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History of AAGPS Head of the River Rowing Regatta

1900 NSW AAGPS Head of the River

Saturday, 28 April 1900 on the Parramatta River. 

3 crews entered the 1900 regatta:

St. Ignatius College

Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore)

Sydney Grammar School

However, St. Ignatius College had to withdraw due to a leg injury to the stroke seat and no reserves could fill the position. The weather on the day was described as fine and mild, with only a breath of air affecting the flat water. A large crowd gathered on each of the 3 steamboats to observe the race. Church of England were able to regain the Major Rennie trophy for the fourth time, and their sixth ever win in the event courtesy of a 4-length win over Sydney Grammar.

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote the following on the 1900 race:

“A good start was made. Church of England soon coining away, both crews rowing about 38 strokes to the minute, Passing Gladesville wharf the time was 1 1/3 minute for the leader, and the race was practically decided, as Sydney Grammar School, slowing down, became very sluggish, and the bladework, which was badly timed from the start, now became worse, particularly on the stroke side. At Cabarita wharf, Church of England led by 3 lengths, going very nicely indeed, with a fine length of stroke and a steady recovery, the swing and leg work being excellent, and the rowing generally even and attractive as it was evidently effective. The lads on the Birkenhead roared and cheered, and by the waving of hats urged their crews along. Tennyson was reached by Church of England n 5 minutes 10 seconds with a lead of 3 lengths. Sydney Grammar was distressed, but rowed with great pluck, and had rather improved in timing the blade-work. The finish was reached by Church of England in 8 minutes 21 seconds with 12 seconds lead, equal to about four lengths.”

This was a year dominated by illness which nearly gave Shore a row over. Firstly the Riverview crew strokeman was too ill to row and so the Riverview crew withdrew. On the day of the race, two of the Sydney Grammar crew were also ill but managed to row. As one would expect under these circumstances, Shore was easily.

Head of the River

1 mile, 550 yards

Time: 8 min 21 sec

Margin: 4 lengths

1st Sydney Church of England Grammar School  Bow: J. F. Reid, 2: A. R. Lomax, 3: R. S. Reid, Str: L. W. Carey, Cox: H. S. Bland

2nd Sydney Grammar School  Bow: J. H. McLaughlin, 2: F. Heron, 3: G. U. Garvan, Str: D. C. Close, Cox: O. Dibbs

Officials and Organising Committee:

Starters and Judges: Mr. M. A. H. Fitzhardinge & Mr. J. E. H. Kennedy

Umpire: Mr. Q. L. Deloitte

Timekeeper: Mr. J. Blackman

Hon. Secretary: Mr. D. Maughan 


ROWING. (1900, 30 April), The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842 – 1954), p. 4, Retrieved 7 January 2020, from


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