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History of AAGPS Head of the River Rowing Regatta

1907 NSW AAGPS Head of the River:

Wednesday, 27 April

First Crew:

The 1907 edition saw the addition of a fourth crew for the first time, coming from St. Joseph’s College. Accordingly, the 4 crews that raced 1 mile, 550 yards from One Man Wharf to Putney Point were:

-  St. Ignatius College

-  St. Joseph’s College

-  Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore)

-  Sydney Grammar School

The weather was not ideal for racing with a strong westerly breeze blowing. Church of England shot out early and held the lead briefly, before St. Ignatius took the lead at Gladesville and never looked back winning by 5 lengths over Sydney Grammar. St. Ignatius regained the Major Rennie trophy they won just two years earlier in 1905.

The Daily Telegraph provided the following report for St. Ignatius’s win of the Major Rennie trophy:

“After some delay a good start was effected, Church of England jumping off in the lead closely followed by St. Ignatius, with Sydney Grammar just behind St. Joseph's. St. Ignatius', however, rowed well, as their weight told, and they passed Gladesville Wharf in 1min. 42sec. from the start with a lead of a quarter of a length, St. Joseph's crew, very raw, were holding the Sydney Grammar four, who were rowing a rate in the worst position. Nearing Cabarita, the Si. Joseph's crew dropped astern, and St. Ignatius' went further ahead of the Church of England boys. From this out the Riverview boys had the race to themselves, and passed Tennyson with a lead of three lengths in 6mins 15sec. The Grammar School stroke now went after the leaders in earnest, and caught the Church of England crew nearing the finish. Amidst the vociferous cheering of the boys and the din of whistles, St. Ignatius crossed the line with a lead of five lengths in 9min. 43sec. A desperate struggle for second place resulted in favour of Sydney Grammar School by half a length from Church of England Grammar School. St. Joseph's boys were a long way astern, but they have the making of good material.”

Second Crew:

The seconds race did not include the newcomers, St. Josephs, as they were in the firsts race. 3 crews contested for the Yaralla Cup over a 1-mile course from Gladesville to Putney Point:

-  St. Ignatius College

-  Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore)

-  Sydney Grammar School

Sydney Grammar were able to win this event for the first time with a 3 length margin over St. Ignatius.

The Daily Telegraph wrote this about Grammar’s win of the Yaralla Cup:

“This was rowed from Gladesville to Putney, and after a spirited race over half the course between Sydney Grammar School and St. Ignatius', the former drew away and won easily by three lengths, in 7min. 44sec. Church of England Grammar School was beaten from the jump.”

Index to Results:


Officials and Organising Committee:

Starter: Mr. J. McGregor

Judge: Mr. N. McDonald

Umpire: Mr. V. Horniman

Timekeeper: Mr. J. Blackman

Secretary: Mr. H. Marks

Head of the River

1 mile, 550 yards

Time: 9 min 43 sec

1st St. Ignatius College – Bow: J. Conrick, 2: C. Veech, 3: J. Fernandos, Str: J. Carlton, Cox: A. Kelly

Margin: 5, 1/2 lengths

2nd Sydney Grammar School – Bow: C. W. Robson, 2: R. C. Stephen, 3: A. T. Woodriff, Str: J. R. Garland, Cox: L. J. Boone

3rd Sydney Church of England Grammar School – Bow: C. H. Edwards, 2: D. Williams, 3: A. H. Cox, Str: C. L. Wilcox, Cox: J. H. Newmarch

4th St. Joseph's College – Bow: A. Buckley, 2: C. Eccleston, 3: E. Fahey, Str: R. Surtess, Cox: T. Healy

Second crews

1 mile

Time: 7 min 44 sec

1st Sydney Grammar School – Bow: W. E. David, 2: G. P. Arnold, 3: K. W. Street, Str: H. W. Bray, Cox: C. Bacon

Margin: 3 lengths

2nd St. Ignatius College – Bow: H. McArdle, 2: H. Rorke, 3: P. Kelly, Str: C. Burfitt, Cox: F. Kinkead

3rd Sydney Church of England Grammar School – Bow: R. H. Hutson, 2: B. C. Pockley, 3: J. B. Garden, Str: C. W. Snook, Cox: B. N. Willis


ROWING. (1907, 25 April), The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW: 1883 – 1930), p. 3, Retrieved 23 January 2021, from

The Sydneian, Sydney Grammar School, No. 192, May 1907

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