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History of AAGPS Head of the River Rowing Regatta

1938 NSW AAGPS Head of the River

“Head of the River”. Greatest N.S.W. School Race. Winning Margin Three Feet. Sydney Church of England Grammar School. Tense Struggle With Sydney High School (Sydney Morning Herald, 02 May 1938)

Sydney Church of England Grammar School won the Great Public Schools’ Championship eights on the Nepean River on Saturday, in the greatest school race rowed in New South Wales.

The race was the greatest because the eight crews competing have never been more evenly matched, and because the race was contested under the most perfect rowing conditions imaginable.

Sydney Church of England Grammar School beat Sydney High School by only three feet, after a desperate struggle over the whole course. Newington College was third two lengths further away, and St. Ignatius’ College was only a few feet behind it. Then followed St. Joseph’s College, Sydney Grammar School, the Scots College, and The King’s School in that order.

The winning eight was the lightest in the race, and it reproduced under extreme pressure the splendid form it had shown in training, keeping at high ratings the perfect rhythm and machine like action common to crews from the school.

About 200 yards form the finish, with the rating up to nearly 40, the boat flopped badly, but it was amazing to see the coolness and rapidity with which the crew righted the boat and picked up the rating with the loss of only one faulty stroke.

That faulty stroke nearly cost the crew the race. Sydney High School was level in an instant, but Sydney Church of England Grammar School got a little more run from its boat, and in the last fifty years again forged ahead to gain the title of “Head of the River” by one of the smallest margins in the history of the race.

St. Joseph’s College had a great victory in the Second Fours, finishing with great speed along the eastern bank. In the First Fours Sydney High School withstood a strong challenge from Sydney Church of England Grammar School, and won by a quarter of a length.


Senior 1st Eight

Major Rennie Trophy



2 lengths

½ length

1st Sydney Church of England Grammar School – Bow: W.J. Starkey, 2: K.J. Cameron, 3: J.H. Marshall, 4: W.G. Barnes, 5: I.A. Geddes, 6: W.W. Woodward, 7: B.P. Jay, Str: J.R. Banyard, Cox: R.J.G. Wooton, Cch: L.C. Robson

2nd Sydney High School – Bow: T. Gilderthorp, 2: H. Puusepp, 3: L. Foley, 4: Z. Freeman, 5: K. Baret, 6: E. Longley, 7: K. Coleman, Str: R. Higham, Cox: B. McFee, Cch: F.M. Nichols

3rd Newington College – Bow: M.A. Kolynack, 2: G.R. Howe, 3: M.R. Stanley, 4: W.A. McIntyre, 5: C.A. Fay, 6: M.W. Miles, 7: I.F. Potts, Str: W.J. Greig, Cox: C.E. Miller, Cch: N.S. Ladkin

4th St. Ignatius’ College – Bow: P. Stevens, 2: R. Loneragan, 3: C. Leahy, 4: K. Wawn, 5: J. Payten, 6: R. Barry, 7: G. O’Shaughnessy, Str: K. Morgan, Cox: D. Foy, Cch: L.P. Raper

Senior 1st Four

Yaralla Cup


¼ length

¼ length

¾ length

1st Sydney High School – Bow: J. McCourt, 2: L. Wieland, 3: W. McMurray, Str: R. Grey, Cox: T. Kelly, Cch: D.J. Duffy

2nd Sydney Church of England Grammar School – Bow: P.G. Willsford, 2: T. Bartley, 3: G.G. Fisher, Str: M.H. Forsyth, Cox: K. Golding, Cch: J.B. Burrell

3rd The Scots College – Bow: K.B. Wolfson, 2: D.L. Whitford, 3: S.P. Longworth, Str: S. Levitus, Cox: J. Bateman, Cch: D.A. Elias

4th St. Ignatius’ College – Bow: J. D’Arcy, 2: J. Charters, 3: D. Meagher, Str: R. Turner, Cox: A. Jones, Cch: N.D. Evans

Senior 2nd Four


1 ¼ lengths

1 ½ lengths

1 length

1st St. Joseph’s College – Bow: P.E. Smith, 2: I.J. Schwager, 3: A.M. Mahboub, Str: B.J. McCade, Cox: B.J. Ryan, Cch: S.C. Cusack

2nd Sydney High School – Bow: G. Beard, 2: N. Docker, 3: J. Beesley, Str: R. Langmead, Cox: A. Vidal, Cch: D.J. Duffy

3rd Sydney Church of England Grammar School – Bow: A.B. Cuthbert, 2: J.D. Daily, 3: S.C. Clarke, Str: D.M. Taylor, Cox: R.P.C. Windeyer, Cch: J.B. Burrell

4th The Scots College – Bow: D. Grieve, 2: C. Foy, 3: J. Leith, Str: R. Glemesha, Cox: R. Schoeffel, Cch: D.A. Elias

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