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History of the Tasmanian SATIS Head of the River rowing regatta

1957 SATIS Head of the River

Saturday, April 13 - Derwent River before a crowd of some 10,000 spectators. 

Although the races were rowed under perfect rowing conditions, rain threatened with overcast skies. However just before the first four race, the sun broke through the clouds.

First Four:

There were 6 entrants in the 1957 race, who raced over 1⅛ miles with Hutchins narrowly taking the honours. They re-gained the Golden Fleece Cup which they last won 20 years earlier (1937).

Second Four:

A smooth Scotch College crew won the Second Four. It was the first win Scotch for several years.

Third Four:

Launceston Church Grammar took out the Third Four in 1957.

Fourth Four:

St. Virgil's College won the Fourth Four.

Fifth Four:

Hutchins School won their first ever Fifth Four race.

Sixth Four:

1957 was the first time a Sixth Four was raced at the Tasmanian Head of the River. Hutchins School were victors in its inaugural year over St. Virgil's College in second.


Organising Committee:

Tasmanian Associated Public Schools (Southern Branch)


Starter: Ray Fagg

Umpire: N F Fazackerley

Judges: E S Elrick and D A Large

Clerk of Scales: C Needham

Commentator: R G Blundstone

First Four

Golden Fleece Cup

Approximately 1 mile

Time: Not known

Margins: 2 feet, 2 lengths, 2 feet

1st Hutchins School – Bow: P. T. Johnstone, 2: M. W. R. Weaver, 3: M. D. Gibson, Str: E. C. Chen, Cox: E. A. Downie

2nd St. Virgil’s College – Bow: J F Kelly, 2: B J O'Dea, 3: C V Northam, Str: J R Howell, Cox: D P Sulzberger

3rd Launceston Church Grammar – Bow: H R C Edgell, 2: R Rice, 3: R N Starling, Str: D W Cook, Cox: J L Hope

4th The Friends’ School – Bow: D Hallam, 2: R Taylor, 3: A Thodey, Str: R Mason, Cox: R Snow

Other Starters:
St. Patrick’s College - Bow: J Joyce, 2: B French, 3:  W Targett, Str: I Peacock, Cox: M Tehan

Scotch College - Bow: A L McLean, 2: A M Edison, 3: T L Beaumont, Str: M J B Tandy, Cox: T E Clarke

The newspaper reports of the race indicate that St Virgil's led for most of the race but were pipped on the line by the heavier Hutchins crew. The report was as follow:

First to show out was the highly fancied Grammar crew, first across the line for the last three years. Grammar were closely followed by St Virgil's, who were hitting a high rating even at that stage. St Patrick's were a disappointment right from the gun. They seemed unable to get going and as the race progresses dropped further behind.

After 300 yards, Hutchins had taken the lead but were being challenged by St Virgil's, Scotch and Grammar, who were almost on equal terms. Friends, a much fancied combination, were not working well and could not seem to get enough run on their boat.

At the half way mark, St Virgil's unleashed a terrific burst to draw level with Hutchins and gradually creep away to a half length lead. At this stage, Friends were running third, followed about half a canvas behind by Grammar and Scotch, with St Patrick's dropping further back.

Hutchins came again with a quarter of a mile still to go and settled down to a sterling struggle with St Virgil's. Friends in third place, began to tire about 200 yards from the line and Grannar ran into third place. Scotch could not seem to clap on the pace and remained in fifth position with St Patrick's last.

The struggle between St Virgil's and Hutchins lasted right to the line, with Hutchins gaining the decision by only two feet. Grammar held onto their slight lead to defeat Friends by the same margin for third position. Next came Scotch, with St Patrick's last to the finish.

Winners of the Golden Fleece Cup for First Fours in 1957 - Hutchins School
(Source: Hutchins School Magazine, July 1957)

Second Four

Distance: ½ mile

Time: Not known

Margins: 0.5 length and 2 lengths

1st Scotch College – Bow: Robin L Gillard, 2: John V Ollard, 3: Keverall A Thompson, Str: Theo D Chilcott, Cox: Ian W Holman

2nd Launceston Grammar - Bow: T A Barrenger, 2: R B Winspear, 3: I H Tanner, Str: B A Scholes, Cox: E H Gee

3rd St Virgil's College - Bow: M H Kelly, 2: D N Poulson, 3: M C De Groot, Str: A P Bravo, Cox: D J Power

4th Not known

5th Hutchins School – Bow: J. G. P. Overell, 2: R. E. Gray, 3: H. J. P. Grownier, Str: G. H. Salmon, Cox: T. A. Francombe

Other competing crews:

St Patrick's College - Bow: R Gogus, 2: G Quinn, 3: F Maloney, Str: F Gibson, Cox: W Henshall

Friends School - Bow: M Moroni, 2: R Jacques, 3: R May, Str: R Hall, Cox: P Murdoch

The Scotch crew were reported to be a smooth combination. This was the only win for Scotch College that day and the first for some years.

Left to right: Str: Theo Chilcott, 3: Keverall Thompson, Cox: Ian Holman, 2: John Ollard, Bow: Robin Gillard

Scotch College second four

Third Four

½ mile

Time: Not known

Margins: 0.5 length, a canvas

1st Launceston Church Grammar – Bow: J N Tucker, 2: S A Burbury, 3: D P McGeachie, Str: R W Tilt, Cox: R W Bennett

2nd Hutchins School – Bow: W. R. P. Salisbury, 2: J. T. Johnstone, 3: R. S. Verrell, Str: R. K. Brodribb, Cox: B. J. Calvert

3rd St Virgil's College - G B Hooper, 2: D J Fleming, 3: I F Thompson, Str: A J Mattay, Cox: D K Wilson

Other placings are unknown.

Other competing crews were:

Friends School - Bow: R Tomlin, 2: A Hope, 3: M Chambers, Str: I Thiessen, Cox: D Smith

Scotch College - Bow: J M Salt, 2: L J Williams, 3: B M East, Str: A C Holmes, Cox: F J Holden

St Patrick's College - Bow: C Bogus, 2: L Bourke, 3: J Maloney, Str: P Stolp, Cox: T Carr

The race in the thirds was stopped shortly after the start  after the Grammar cox appealed to the umpire for a foul. The race was restarted.

Fourth Four

½ mile

Time: Not known

Margins: 4 lengths and 0.5 length

1st St. Virgil’s College – Bow: P T Hynes, 2: B L Kelly, 3: D R McNeil, Str: M T Reilly, Cox: K R Power

2nd Launceston Grammar - Bow: J J Costello, 2: R J Salmon, 3: T B Ransom, Str: G F C Thomas, Cox: G J Humphreys

3rd St Patrick's College - Bow J Palmer, 2: K Richmond, 3: P Hollingsworth, Str: K Hudson, Cox: K Watkins

4th Hutchins School – Bow: J. L. Jones, 2: D. J. J. Hood, 3: P. H. Jones, Str: J. F. M. Grant, Cox: R. J. Dunsford

Other placings unknown.

Other crews competing were:

Scotch College - Bow: R B Millen, 2: C H Gladman, 3: A J Stevens, Str: K R Cox, Cox: E F Walters

Friends School - Bow: I Cashion, 2: R McGuinness, 3: K Wiggins, Str: C Tapping, Cox: T Willis

Fifth Four

½ mile

Time: Not known

Margins: 1.5 lengths and 4 lengths

1st Hutchins School – Bow: R. E. Drysdale, 2: M. J. Skeels, 3: H. K. Skegg, Str: P. N. Anderson, Cox: I. R. Chesterman

2nd St Virgil's College - Bow: J F Freeman, 2: A L Lange, 3: H T Lynn, Str: P J Cronley, Cox: D S Barr

3rd Friends - Bow: D Armitage, 2: R Brinton, 3: J Vaughan, Str: I Salmon, Cox: A Ibbott

Disqualified - Launceston Grammar - Bow: P Shackel, 2: A R Banks, 3: W Woolcock, Str: R Boag, Cox: R Seymour

This was a controversial race with Launceston Grammar being disqualified for "boring in" at the finish. They finished in first place.

Sixth Four

½ mile

Time: Unknown

Margins: 1.5 lengths and 2 lengths

1st Hutchins School – Bow: E. S. M. Parker, 2: L. D. Rex, 3: R. H. Lane, Str: J. A. C. Solomon, Cox: B. T. Edwards

2nd St. Virgil’s College – Bow: P R Ryan, 2: P F Morgan, 3: J F Redeker, Str: I W Gray, Cox: J C Pegler

3rd Launceston Grammar - Bow: J Dean, 2: W Woodwrad, 3: R Frith, Str: N R Gatenby, Cox: W Walpole



Hutchins School Magazine, July 1957

1957 regatta program

Launceston Examiner - Monday 15th April 1957

Keverall Thompson from Glen Osmond SA kindly provided copies of the program, newspaper reports and images of his crew.

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