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History of the Victorian APS Head of the River rowing regatta

1902 Head of the River

The heats of the thirty-fifth Head of the River were conducted on the Barwon and the final conducted on the Upper Yarra course. The original date of 11th October for the final was moved to 14th to allow a jewish Wesley boy (Kozminsky) to race: October 11th in that year was the Jewish Day of Atonement. The heats were held on the Barwon on 10th October and final on the Yarra on 14th October.

Wesley won for the second of six times in succesion.

In some records, Geelong Grammar is noted as finisihing third. Iit is not altogether clear why such a report exists.

No second crews raced this year and this event was not to return until 1917.

The Wesley Shed at Albert Park Lake was remodelled in 1902 to fit eight oared boats with great effect in 1902.

The Opening of the new Wesley Boatshed at Albert Park Lake

The Headmaster Mr L A Adamson performed the opening, Mt J Stewart is on his right and the first crew coach Mr Charles Donald is in front of the other door in a bowler hat.
Photo from the walls of the Wesley College boathouse

The rear of the newboatshed at the same time.

Photo from the Wesley College boathouse

Head of the River

Time: NTT
Margin: 1 length

1st Wesley College - Bow: E P Hordern, 2: S B Gravenall, 3: A G Greenham, 4: Frank Aurley Henry Boynton, 5: A H Stephens, 6: D N McKellar, 7: M E Kozminsky, Str: Vivian Roy Bradbury, Cox: M J Duggan, Cch: Charles Donald
2nd Melbourne Grammar - Bow: H G Balding, 2: G R I Gordon, 3: J R F Carse, 4: A H McDonald, 5: J G Ritchie, 6: H C Mackay, 7: W E Moorhouse, Str: W E Thompson, Cox: R A Cooper, Cch: E I Robson

Melbourne Grammar Crew

Standing: G.R.I. Gordon (2), A.H. McDonald (4), Mr E.I. Robson (Coach), J.R.F. Carse (3), H.G. Balding (bow). Sitting: H.C. Mackay (6), W.E. Thompson (stroke), W.E. Moorhouse (7), J.G. Ritchie (5). In front: R.A. Cooper
Photo courtesy of Melbourne Grammar Archives - Cat No 6572

The Argus reported as follows:
The race was started by Mr. A. B. Sloan from a point about 150 yards above the Botanical-gardens bridge. The Melburnians at once took the lead, and with the first bend in their favour increased their advantage materially. Down the long stretch to Brander's, Wesley gradually drew on the leaders, until at the ferry the boats were almost level. Side by side the boys raced till nearing the corner before the home stretch. Here Wesley had the advantage, but the Dark Blues, though nearly a stone per man lighter than-their opponents, were not to be shaken off, and as the boats rounded the bend there was not a quarter of a length between them. Wesley, however, finishing as strongly as they did at Geelong, drew away, in the last 100 yards, and won by a bare length. It was a fine contest, in which both crews rowed hard and well, but victory rested with the stronger and better crew.

Other crew competing:
Scotch College - Bow: Barclay T Wright, 2: William P Thomas, 3: John A Laing, 4: William H Clowes, 5: Norman R Maiden, 6: William C Wright, 7: Robert S Anderson, Str: Charles G Shaw, Cox: Hugfh W F Mitchell, Cch: Alexander B Sloan
Geelong Grammar - Bow: J G Haines, 2: S Johnston, 3: J H Lindon, 4: T K Rowan, 5: T C Ellis, 6: R N S Good, 7: N S Smith, Str: G R Collins, Cox: S S Lang, Cch: A F Garrard

Known heat results:
E1: 1st MGS, 2nd SC, Margin: 2 lengths
E2: 1st WC, 2nd GGS, Margin: 1/2 length

1902 Wesley Crew


  • The Pincott Club Handbook 2006
  • MGS first crew names from MGS boatshed
  • The Victorian Oarsman by John Lang 1919 - A H Massina & Company
  • Lift her home to victory, lads! A centenary history of Xavier College 1906-2006 by Michael Lefebvre
  • Appendix to A Deepening Roar Scotch College 1851-2001 by James Mitchell, Allen & Unwin 2001
  • Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar Archives
  • ROWING. (1902, October 15). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 7. Retrieved February 11, 2017, from

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