1894 NSW AAGPS Head of the River
Saturday, May 5 1894 on the Parramatta River.
The 1894 AAGPS Head of the River saw the same two crews as the inaugural year battle it out on the Parramatta River from One Man’s Wharf to Putney point: Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) and Sydney Grammar School
The race proved to be anti-climatic as the stroke of the Shore crew caught a crab from early on, giving a margin of 15 lengths to Grammar who were the eventual winners.
The Australian Town and Country Journal reported the race below:
The steamer Birkenhead, crowded with the Sydney Grammar School boys, and the Leichhardt, having on board the Church of England Grammar School fellows, also followed… The race of the afternoon was the schools championship in which the greatest interest was centred. The contest, however, was robbed of excitement owing to the Stroke of the Church of England Grammar School catching a crab and becoming unseated.
Another report of the race explaining Grammar’s breakthrough victory:
Grammar secured the best of the start, but just when the Shore boys were preparing to make a spurt, Heron, the stroke, missed the water with his oar, and fell backwards in his boat. The mishap cost the crew 15 lengths - a handicap which they were not able to surmount - and Grammar won comfortably.
1894 proved to be a landmark year for the AAGPS Head of the River as Major Rennie, who was present for the regatta on May 5, offered a £20 cup would be awarded each year for the winner of the four-oar race.
The tables were turned in the second race with Sydney Grammar taking the title.
The race was reported as follows:
Grammar secured the best of the start, but just when the Shore boys were preparing to make a spurt, Heron, the stroke, missed the water with his oar, and fell backwards in his boat.
The mishap cost the crew 15 lengths - a handicap which they were not able to surmount - and Grammar won comfortably.
Nathaniel J McDonald, coach of the Grammar crew, was an Intercolonial oarsmen of note racing in 1890 and 1895. He became a starter of this event in later years and also coached the first fours at St Ignatius and St Josephs.
Organising Committee and Officials
Starter: Mr. McDermott
Umpire: Mr. Q. L. Deloitte
Hon. Secretary: Mr. Devonshire