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History of the Victorian APS Head of the River rowing regatta

Summary of the Girls' Head of the River for the Geelong Ladies Challenge Cup

The first girl to row within the APS was a lone sculler from Geelong Grammar School in 1972.

By 1975 there were 32 girls rowing and talk of girls competing at the Senior Regatta which, in fact, happened in 1981 when Geelong Grammar and Geelong College competed with MCEGGS, Morongo and Lauriston in 1st and 2nd Fours over 800m on the Friday.

MLC and Carey joined the racing in 1982, with Carey boating a First Four in 1983. In 1984 there were seven girls' crews rowing in each of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Four events but in the next year the regatta reverted to an all APS affair with only GGS and GC boating a First Four. In 1986 Carey reappeared in the First Fours and Wesley boated a First Four for the first time, so finally, with Caulfield joining in 1987, all five co-educational schools were boating a first four over 1500m.

Many of those who have competed have gone on to National and International success. In 1995 fourth and fifth girls' crews were introduced, racing over 1000m in regulation fours and in 1999 Year 10 Fours competed. Girls first eights (1998), second eights (1999) and third eights (2002) have replaced the open fours in the last few years. The Girls third eights reverted back to Open Fours in 2006.

The schools take part in a number of RV Regattas, including those at Ballarat, Geelong, Footscray, Nagambie, Carrum and Melbourne while the Junior Crews compete in RV and APS School Regattas. The Girls regularly compete at the Head of Schoolgirls whilst many crews compete, when practical, for both State and National titles.

The Geelong Ladies Challenge Cup was donated by the Albert Bell Club and the W H Pincott Club, the rowing supporters clubs for Geelong College and Geelong Grammar respectively. It was first unofficially presented in 1981 by the then President of the Albert Bell Club, Mr Scott Chirnside beside the Geelong College and Geelong Grammar boat sheds as the APS had not at that stage agreed for the trophy to be presented at the same time as the Fairbairn Cup. It can only be presumed that at that stage there was a view there was too great a difference in history and standing of the boy's race as compared to the girl's race.

Sumner Cup

The Geelong Ladies Challenge Cup

Summary of Winning First Crews of the Girls' Head of the River

The results from 1981 to date have been largely drawn from the work of Robert Wakefield and his contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

A key to the abbreviations used for each school can be found below.

Year Course First Second Third Fourth Fifth Sixth Seventh Time Margin
1981 Barwon GC GGS MGGS Lauriston       3:14.0 1 length
1982 Barwon GC MLC GGS MGGS       3:04.0 3/4 length
1983 Barwon GC GGS Lauriston Morongo       3:03.0 1/2 length
1984 Barwon MLC Morongo GGS Lauriston       3:07.7 3/4 length
1985 Barwon GGS GC           3:19.2 2 1/2 lengths
1986 Barwon GGS WC GC Carey       3:00.8 1/2 length
1987 Barwon WC GGS GC Carey       6:15.0 1 1/2 lengths
1988 Barwon GGS WC Carey GC       6:08.0 1/2 canvas
1989 Barwon GC WC GGS Carey       5:53.8 1 length
1990 Barwon GGS GC WC Carey       5:56.0 canvas
1991 Barwon GGS GC Carey WC       5:26.5 1/2 length
1992 Barwon GC GGS Carey CGS       5:45.3 2 1/2 lengths
1993 Barwon GGS CGS Carey GC       6:00.0 2 1/2 lengths
1994 Barwon GGS GC CGS WC       5:47.3 9.34 secs
1995 Barwon GGS GC Carey WC       5:19.2 2 1/2 lengths
1996 Barwon GGS Carey GC WC       5:20.5 1 length
1997 Barwon GGS Carey WC CGS       5:24.4 1 length
1998 Barwon GGS GC WC Carey       4:52.8 2 1/2 lengths
1999 Barwon GC GGS Firbank Carey       4:51.7 3/4 length
2000 Barwon GGS WC GC Carey       5:25.0 1 1/4 lengths
2001 Nagambie Lakes GGS CGS StCaths GC Carey Firbank WC 7:04.07 11.92 secs
2002 Nagambie Lakes GC GGS Firbank StCaths Carey CGS WC 6:58.95 3.21 secs
2003 Nagambie Lakes GC GGS CGS StCaths Firbank Carey WC 7:01.42 4.49 secs
2004 Nagambie Lakes Carey GC GGS CGS WC     7:08.82 6.62 secs
2005 Nagambie Lakes Carey GGS GC WC CGS Firbank   7:06.95 3.69 secs
2006 Nagambie Lakes GC GGS WC CGS Carey     7:27.09 6.82 secs
2007 Nagambie Lakes GGS WC GC Carey CGS HC   7:07.26 9.47 secs
2008 Nagambie Lakes GGS WC CGS Carey GC HC   7:07.87 18.49 secs
2009 Nagambie Lakes GGS Carey WC HC GC CGS   7:04.21 7.18 secs
2010 Nagambie Lakes GGS GC HC WC Carey CGS   7:27.69 2.45 secs
2011 Nagambie Lakes GC GGS WC HC Carey CGS   7:37.25 2.56 secs
2012 Nagambie Lakes CGS GGS WC Carey GC HC   7:13.92 2.57 secs
2013 Nagambie Lakes CGS GGS Carey GC WC HC   7:25.64 1.94 secs
2014 Nagambie Lakes GGS Carey GC WC HC CGS   7:26.19 19.02 secs
2015 Nagambie Lakes GGS CGS GC Carey HC WC   6:46.71 27.07 secs
2016 Nagambie Lakes GGS CGS GC WC Carey HC   7:16.95 19.89 secs
2017 Nagambie Lakes GGS GC WC Carey HC CGS   6:55.38 3.59 secs
2018Nagambie Lakes
6:56.632.82 secs
2019Nagambie Lakes
6:53.006.14 secs
2020Regatta cancelledCOVID-19pandemic

2021Nagambie LakesWCGGSGCCGSCareyHC
6:51.537.06 secs
2022Nagambie LakesWCGGSGCCareyCGSHC
6:51.304.80 secs
2023Nagambie LakesGGSCGSWCCareyGC

7:13.376.56 secs

Key to Abbreviations
Carey Carey Grammar School
CGS Caulfield Grammar School
Firbank Firbank Girls School
GC Geelong College
GGS Geelong Grammar School
HC Haileybury College
Lauriston Lauriston Girls School
MGGS Melbourne Girls Grammar School
MLC Methodist Ladies College
Morongo Morongo Girls School
StCaths St Catherine's Girls School
WC Wesley College


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