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History of AAGPS Head of the River Rowing Regatta

1901 NSW AAGPS Head of the River

Saturday, 20 April 1901 on the Parramatta River.

There were three starters for the 1901 Head of the River: St. Ignatius College, Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore) and Sydney Grammar School.

Despite the rainy weather, the conditions for racing were favourable, as the day was characterised by a slack tide and low wind. Sydney Grammar got out to a good lead, but St. Ignatius managed to overtake them in the latter part of the race to win the Major Rennie trophy for the second time. Sydney Church of England Grammar finished in third.

Referee wrote the following on St. Ignatius’ win:

At the time of starting the tide was slack and dead low; there was very little wind, and the conditions were generally favourable. Sydney Grammar School, rowing well together at a fast rate of stroke, at once took the lead. Gladesville was reached by Sydney Grammar in 1min 52sec, leading St. Ignatius by a half length, and Church of England by nearly 2 lengths. At Cabarita St. Ignatius drew level with the leaders, and quickly went away, Sydney Grammar beginning to tire. Passing Tennyson St. Ignatius' led by two lengths. Sydney Grammar was now in a bad way, as bow side was far too strong tor stroke side, and coxswain had to use a lot of rudder to keep a course. Church of Englund was about a half-dozen lengths behind the second boat, quite out of it. The times at the finish were 8 min 50 sec for the winners. 9 min 8sec for the second boat, and 9½ min for third. The winners spurted hard at the finish, and pulled up fairly fresh.

St Ignatius were not to be defeated by illness this year with a strong win over their old rivals Sydney Grammar School. The year was good for Riverview with several new boats being added to the fleet including two sculls, doubles, triples and three racings fours. One of the racing fours was named after the then college stroke O'Sullivan.

Head of the River

1 mile, 550 yards

Time: 8 min 50 sec

1st St. Ignatius College  Bow: C. Lonergan, 2: G. Baxter, 3: J. Allan, Str: D. O'Sullivan, Cox: F. Conlon

Time: 9 min 8 sec

2nd Sydney Grammar School – Bow: J. H. McLaughlin, 2: G. V. Ebsworth, 3: V. G. Holcombe, Str: D. C. Close, Cox: A. C. Stuart-Mason

Time: 9 min 30 sec

3rd Sydney Church of England Grammar School – Bow: F. C. Kater, 2: R. C. Adams, 3: J. F. Reid, Str: D. Taylor, Cox: Unknown

2nd Place – Sydney Grammar School
(Source: The Sydneian, Sydney Grammar School, No. 160, June 1901

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 


The Sydneian, Sydney Grammar School, No. 160, June 1901

ROWING. (190, 19 April), The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW: 1883 – 1930), p. 8, Retrieved 8 January 2021, from

ROWING NOTES (1901, 24 April), Referee (Sydney, NSW: 1886 – 1939), p. 4, Retrieved 8 January 2021, from

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