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History of the Tasmanian SATIS Head of the River rowing regatta

1918 SATIS Head of the River

Saturday, May 4 - Derwent River

The 1918 regatta returned to the Derwent River. The course was a one-mile stretch from the Botanical Gardens to the Naval Pier. St. Virgil's College re-entered the regatta for the 1918 edition:

-    Friends’ High School,

-    Hutchins School,

-    Launceston Church Grammar School,

-    Leslie House School,

-    Scotch College, and

-    St. Virgil’s College

The conditions, particularly at the start of the course, were challenging due to a “nasty” south-westerly breeze.  The race start was delayed to 3:40pm due to an accident to the Leslie crew when lowering their boat onto the water. Ultimately, Launceston Church Grammar were successful in retaining the title, winning by half-a-length over Hutchins. 


Below is an excerpt from The Mercury of the 1918 race:

“The race to decide which of the Secondary Schools of the Island is entitled to be called 'head of the river' for the next twelve months was rowed on the Derwent, crews from each of the four Southern Schools (Hutchins, Leslie House, Friends' and St. Virgil's) and from the two Northern Schools (Church Grammar and Scotch College) competing…Though the condition of the water was good for rowing, there was a nasty south-westerly breeze, which made the start a rather difficult matter for the young oarsmen. A regrettable delay was also caused by the Leslie House crew meeting with an accident their boat when lowering it into the water. A fairly good start was, however, made at 3.40 p.m. Hutchins School having the inshore position, their coxswain thought it advisable to get into smooth water, but it would probably have been better for them had they gone straight ahead, and steered as straight a course as did Grammar and Scotch College. Early in the race the Leslie House crew, who’s boat was rolling rather badly from the start, fouled Friends' High, but managed to get clear without any damage being done. St. Virgil's were doing their best, but it soon became apparent that the race would resolve itself into a contest between Hutchins and the two Northern crews, who were pulling in far better style than their opponents. Grammar obtained the lead, and kept clear ahead of Hutchins till a couple of lengths from the finishing buoy. Hutchins then managed to increase their pace, and began to gain on Grammar, but the latter crossed the line a little under half a length ahead of the Southerners, Scotch College being about two lengths behind. The rowing of the two Northern crews and of the Hutchins crew was very good throughout… St. Virgil's, Friends', and Leslie House brought up the rear in the order named.”

Organising Committee:

Tasmanian Rowing Association


Starter: Mr. J. Sharp

Umpire: Mr. G. V. R. Ife

Judge: Mr. E. C. Watchorn

First Four

1 mile

No Time Taken

Margins: ½, 2 lengths

1st Launceston Church Grammar School – Bow: A. Peacock, 2: D. Scott, 3: A. Scott, Str: R. Holyman, Cox: C. Fowler

2nd Hutchins School – Bow: J. Clemons, 2: J. Holmes, 3: S. Hammond, Str: N. Hay, Cox: M. Clemons

3rd Scotch College – Bow: C. Steel, 2: E. Hardman, 3: A. Beattie, Str: F. Browne, Cox: R. Evans

4th St. Virgil’s College – Bow: R. Johnston, 2: E. Curtis, 3: F. Sinclair, Str: W. Oakford, Cox: C. Brown

5th Friends’ High School – Bow: V. Gibson, 2: A. Cooper, 3: J. Miller, Str: C. Kellaway, Cox: T. Lord

6th Leslie House School – Bow: C. Archer, 2: R. Drysdale, 3: G. Hirst, Str: C. Andrewartha, Cox: D. Weatherhead


The Mercury via Hutchins School Magazine, Midwinter 1918

AQUATICS. (1918, 6 May), Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas.: 1883 - 1928), p 7, Retrieved 30 April 2020, from

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