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History of the Tasmanian SATIS Head of the River rowing regatta

1926 SATIS Head of the River

Saturday, May 29 - Tamar River:

The 1926 regatta returned to the Tamar River and was rowed on a one-mile course, starting at the “red pile at Ti-Tree Bend to the southern end of King’s Wharf”. Five crews entered the race:

-    Clemes College (previously known as Leslie House School),

-    Friends’ High School,

-    Hutchins School,

-    Launceston Church Grammar School, and

-    Scotch College

The conditions were ideal for racing, with a slight north-easterly breeze favouring the crews. Large crowds were gathered on King’s Wharf as well as people on vessels that were moored past the finish line. Despite defending champions Launceston Church Grammar being considered favourites, Hutchins won the Golden Fleece Cup as they did two years earlier on the Tamar. Unfortunately, Scotch suffered a “broken paddle” from their three seat which compromised their race. 

Winners of the 1926 Golden Fleece Cup - Hutchins School (Source: Hutchins School Magazine, Midwinter 1926)

Winners of the 1926 Golden Fleece Cup - Hutchins School (Source: Hutchins School Magazine, Midwinter 1926)


Below is a description of the race from the Daily Telegraph: 

“The course was from the red pile at Ti-Tree Bend to Town Point, a straight mile. After a false start and a fair amount of manoeuvring, the boats got away satisfactorily. The Clemes crew had a slight advantage at the beginning, with Hutchins and Friends' High a short way behind. Clemes and Grammar appeared to be getting away, but the Hutchins crew, rowing long, powerful strokes, drew away at the end of 200 yards from the start and, although strongly challenged by Clemes and Friends' High, established a lead which they maintained to the finish. The Grammar School crew were favoured by rowing experts, but disappointed their admirers when the stroke lengthened out too soon. Scotch, despite the accident which befell them by the breaking of No. 3 paddle, were' showing as good form as any, but the additional weight in the other boats told its tale. Nevertheless Scotch would have finished in a much better position if the mishap had not occurred. Friends' High and Clemes crew kept the best course throughout, Hutchins losing the direction a little towards the finish, but they rowed strongly throughout the whole course, which came as a surprise in view of three almost last-minute changes. Friends' High rowed well, but all the crews except Hutchins were becoming ragged at the finish. Hutchins won by a length and a quarter from Clemes, which had an advantage of a length and a half from Friends' High, which were two lengths further back and then a similar distance behind came Grammar, with Scotch last. No official time was taken but private watches made it 5mins 57secs, which under the conditions was fair.”

Organising Committee: 

Tasmanian Rowing Association


Starter: Mr. A. Hollingsworth

Umpire: Mr. J. E. Heritage

Judge: Mr. J. Curtis

First Four

Golden Fleece Cup

1 mile

Time: 5 min 57 sec

Margins: 1¼, 1½, 2, 2 lengths

1st Hutchins School – Bow: C. M. McDougall, 2: E. Crow, 3: D. Lord, Str: J. Hood, Cox: H. Frankcomb

2nd Clemes College – Bow: K. Nicholson, 2: A. Wettenhall, 3: C. Ross, Str: H. Long, Cox: A. Major

3rd Friends’ High School – Bow: R. Salmon, 2: C. Vaughan, 3: J. Clark, Str: D. Jones, Cox: E. Reynolds

4th Launceston Church Grammar School – Bow: C. R. Millen, 2: H. R. Thomson, 3: C. Archer, Str: B. B. D. Thomson, Cox: W. Loney

5th Scotch College – Bow: V. G. Rickets, 2: A. R. McClennon, 3: G. Hardman, Str: F. Rowling, Cox: R. B. Wardlaw


HEAD OF THE RIVER. (1926, 31 May), Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas.: 1883 – 1928), p. 7, Retrieved 6 May 2020, from

ROWING. (1926, 31 May), The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 – 1954), p. 3, Retrieved 6 May 2020, from

Hutchins School Magazine, Midwinter 1926

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