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History of Ballarat Head of the Lake rowing regatta

1917 Ballarat Head of the Lake

 The Weekly Times on 3rd November 1917 reported: The Annual four-oared race promoted by the Ballarat Public Schools Association was rowed on Lake Wendouree on the 17th inst. As usual there was a large attendance of enthusiastic spectators, each adorned with the colors of one of the competing crews, viz.  Grammar School, Ballarat College, and St. Patrick’s College. Each crew had undergone very careful preparation in the hand of their respective coaches, but from the form shown in training it was considered that the finish would be fought out between the College and Grammar School crews, with but little to choose between either crew. St. Patrick’s were not so favourably regarded.

Organising Committee and Officials

Organising Committee: Ballarat Public Schools' Association
Starter: I Moran

Umpire: S Seward

Judge: H Tonner

Course: Mile course


Head of the Lake

Time: Not known. Won by one and a half lengths, two lengths between second and third.

1st Ballarat Grammar - R Herbert (bow), R Appleton (2), W Longhurst (3), N Muntz (str), Cox: R Salmon
2nd Ballarat College -
I Bradby (bow), H Williamson(2), R Langford (3), A Dawson (str), Cox: A King
3rd St Patrick's College 
- J Carroll (str), J Shea (2), A Kavanagh (3), W Hutchinson (bow), Cox: W Clements

Ballarat College Crew

Ballarat College Crew

From '100 Years of the Head of the Lake' published by The Courier in 2012

The Weekly Times also reported that: A stiff head wind made the water choppy and set the crews a hard task, for it gets a clear sweep over the broad surface of the lake. What little advantage there was in positions lay with Ballarat College on the south station, who were slightly sheltered. Getting away to a good start, College was the first crew to show up, and soon established a lead of nearly a length, with St.Patrick’s a little ahead of Grammar School. After the crews settled down, Grammar School gradually made up their leeway, and after about 200 yards assumed the lead. From this point they gradually gained, while St.Patrick’s fell behind the Ballarat College crew, and when View Point was reached Grammar School led Ballarat College by two lengths. At this stage of the race, and with about 300 yards to go, the latter crew made a great effort, and reduced the lead to a length. However, the Grammar School, rowing in excellent form, maintained their lead, and passed the post a length and a quarter ahead of Ballarat College, with St. Patrick’s three lengths away in third.

Principal researcher: Kate Elliott

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