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History of the South Australian Schools Head of the River rowing regatta

1894 South Australian Schools' Head of the River

Saturday, 17 March – Port River:

The 1894 Head of the River was raced between St. Peter's College and Prince Alfred College over a 1¼ mile distance on the Port River. According to The Advertiser, a large crowd witnessed perfect conditions for the contest.

St. Peter's dominated the race. However, interestingly, St. Peter's stopped before the finish line with Prince Alfred crossing the line as the victor. Nonetheless, Prince Alfred declined to accept the win meaning St. Peter's took the win for the second consecutive year.


The following is an account by The Advertiser of the 1894 race: 

"The course was fixed from No. 1 light to a black buoy off the new dock. The crews were got well into line by Mr. Halcomb, the Princes being on the Peninsula side of the river, and the St. Peters on the outside. Positions made little difference, the course being straight, and the conditions of wind and water most favorable. About 20 minutes past 11 o'clock the word of command was given, and both crews let out at a great rate. The blue- and-whites were doing 44 strokes, and the Princes about the same. The reds managed to maintain the lead for about 800 yards, but after this they showed signs of distress, and as Luff Point began to gradually recede. The blues then assumed first position, and increased their distance from their rivals very materially. Strange to say the stroke in the P.A.C. boat seemed to be going all to pieces. He screwed badly and rowed a grindstone oar. No. 3 was working well, bat the two forward oars were keeping bad time. The Saints on the other hand were rowing splendidly, and were quite fresh. The time was good, and the boat went well between the strokes. Luff Point was passed at 1 min. 3 sec. by the blues, who forged farther ahead from their rivals. Passing the north end of the Ocean Steamers' wharf reserve Mr. Cox cried 2 min. 35 sec. The Princes were now entirely out of the running, and as they went well in practise it was peculiar that they were unable to maintain the same form in the race. Fisher- man's Creek was made by the leaders at 4 min. 6 sec. and the south end of No. 1. quay was reached at 5 min. 47 sec. Nearing the black buoy the timekeepers watched for the gun fire, but to the surprise of all the Saints, who were now six lengths ahead, stopped rowing. It was at once surmised that "something had gone wrong with the works," but when the Princes came up to the buoy the judge (Mr. J. Coonan) fired the gun. Fortunately, Mr. Cox took the time immediately the leaders stopped, and he made it 6 min. 54 4/5 sec...When the judge saw that the blue-and whites were apparently ignorant of the actual finishing place he called out to them to row up, but they took no notice...The Prince Alfred boys, with a chivalry worthy of all credit, declined to take the race..."

Organising Committee:

South Australian Rowing Association


Secretary: Mr. H. V. Rounsevell

Starter & Umpire: Mr. F. Halcomb

Judge: Mr. J. Coonan

Timekeeper: Mr. C. Baxter

First Four

The Blackmore Shield

1¼ mile

Time: 6 min 54 sec

Margin: 6 lengths

1st St. Peter's College – Bow: J. Blackmore, 2: J. Gosse, 3: V. Padula, Str: G. Wooldridge, Cox: Wooldridge

2nd Prince Alfred College – Bow: E. Boucaut, 2: R. Rooney, 3: H. Rischbieth, Str: M. A. Boucaut, Cox: J. Richardson


THE INTERCOLLEGIATE BOAT RACE. (1894, 19 March), The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 – 1931), p. 5, Retrieved 22 March 2023, from

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