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History of the Tasmanian SATIS Head of the River rowing regatta

1924 SATIS Head of the River

Friday, October 3 - Tamar River:

The 1924 Head of the River Regatta was rowed on the one-mile Home Reach course on the Tamar River.  The 5 crews that entered the race were:

-    Friends’ High School,

-    Hutchins School,

-    Launceston Church Grammar School,

-    Scotch College, and

-    St. Patrick’s College

The conditions on the Tamar were described as “fast” because of the favourable tidal conditions. There were large crowds lined on the King’s Wharf and other viewing points along the banks of the Tamar.  Hutchins School were successful in defending their 1923 win, retaining the Golden Fleece Cup convincingly against their northern rivals, Launceston Church Grammar School. 

Hutchins School with the Golden Fleece Cup after winning the 1924 Head of the River (Source: Hutchins School Magazine, December 1924)

Hutchins School with the Golden Fleece Cup after winning the 1924 Head of the River (Source: Hutchins School Magazine, December 1924)


The following is an account from The Mercury of the 1924 regatta: 

“A fairly good start was effected, and right from the commencement Hutchins lead off, and rowed very strongly over the first hundred yards, at the end of which they possessed a decided advantage. After a quarter of a mile had been traversed, Hutchins were leading from Scotch, with Grammar in close attendance, and the other crews slightly further back. At that stage Friends' , High, on the Invermay shore, were about half a length behind the leading crews, with St. Patrick's on the western shore, a length behind them. At the time Hutchins were moving very nicely, and their style was greatly admired by old rowers on the banks. Grammar were rowing a fine length, but their rate of striking was a bit too slow for the fast water. Scotch were rowing a very quick stroke, and after they had gone half the distance their rate of striking commenced to tell upon them, and they were supplanted in second place by Grammar. Passing the cattle jetty Hutchins were leading Scotch and Grammar by a length, but immediately afterwards Grammar sprinted, and commenced to draw up to the leaders. At the northern end of the King's wharf, however, Hutchins were two lengths out from Grammar. the crew rowing very nicely,' and being well steered. Scotch then started to drop back, and by the time the last hundred yards were commenced they were a length behind Grammar. Over the final stretch Hutchins maintained their advantage, and, continuing to row a nice lively stroke, they won very comfortably by two lengths from Grammar, with Scotch a similar distance away third. Friends' High were fourth, and St. Patrick's last.”

Organising Committee: 

Tasmanian Rowing Association


Starter: Mr. C. G. Croft

Umpire: Mr. J. F. Deane

Judge: Mr. J. E. Heritage

Secretary: Mr. L. T. McIntyre

First Four

Golden Fleece Cup

1 mile


Margins*: 2 - 3 lengths, 2, ½ lengths 

1st Hutchins School – Bow: D. J. J. Hood, 2: H. M. Nicholls, 3: W. B. Law, Str: J. J. Cowburn, Cox: A. Page

2nd Launceston Church Grammar School – Bow: J. S. Millen, 2: E. A. Rowlands, 3: D. W. Hall, Str: R. Coogan, Cox: E. King

3rd Scotch College – Bow: J. May, 2: E. Ewing, 3: W. Henry, Str: T. Brownrigg, Cox: H. Ellis

4th Friends’ High School – Bow: R. C. Neave, 2: G. Gibson, 3: J. Reid, Str: W. Rowe, Cox: P. Stephens

5th St. Patrick’s College – Bow: K. Imlach, 2: C. Jenson, 3: W. Fryett, Str: J. Thomas, Cox: M. Lyall

*NOTE – there are differing times and margins reported:

-  The Mercury reports: 

o  Hutchins winning by 2 lengths.

o  No official time taken, but “private watches” report 6 min 4 sec.

-  The Examiner reports: 

o  Hutchins winning by 3 lengths.

o  Time: 5 min 15 sec.


HEAD OF THE RIVER. (1924, October 4), Examiner (Launceston, Tas.: 1900 – 1954), p. 13, Retrieved 5 May 2020, from

HEAD OF THE RIVER. (1924, October 4), The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 – 1954), p. 13, Retrieved 5 May 2020, from

Hutchins School Magazine, December 1924

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