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History of the Victorian APS Head of the River rowing regatta

1957 Head of the River

Index to Results:

The ninetieth Head of the River made one last return to the Yarra after the disorderly behaviour of 10 years earlier. The Yarra was still the preferred course of many of the metropolitan schools but the Headmasters preferred the smaller crowds and better behaviour experienced on the Barwon. 60,000 spectators attended the finals and the Headmasters permanently moved the regatta from the Yarra.

The heats were on Thursday 11th April with the finals on the Saturday 13th April.

Geelong College won for the third time in a row, their best result ever. It did not go smoothly at the start of the race with the Geelong crew breaking away from the stakeboat and then the race being restarted after Xavier veered across the Geelong crew's lane.


APS Committee - Alan W Mitchell WC (Chairman), J H Campbell GC, J E L Barber GGS, W McKean MGS, Laurence H Christie SC, Rev E W Morris SJ, XC

Starters: J P Gaskin and D A Calder

Umpires: Robert R Aitken and L Storrer

Timekeepers: Jack L Mounsey and H P Splatt

Judges: N G Rose and R W Thursfield

Launch Drivers: W Green and J Hoppe

Head of the River

Time: 4:47.2
Margins: 1 3/4 lengths and 2 lengths

Losers final
Time: 4:50.6
Margins: 1.5 lengths and 1 length

1st Geelong College - Bow: B N J Wood, 2: David B Ramage, 3: P H Troy, 4: H R Dickinson, 5: D McL John, 6: David M Caithness, 7: Duncan McDonell, Str: David R Messenger, Cox: A T John, Cch: Albert B Bell 
 2nd Scotch College - Bow: Anthony M Cordell, 2: Kenneth M Hume, 3: Andrew S Peacock, 4: Robert F Kent, 5: Anthony S Olsson, 6: Anthony A Staley, 7: Arthur O Cromie, Str: Neil C W Courtney, Cox: Francis P Newman, Cch: Laurence H Christie 
3rd Xavier College - Bow: I L Cantwell, 2: W F Carew, 3: John B Galbraith, 4: Michael F McKenna, 5: Mal D McKenzie, 6: R J Leahy, 7: R J Petroff, Str: John F Ryan, Cox: A J McCabe-Doyle, Cch: Charles G Saleh 

The finish as published in the Geelong Advertiser on Monday 15th April 1957

Geelong College is on the left, Scotch on the right and the white shirts of Xavier just visible near the bank

Scotch College First Crew

Photo: The Scotch Collegian June 1957

Losers final:
1st Melbourne Grammar - Bow: A R Millear, 2: G I Taylor, 3: F J Grant, 4: P C Van de Velde, 5: P W Dodwell, 6: I A Taylor, 7: C S McArthur, Str: W R Watson, Cox: John Cockbill, Cch: Gordon Sargood
2nd Wesley College - Bow: Peter H McKeon, 2: R G Selleck, 3: A T Merrylees, 4: D J Price, 5: K J Macleay, 6: Paul M Guest, 7: J W Cook, Str: D G Selleck, Cox: R E Austin, Cch: Alan W Mitchell
3rd Geelong Grammar - Bow: W I P Gatenby, 2: I B Carnegie, 3: I E Saxton, 4: W C C Guest, 5: P H Heysen, 6: A H Turnbull, 7: I W Smith, Str: G H Burston, Cox: N P W Allen, Cch: John E L Barber

Heat results:
E1: 1st GC, 2nd MGS, Time: 4:36.0, Margin: 1/2 length
E2: 1st SC, 2nd WC, Time: 4:37.0, Margin: 1/2 length
E3: 1st XC, 2nd GGS, Time: 4:32.0, Margin: 1/3 length

Second Crews

Time: 3:38
Margins: 1 1/4 length and a canvas

Losers final
Time: 3:42

1st Melbourne Grammar
2nd Geelong College
3rd Scotch College
- Bow: R I W MacLeod, 2: F I McPherson, 3: H G Merry, 4: J W Munckton, 5: J S Collingwood, 6: D K Hyslop, 7: J T Bellair, Str: P J Keast, Cox: C T K Stuart, Cch: M R Wood

Scotch College Second Crew

Photo: The Scotch Collegian June 1957

Losers final:
1st Xavier College - Bow: P Griffin, 2: B O'Loughlin, 3: R Dobson, 4: P Kelly, 5: P Niall, 6: S Resch, 7: H Madden, Str: J McEncroe, Cox: P Cole, Cch: Fr M O'Mahoney SJ
2nd Geelong Grammar
3rd Wesley College

E1: 1st MGS, 2nd XC, Time: 3:36, Margin: 1/2 length
E2: 1st SC, 2nd GGS, Time: 3:39.6, Margin: 3/4 length
E3: 1st GC, 2nd WC, Time: 3:39.4, Margin: 1 1/2 length

Third Crews

Time: 2:38.8
Margin: Canvas

Losers final
Time: 2:37.4
Margin: 0.33 length

1st Melbourne Grammar
2nd Xavier College
3rd Geelong College

Losers final
1st Scotch College - Bow: H G Orr, 2: J G McEwan, 3: M W Fleming, 4: T Christen, 5: D B Sharp, 6: C A Buchanan, 7: J L Barker, Str: R I Morse, Cox: C W Blackwood, Cch: Ian E Douglas
2nd Geelong Grammar
3rd Wesley College

Scotch College Third Crew

Photo: The Scotch Collegian June 1957

E1: 1st MGS, 2nd WC, Time: 2:25, Margin: 1/2 length
E2: 1st XC, 2nd SC, Time: 2:42.2, Margin: Canvas
E3: 1st GC, 2nd GGS, Time: 2:27, Margin: 3 feet


  • 1957 Program
  • Scotch Collegian Magazines
  • Geelong Grammar Year Books
  • Lift her Home to Victory Lads - a Centenary History of Xavier Rowing by Michael Lefebvre

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