year, lost because of a collision with British Walton Rowing Club.

It occurred less than 200 meters into the race, when the Americans lost their sense of direction, moved away from their lane and clashed oars with their opponents. They dropped back immediately, but the race continued. Apparently, the Americans did not hear the British umpire's announcement of their disqualification.

"He might as well have done it in a whisper, for all we knew about it," said No. 3 oarsman Peter Kermond. "We went on to fight our way back into the race and only realized what had happened three minutes later."

In the Ladies' Challenge Plate, Princeton University's rowing eight defeated Vesta of Britain; a Yale crew beat a team of Dutch students, KSR Nord.

Justin Bohan and Brian O'Hara from Iona (N.Y.) College won a first-round Silver Goblets race on a disqualification to earn a meeting with the British world champions, Steve Redgrave and Andy Holmes.