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History of AAGPS Head of the River Rowing Regatta

1904 NSW AAGPS Head of the River

The 1904 regatta conducted on Saturday, April 23rd had 3 starters for the 1 mile 550 yard race from One Man Wharf to Putney Point:

St. Ignatius College

Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore)

Sydney Grammar School

The day was met with unfavourable weather, described as “unsettled” and “chilly”. The race was also marked by some controversial moments. It appeared that St. Ignatius were badly washed off at the start from one of the following Steamboats, and, one of the slides from the Church of England boat fell to the floor. Nonetheless, Sydney Grammar won the race and handled the poor conditions better than the other two crews to win by 2½ lengths. It was the third year-in-a-row Sydney Grammar won the Major Rennie trophy.

Sunday Times wrote the following report on the 1904 regatta:

“Just before the word 'go' was given a steamer chartered by the St. Ignatius College Club came up with a big bow wave, which greatly interfered with their crew, who for a few strokes were 'going anyhow' in the wash. The North Shore boys, rowing very hard, held a lead until Gladesville, when th Grammar School crew drew level. Off Correy's, the North Sydney crew went all to pieces, and the Grammar School crew began to draw away. Rowing in good form, they won by two lengths from St. Ignatius, who finished well, and1 shaped capitally. Any chance the Riverview boys had, and thev certainly did have a chance, was spoilt at the 'start. No. 2 of the Church of England, crew broke his slide at Gladesville, and this handicapped the crew a bit. Time, 8min 48sec.”

Sydney Grammar No. 2 boat were also successful in winning the Maiden Fours title for the Yaralla Cup, beating a number of other crews including Sydney University, Sydney Rowing Club, Balmain Rowing Club, Mercantile Rowing Club, North Shore Rowing Club and Sydney Church of England Grammar School.

The Paramatta course hosted the race as usual but the ferries caused difficulties. F J Gorman in his book Rowing at Riverview said that "St Ignatius was greatly inconvenienced at the start by a side-wash from a steamer of its supporters and lost a couple of lengths, then they met with a side wind and some lumpy side-wash as they neared Cabarita. Grammar handled this best...".

Index to Results:


Officials and Organising Committee:

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

Umpire: Mr. Q. L. Deloitte

Timekeeper: Mr. J. Blackman

Hon. Secretary: Mr. H. Marks

Committee: Messrs. A. D. Hall, W. H. Savigny & B. A. McBride

Head of the River

1 mile, 550 yards

Time: 8 min 48 sec

1st Sydney Grammar School  Bow: C. A. Boone, 2: G. B. Lindeman, 3: E. M. Carter, Str: C. R. Lucas, Cox: S. E. Matthews

Margin: 2 1/2 lengths

2nd St. Ignatius College  Bow: D. Clarke, 2: R. V. McDonnell, 3: J. Carlton, Str: J. Conlon, Cox: J. Power

3rd Sydney Church of England Grammar School – Bow: S. C. Irving, 2: O. H. Dean, 3: G. L. G. Park, Str: K. Taylor, Cox: F. W. M. Busby

Second Crews

Time: Unknown

1st Sydney Grammar School


GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS’ REGATTA. (1904, 25 April), The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW: 1842 – 1954), p. 3, Retrieved 14 January 2021, from

ROWING. (1904, 24 April), Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW: 1895 – 1930), p. 6, Retrieved 14 January 2021, from

The Sydneian, Sydney Grammar School, No. 177, May 1904


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