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Summary of Head of the River for the Fairbairn Cup

The first cup for competition was presented in 1875 by the Hon. T J Sumner, to become the property of the school which should first win it three times. Scotch College won it in 1875, 1876 and 1879 and have retained it since that date.

In 1911 Mr Charles Fairbairn presented the Challenge Cup and the winners of this handsome trophy and previous "Winners of the Race", as it was known then, are listed below This was not before many years of discussion amongst the schools about Mr Fairbairn's kind offer. The schools delegates had accepted the offer in 1880, but unfortuantely the schools did not ratify this decision at that time.

From 1868 to 1897, the race was rowed in string-test gigs with fixed seats. From 1898 to 1900, the race was rowed in best fours with sliding seats. From 1901 to 1946, the race was rowed in clinker eights. From 1947, the race has been rowed in racing eights.

Until 2001, the race was rowed over a distance of about a mile. From 1938, the Upper Yarra course was reduced to 1 mile less 66 yards, and the Barwon course was also shortened to this distance from 1948. From 2001 onwards, the race was conducted over 2000 metres.

In 1942 due to war restrictions, only two crews raced at a time. In 1943 wartime travel restrictions forced the event to be conducted both in Melbourne for the Melbourne crews and in Geelong for the Geelong crews.

Scotch College is the only school to have competed in every event.

Fairbairn Cup

The Fairbairn Cup

 

Summary of Results of the Boys Head of the River

The results from 1977 to date have been largely drawn from the work of Robert Wakefield and his contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

Year Course First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth Time Margin
1868 Upper Yarra SC MGS         NTT 1 length
1869 Upper Yarra SC MGS         8:30.0 2 feet
1870 Upper Yarra MGS SC         8:14.0 4 lengths
1871 Upper Yarra MGS SC         NTT 5 feet
1872 Upper Yarra SC MGS WC       NTT 4 lengths
1873 Upper Yarra SC WC         NTT 3 lengths
1874 Upper Yarra WC SC         NTT 6 lengths
1875 Upper Yarra SC WC 2 crew final       NTT 1 length
1876 Upper Yarra SC GGS 2 crew final       NTT 3 lengths
1877 Upper Yarra MGS SC 2 crew final       NTT 4 lengths
1878 Upper Yarra GGS MGS 2 crew final       NTT 6 lengths
1879 Barwon SC GGS 2 crew final       NTT 5 lengths
1880 Upper Yarra GGS MGS 2 crew final       NTT 2 1/2 lengths
1881 Upper Yarra SC WC 2 crew final       NTT 3 lengths
1882 Upper Yarra GGS SC 2 crew final       NTT 3/4 length
1883 Upper Yarra MGS SC 2 crew final       9:10.0 1 1/2 lengths
1884 Upper Yarra SC MGS 2 crew final       NTT 2 1/2 lengths
1885 Upper Yarra GGS MGS 2 crew final       NTT 1 1/2 lengths
1886 Barwon GGS MGS 2 crew final       8:30.5 1 1/2 lengths
1887 Albert Park Lake GGS WC 2 crew final       NTT 2 lengths
1888 Upper Yarra GGS SC 2 crew final       NTT 200 yards
1889 Lower Yarra GGS MGS SC WC     9:05.0 3/4 lengths
1890 Barwon GGS SC 2 crew final       NTT 3 lengths
1891 Lower Yarra SC WC GGS MGS     7:30.0 3 & 2 feet
1892 Lower Yarra SC MGS GGS WC     NTT 1 length
1893 Lower Yarra GGS MGS SC WC     8:21.0 2 lengths
1894 Barwon GGS MGS 2 crew final       NTT 3 lengths
1895 Lower Yarra GGS SC MGS WC     NTT 3 lengths
1896 Upper Yarra WC GGS 2 crew final       NTT 3/4 length
1897 Albert Park Lake MGS GGS SC WC     NTT 1/2 length
1898 Barwon GGS MGS 2 crew final       6:50.0 3 lengths
1899 Albert Park Lake SC MGS WC GGS     NTT 1 1/4 lengths
1900 Upper Yarra SC WC MGS GGS     NTT 4 lengths
1901 Lower Yarra WC SC GGS MGS     NTT 1 1/2 lengths
1902 Barwon - heats
Upper Yarra - final
WC MGS         NTT 1 length
1903 Upper Yarra WC SC 2 crew final       NTT 4 lengths
1904 Upper Yarra WC GGS 2 crew final       NTT 1 length
1905 Upper Yarra WC MGS 2 crew final       NTT 1 canvas
1906 Barwon WC SC 2 crew final       NTT 1 1/2 lengths
1907 Upper Yarra SC GGS 2 crew final       NTT 2 lengths
1908 Upper Yarra SC GC XC       5:01.0 1 1/2 lengths
1909 Upper Yarra WC GGS MGS       5:12.0 1 lengths
1910 Upper Yarra WC SC MGS       5:00.4 1 lengths
1911 Barwon WC GGS MGS       5:44.0 1 1/2 lengths
1912 Upper Yarra WC GGS XC       NTT 1 length
1913 Upper Yarra WC SC MGS       NTT 1/2 length
1914 Upper Yarra GGS SC GC       5:09.5 1.5 lengths
1915 Upper Yarra WC SC GGS       5:17.6 1/2 length
1916 Barwon MGS GGS 2 crew final       5:33.8 1/2 length
1917 Upper Yarra GGS GC WC       5:52.2 2 lengths
1918 Upper Yarra MGS WC GGS       5:13.0 2 1/2 lengths
1919 Upper Yarra SC XC GGS       5:38.0 1 canvas
1920 Upper Yarra GGS SC XC       5:34.0 1 canvas
1921 Barwon SC MGS WC       5:47.2 1/3 length
1922 Upper Yarra GGS MGS 2 crew final       5:22.5 1 length
1923 Upper Yarra MGS GGS SC       5:54.4 1/2 length
1924 Barwon GGS MGS SC       5:29.4 1 foot
1925 Upper Yarra SC WC MGS       5:15.2 1/2 length
1926 Upper Yarra SC GGS MGS       5:11.0 1 canvas
1927 Barwon SC WC GGS       5:27.8 1/2 length
1928 Upper Yarra XC SC WC       5:59 1/3 length
1929 Upper Yarra XC SC MGS       5:06 3/4 length
1930 Barwon MGS WC GGS disq       5:35.2 3/4 length
1931 Upper Yarra MGS WC XC       4:53.5 1 length
1932 Upper Yarra MGS GGS WC       5:13 1 1/4 length
1933 Barwon WC GGS SC       5:42.8 1/2 length
1934 Upper Yarra GGS MGS WC       5:18.4 2 lengths
1935 Upper Yarra GGS MGS SC       5:35 2/3 length
1936 Barwon GC WC GGS       5:46.8 1 1/4 length
1937 Upper Yarra XC WC MGS       5:38.4 2 lengths
1938 Upper Yarra MGS GGS SC       5:06.4 3/4 length
1939 Barwon MGS WC SC       5:04.2 1 length
1940 Upper Yarra MGS SC GGS       5:04.2 1 1/2 length
1941 Upper Yarra SC MGS WC       5:12.4 1 length
1942 Various venues WC In a series of races, WC was undefeated and declared winner.
1943 (a) Upper Yarra
MGS
SC         5:15.4 4 lengths
1943 (b) Barwon GGS GC         NTT 1 length
1944 Barwon GC MGS WC       5:04 1 1/2 lengths
1945 Barwon MGS GC WC       5:09.6 1 1/2 lengths
1946 Upper Yarra SC GC MGS       4:47.4 2 feet
1947 Upper Yarra WC GC MGS       4:46.2 1/3 length
1948 Barwon XC MGS GC       5:06 1 length
1949 Barwon MGS XC GGS       4:44.4 3 lengths
1950 Barwon GGS SC WC       5:04.4 canvas
1951 Barwon SC WC XC       4:43 2 lengths
1952 Barwon SC GC GGS       4:45 1/2 length
1953 Barwon GGS WC GC       4:43 1/2 length
1954 Barwon GGS XC MGS       5:02 1 length
1955 Barwon GC =2nd SC =2nd WC       4:44.4 1/3 length
1956 Barwon GC SC XC       4:58 1 length
1957 Upper Yarra GC SC XC       4:47.2 1 3/4 lengths
1958 Barwon MGS =2nd GC =2nd XC       4:43.2 1 length
1959 Barwon GC MGS GGS       4:57.4 3/4 length
1960 Barwon GC WC SC       4:51.8 canvas
1961 Barwon WC SC GC       4:37.4 canvas
1962 Barwon WC XC MGS       5:00.2 1 length
1963 Barwon SC WC XC       5:08 1 1/4 length
1964 Barwon MGS GC GGS       4:51 1/2 length
1965 Barwon WC GGS CGS       4:50.4 1 length
1966 Barwon SC MGS GC       4:31.4 3/4 length
1967 Barwon SC              
1968 Barwon MGS              
1969 Barwon SC              
1970 Barwon WC              
1971 Barwon GGS              
1972 Barwon WC              
1973 Barwon SC XC GGS       4:29.0 3/4 length
1974 Barwon GGS              
1975 Barwon GGS GC SC       4:47.0  
1976 Barwon GC           4:44.6  
1977 Barwon WC GC SC       4:22.6 1/3 length
1978 Barwon SC MGS XC       4:45.0 1 metre
1979 Barwon MGS WC SKC       4:42.6 2 lengths
1980 Barwon MGS SKC XC       4:36.0 3/4 length
1981 Barwon MGS GC SC BGS     4:51.0 2 lengths
1982 Barwon MGS Carey SKC WC     4:36.4 1/3 metre
1983 Barwon BGS WC GC MGS     4:43.5 1 length
1984 Barwon WC MGS BGS SC     4:33.5 1 length
1985 Barwon Carey SC GGS WC     4:39.2 1/2 length
1986 Barwon GGS MGS CGS GC     4:30.8 3/4 length
1987 Barwon GGS SC XC Carey     4:44.5 1 1/2 lengths
1988 Barwon GGS SKC BGS MGS     4:41.1 1 1/2 lengths
1989 Barwon GGS XC BC BGS     4:37.7 1 length
1990 Barwon GC SC BGS XC     4:39.0 2 lengths
1991 Barwon GGS GC BGS SC     4:15.2 1 length
1992 Barwon SC Carey BGS CGS     4:25.3 1 1/4 lengths
1993 Barwon GC MGS GGS BGS     4:36.8 3/4 length
1994 Barwon GGS MGS BGS GC     4:34.5 2.41 secs
1995 Barwon Carey GC CGS WC     4:16.0 1 length
1996 Barwon Carey MGS BGS SC     4:10.2 1/3 length
1997 Barwon MGS SC BGs GGS     4:16.2 1/2 length
1998 Barwon SC GGS XC HC     4:14.8 2/3 length
1999 Barwon XC GC SC HC     4:15.2 1 1/4 length
2000 Barwon GC Carey GGS MGS     4:32.5 2/3 length
2001 Nagambie Lakes GC Carey HC SC GGS XC 6:00.13 0.65 secs
2002 Nagambie Lakes MGS SC GC BGS CGS WC 6:07.58 2.80 secs
2003 Nagambie Lakes GC SC CGS Carey GGS MGS 6:03.99 1.96 secs
2004 Nagambie Lakes SC Carey HC CGS WC MGS 6:17.70 0.78 secs
2005 Nagambie Lakes SC GGS HC BGS XC GC 6:07.74 6.46 secs
2006 Nagambie Lakes SC GC GGS XC Carey MGS 6:17.59 3.21 secs
2007 Nagambie Lakes SC GGS XC Carey MGS HC 7:02.00 7.16 secs
2008 Nagambie Lakes SC MGS GGS SKC BGS XC 6:02.68 4.86 secs
2009 Nagambie Lakes MGS SKC BGS SC Carey WC 5:59.92 6.13 secs
Key to Abbreviations
BGS Brighton Grammar School
Carey Carey Grammar School
CGS Caufield Grammar School
GC Geelong College
GGS Geelong Grammar School
HC Haileybury College
MGS Melbourne Grammar School
SC Scotch College
SKC St Kevins College
WC Wesley College
XC Xavier College

 

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