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History of the Tasmanian SATIS Head of the River rowing regatta

1925 SATIS Head of the River

Saturday, May 30 - Derwent River:

The 1925 Head of the River was the 10th edition of the regatta. It was held earlier in 1925, with the race being moved from October to May. It was raced over one-mile on the Derwent River, starting at Government House Point.  Four crews contested for the Golden Fleece Cup in 1925:

-    Friends’ High School,

-    Hutchins School,

-    Launceston Church Grammar School, and

-    St. Patrick’s College

This year’s race was particularly important for Hutchins School as they were vying for their third victory in succession and therefore ownership of the Golden Fleece Cup. With a lot on the line, the race proved to be equally exciting. Despite The Mercury describing the conditions as “drizzling rain and dampness under foot”, current and old boys of the competing schools filled the Naval Piers cheering on as Launceston Church Grammar won by 4 feet over Hutchins School. 

Winners of the 1925 Golden Fleece Cup - Launceston Church Grammar School (Source: The Mercury, 1 June 1925)

Winners of the 1925 Golden Fleece Cup - Launceston Church Grammar School (Source: The Mercury, 1 June 1925)


The following is an account from The Mercury of the 1925 race: 

“The race was over a mile course, the starting line being just off Government House Point. The water was inclined to be "sloppy," but the crews experienced little difficulty in negotiating the rough patches. With a smart jump off at the start. Grammar, rowing with perfect combination, led Hutchins, Friends' High, and St. Patrick's over the first quarter of a mile. Their blade work and body swing were splendid to watch, and their stroke was driving his crew with a hard catch and a lively swing Hutchins, holding the inshore position, were striking at a faster rate, and were hanging on to the leaders in determined style. When half the distance had been covered Grammar held a lead of a length and a half from Hutchins, with Friends a length back third, and the light St. Patrick's College crew a similar distance away last. The No.3 man in the latter crew at this stage jumped his slide, and the crew momentarily stopped rowing. Passing the Mercantile sheds the positions of the first two crew were unchanged, and Rowe, the stroke of Friends' High, was making a game effort to catch the leaders. The timing of his crew was, however, faulty, and he did not receive any backing, and in consequence the effort was short-lived. Nearing the Derwent shed a battle royal ensued between Grammar and Hutchins. The Launceston 'lads continued to sit their boat well, but Hutchins, striking fast, began to move up. With every stroke their boat was drawing on the leaders. In the last couple of hundred yards they shot up to within a few feet, but their effort was too late, and Grammar, amidst great cheering from their numerous supporters, crossed the line four feet to spare, Friends’ being two and a half lengths further back third, with St. Patrick's three lengths away last.”

Organising Committee: 

Tasmanian Rowing Association


Starter: Mr. J. H. Sharp

Umpire: Mr. G. W. R. Ife

Judge: Mr. J. Todd

First Four

Golden Fleece Cup

1 mile

No Time Taken

Margins: 4 feet, 2½ lengths, 3 lengths

1st Launceston Church Grammar School – Bow: C. King, 2: B. Thompson, 3: R. Farrell, Str: G. Edgell, Cox: B. Routley, Coach: H. V. Jones

2nd Hutchins School – Bow: J. A. Travers, 2: F. Whitehouse, 3: G. Dick, Str: P. Onslow, Cox: A. Page, Coach: J. Swift

3rd Friends’ High School – Bow: D. Jones, 2: F. Peppier, 3: G. Gibson, Str: W. Rowe, Cox: W. Long, Coach: A. A. Pitt

4th St. Patrick’s College – Bow: K. Imlach, 2: O. Jensen, 3: R. Tynan, Str: W. Fryatt, Cox: J. O’Byrne, Coach: C. Munro


HEAD OF THE RIVER. (1925, 1 June), The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1850 – 1954), p. 10, Retrieved 6 May 2020, from

HEAD OF THE RIVER RACE. (1925, 30 May), The News (Hobart, Tas.: 1924 – 1925), p. 1, Retrieve 6 May 2020, from

Hutchins School Magazine, Midwinter 1925.

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