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History of Ballarat Head of the Lake rowing regatta

1933 Ballarat Head of the Lake

This race was conducted on Lake Wendouree on Saturday 6th May 1933 in cool conditions with a sharp south west wind. The conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm for the racing from a large crowd. 

The Age reported on Monday 8th May 1933 as follows:

Much enthusiasm marked the public schools’ boat race for the Head of the Lake honours at Lake Wendouree today. For the eleventh occasion since the inauguration of the race in 1913 Church of England Grammar School was successful. The school also scored in the Seconds race. St. Patrick’s College won the Old Collegians event. The racing was supervised by the officials of the Ballarat Regatta Association. There was a gathering at the Ballarat club’s boathouse, where Miss Mary Dowling handed over the Tom Dowling Memorial Cup to the winning stroke, L.Hine.

The third and fourth fours raced two days earlier on Thursday 6th May 1933.

St Patrick's College took out the Old Collegians race from Grammar then College.

Organising Committee and Officials

Regatta Committee: Ballarat Public Schools' Association

Organising Committee and Officials: Ballarat Rowing Association


Head of the Lake

Time: Not known
Margin: 1 length and four lengths
Distance: 1 mile

1st Ballarat Grammar - Bow: G W Best, 2: G Hewitt, 3: K Coventry, Str: L E Hine, Cox: E Philp
2nd Ballarat College  

3rd St Patrick's College 
- Bow: P Cody, 2: W Ryan, 3: F Hogan, Str: J Ryan, Cox: T Francisco, Cch: Mr A C Wilson

Ballarat Grammar winning crew as depicted in Table Talk

St Patrick's College crews of 1933


Grammar school was first away and led by four lengths approaching the Point, but Ballarat College put in a fast finish to get within a length of the winners. St Patrick’s College was third four lengths away.

Second Fours

Time: Not known
Margin: 0.5 length

1st Ballarat Grammar - Bow: A Guy, 2: W Johnson, 3: J Williams, Str: A R Guy

2nd St Patrick's College - Bow: J Maher, 2: M Rushford, 3: E Heffernan, Str: E Patterson

3rd Ballarat College

Old Collegians Fours

Time: Not known
Margin: Not known

1st St Patrick’s College - Bow: C James, 2: Maurice O’Leary, 3: Matt O’Leary, Str: W Blaikie

2nd Ballarat Grammar

3rd Ballarat College

Note: Matt and Maurice O’Leary were twins who rowed for Ballarat City Rowing Club after they left school with some success.

Third Fours

Time: Not known
Margin: Not known

1st St Patrick’s College - Bow: M Healy, 2: G Hayes, 3: C McLindin, Str: P Darveniza

The St Patrick's College Annual Report for 1933-34 page 93 noted:

At last the Thursday arrived on which the third and fourth crews were to row. Although great interest is attached to this event, it takes place two days before the Saturday when the Head of the Lake is contested. But it is to be hoped that the day is not far distant when five races, including the Old Boys, will be held one day. After two very exciting and close finishes both of our (St.Patrick’s) crews were victorious.

Fourth Fours

Time: Not known
Margin: 0.5 length

1st St Patrick’s College - Bow: J O’Connell, 2: S Flowers, 3: K Flynn, Str: J Casey


  • The Age, Monday, May 8, pg 4.
  • The Argus Monday 8th May 1933, page 5
  • Table Talk Thursday 18th April 1933 page 25
  • Ballarat Courier 100 years Head of the Lake Supplement

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