1885 Head of the River
The eighteenth Head of the River was conducted 15th and 16th May 1885 on the Upper Yarra course.
Wesley were again absent due to injury to their three man.
Geelong Grammar was supreme by 1 1/2 lengths over Melbourne Grammar. They led by far more earlier in the race but the Melbourne crew fought back very well. This was to be the first of six straight wins for Geelong Grammar.
Photo from the Lindblade Collection, Mercantile Rowing Club
Starter: Mr G G Henderson
Umpire: Mr A Nicholls
Judge: Mr J Irvine
Margin: 1 1/2 lengths
1st Geelong Grammar - Bow: A J Bailey, 2: J E Robertson, 3: J Rutherford, Str: S F Mann, Cox: F N Clarke, Cch: James L Cuthbertson
2nd Melbourne Grammar - Bow: H S H Baird, 2: J R Mouritz, 3: W C Macknight, Str: E Champion, Cox: E G H Graham, Cch: W Martin Burn
Photo courtesy of Melbourne Grammar Archives - Cat No 6567
The Australasian reported the final quite simply:
The Final heat of the Public Schools boat race was rowed on the Upper Yarra this afternoon, the crews being representatives of the Melbourne and Geelong Grammar Schools. The Geelong crew, which was composed of much heavier metal than the metropolitans, scored an easy win.
Other crew competing:
Scotch College - Bow: William L Aitken, 2: Ewen Macpherson, 3: Arthur M Begg, Str: Andrew R Robertson, Cox: Henry N Young, Cch: Alfred W Pace
Wesley College did not compete this year. One report advises that this was due to injury to a crew member.
1st MGS, 2nd SC, Margin: 3 lengths. Geelong Grammar secured a bye.
The Australasian reported on the heat as follows:
The crews got away to a very even start. After covering about 50 yards the Grammar School began to show in front, and at the pontoon sheds were half a length ahead. From this to the end they continued to gain, passing Brander’s with nearly four lengths distance between the boats. The Scotch College kept gamely to the work, but rowed decidedly weak, and until reaching the Baths corner did not gain a foot; here they pluckily spurted, and made up about a length, but the effort being ably answered by their opponents, they again fell back, and were defeated by over 3 lengths.
Photographed at Geelong Grammar Boatshed
(This race was not conducted as part of the Head of the River regatta but on 18 October 1885.)
Margin: 1/4 length
1st Melbourne Grammar School - Bow: Pender, 2: Manifold, 3: Price, Str: Pounds, Cox: Bray
2nd Geelong Grammar - Bow: S Bailey, 2: A White, 3: F James, Str: J Dudgeon, Cox: F Clark
The Australasian reported the race as follows:
The Junior rowing representatives of the Melbourne and Geelong Grammar school fought their annual four-oared battle out on the Upper Yarra yesterday afternoon. The Race was well contested for a little more than half way, when the Melbourne crew gradually forged ahead and won by 3 clear lengths.
- The Pincott Club Handbook 2006
- The Victorian Oarsman by John Lang 1919 - A H Massina & Company
- Appendix to A Deepening Roar Scotch College 1851-2001 by James Mitchell, Allen & Unwin 2001
- MGS first crew names - MGS boathouse
- Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar Archives
- PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOAT RACE. (1885, May 16). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 22. Retrieved April 3, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138098267
- PUBLIC SCHOOLS' BOAT RACE. (1885, May 18). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1929, p. 2. Retrieved April 3, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article148781689
- PUBLIC SCHOOLS SECOND CREWS' PACE. (1885, October 17). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 12. Retrieved April 3, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6069163