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History of the Tasmanian SATIS Head of the River rowing regatta

1933 SATIS Head of the River

Saturday, April 29 - Derwent River:

First Four:

The 1933 Head of the River was rowed on the lower Derwent River course, starting at Government House Point, which was a length of 1⅛ miles. Six crews entered the seniors category for the 1933 regatta, with Scotch College racing again in this event for the first time in three years:

-    Clemes College,

-    The Friends’ School,

-    Hutchins School,

-    Launceston Church Grammar School,

-    Scotch College, and

-    St. Virgil’s College

The weather and conditions were “perfect” for racing, according to The Mercury, with a few thousand people lining the foreshore of the Domain. The Friends’ School won the event for the second time in as many years, in another pillar-to-post effort. Friends’ won the Golden Fleece Cup by half-a-length over Clemes College. 

Second Four:

The Second Four raced over a half mile distance in the “dug out” boats. However, as The Mercury reported, heats and finals were conducted because there were not enough “dug out” boats to accommodate all the entrants. The five entrants were:

-    Clemes College,

-    The Friends’ School,

-    Hutchins School,

-    Launceston Church Grammar School, and

-    St. Virgil’s College

The final was contested between Clemes College and Launceston Grammar, with Clemes winning by 3 lengths.


First Four:

The Mercury provided an account for the 1933 seniors race: 

“The crews got away to an excellent start. For almost the first 200 yards they raced abreast, Grammar, and Scotch being the first to fall back. When passing Government House Point Friends' had a slight load, with Hutchins and Clemes in close attendance, and St. Virgil's a length back fourth. Scotch and Grammar were a further length back last. At the half distance Friends' were a length and a half in front of Hutchins, with Clemes another half a length further back. St. Virgil's, putting in a sprint, moved up for a while, and Scotch also made a good effort. Passing the naval jetty Clemes made a great effort and passed Hutchins. They commenced to move up on Friends', but the latter crew responded well to the challenge, and amid great cheering crossed the line, with half a length to spare from Clemes. Hutchins were a similar distance further back, with St. Virgil's fourth. Scotch were several lengths away in fifth position, and Grammar were three lengths behind Scots.”

Winners of the 1933 Golden Fleece Cup for First Fours - The Friends' School
(Source: The Mercury, 1 May 1933)

Second Four:

The winner of each of the two heats, Clemes College and Launceston Grammar, raced against each other in the final. Clemes College won the final by 3 lengths. 

Organising Committee:

Tasmanian Rowing Association


Starter: Mr. V. Geard

Umpire: Mr. E. C. Watchorn

Judge: Mr. C. W. Croft 

First Four

Golden Fleece Cup

1⅛ mile

No Time Taken

Margins: ½, ½ length

1st The Friends’ School – Bow: R. A. Gourlay, 2: P. Unwin, 3: K. Gabriel, Str: K. R. Gourlay, Cox: W. Sampson

2nd Clemes College – Bow: D. B. Palfreyman, 2: J. Hay, 3: H. Marsden, Str: D. H. Palfreyman, Cox: R. Wells

3rd Hutchins School – Bow: A. Watchhorn, 2: J. Lord, 3: J. Butler, Str: J. Davis, Cox: L. Chambers

4th St. Virgil’s College – Bow: W. Gurr, 2: J. Holliday, 3: K. O’Driscoll, Str: J. Darcy, Cox: T. Fleming

5th Scotch College –  Bow: R. McKinnon, 2: R. McKay, 3: D. Ireland, Str: A. Briggs, Cox: Stevens

6th Launceston Church Grammar – Bow: Sadlier, 2: G. Reading, 3: L. Wilson, Str: Curtis, Cox: Brooks

Second Four

Heat 1 - ½ mile

No Time Taken

Margins: 2, 2 lengths

Heat 2 - ½ mile

No Time Taken

Margins: ¼ length

Final - ½ mile

No Time Taken

Margin: 3 lengths

1st Clemes College – Bow: R. Innes, 2: D. Smith, 3: S. Chesterman, Str: T. Shadforth, Cox: J. Clemes

2nd Hutchins School – Bow: C. Spencer-Parsons, 2: D. Hood, 3: P. Edwards, Str: D. Warren, Cox: D. Lord

3rd St. Virgil’s College – Bow: G. Davies, 2: G. Ward, 3: B. Yard, Str: R. Bailey, Cox: V. Cooper

1st Launceston Church Grammar – (crew unknown)

2nd The Friends’ School – (crew unknown)

1st Clemes College – Bow: R. Innes, 2: D. Smith, 3: S. Chesterman, Str: T. Shadforth, Cox: J. Clemes

2nd Launceston Church Grammar – (crew unknown)


HEAD OF RIVER. (1933, 1 May), The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 – 1954), p. 2, Retrieved 12 May 2020, from

Hutchins School Magazine, June 1933

WINNERS OF THE HEAD OF THE RIVER RACE DECIDED ON THE DERWENT. (1933, 1 May), The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.: 1860 – 1954), p. 2, Retrieved 12 May 2020, from

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