The event was conducted on 12th and 14th May.
This event continued with heats and finals with three schools competing. The Geelong Grammar Boat Club history reports that it did not compete on medical advice. It quotes the Grammar School Quarterly April 1877 page 16 as follows:
But we did not enter - not because we were afraid of defeat which the crew above mentioned [Bow: G Smith, 2: G Trangmar, 3: S Fairbairn, Str: T Fairbairn] would certainly have received, but because the Headmaster and the medical advisers of the School were of the opinion that the stroke and three were too young to undergo the training and hard work necessary, and that it would be better to allow them another year before risking the strain to their constitutions which a stiff race over the Melbourne course would entail.
John Hood, later Mr Justice Hood, a founder of the Victorian Rowing Association, presented Geelong Grammar with a racing four on the condition that a shed be built for that club. It was built that year.
Starter: Mr A Nicholls
Umpire: Prof Martin Howy Irving
Judge: Mr M Byrne
Head of the River
Margin: 3 lengths
1st Melbourne Grammar - Bow: H A Smith, 2: F H Mackay, 3: S J H Stephen, Str: F S Stephen, Cox: Arthur Edwards, Cch: P de J Grut
2nd Scotch College - Bow: Charles J Baker, 2: James G Robertson, 3: Robert A Baillie, Str: Robert J P Simson, Cox: Frederick J Edwards, Cch: John Wallace
Wesley College - Bow: Rowe, 2: Tatchell, 3: Boyd, Str: Robb, Cox: Tuckfield, Cchs: H M Andrew, Macdonald & E G Ochiltree
E1: 1st MGS, 2nd WC, Margin 1 length. Scotch College secured the bye for this race and earned a place in the final. The race was excellent with MGS winning by only a length.
E2 (and final): 1st MGS, 2nd SC, Margin: 3 lengths Despite being the favourites, Scotch were soundly defeated and never in the race. A clash of oars due to the steering of the MGS crew had no appreciable impact on the race and so no protest was lodged.
As mentioned above, the Geelong Grammar crew did not race on medical advice. The crew was comprised of:
Geelong Grammar - Bow: G Smith, 2: G Trangmar, 3: S Fairbairn, Str: T Fairbairn, cox: unknown, Cch: James L Cuthbertson