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history of head of school girls rowing regatta victoria

1985 VIC Head of Schoolgirls' Regatta

1985 programme cover

The first Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta was conducted on Lake Wendouree, Ballarat on Friday 22nd March 1985. The regatta host was MLC.

A strong cross wind at Ballarat made the conditions difficult for rowers and officials.

The first regatta comprised 7 events with 16 schools and 240 competitors. The regattas were planned to be hosted and run by participating girls’ schools, the task alternating each year.

As mentioned on the home page for this regatta, 1984 was the last year of non APS schoolgirl rowing at the APS Head of the River regatta. The Principal of Morongo initiated a meeting in 1984 to establish the Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta. 1985 was the first regatta.

1985 program

One of the driving forces of the early years of this regatta was Susie Palfreyman.

Susie was a great coach and school administrator, commencing the MLC program in 1980, coaching many MLC crews to the highest Australia levels and established MLC as the dominant schoolgirl club of her era. In 1985 she coached Mercantile’s first ever winning women’s crew, inaugurated the rowing programme at Firbank and of greatest interest to this history, established the Head of the Schoolgirls regatta.

In 1984 MLC won the APS Head of the River women’s four and non-APS crews were not invited back. MLC remains the only non-APS crew to win an APS event. The need for the new regatta was critical to the success of schoolgirl rowing.

Susie Palfreyman was a founder and President of the regatta committee for over 20 years. She was the key person who developed the regatta into the important event that it now is. Her great input was her vision for the regatta, understanding what was possible and making that happen, bringing together the schools and making the regatta fun for all involved. She has built the regatta into the great success of today.

Susie was inducted into the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame in 2011 for bringing such fame and notoriety to the sport through this and other great work.

Susie Palfreyman being inducted in 2011 to the Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame


Organising Committee and Officials

Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta Committee: Susie Palfreyman (convenor), Michael Nicholson (Lauriston), Paul McGann (Geelong Grammar), David Palfreyman (Wesley), John Hawkins (Loreto)

Jury: Referee: Ralph Murphy. The other members of the jury are not known.

Race Results

Click on the race of interest and the results will appear below the buttons:

Single Scull Open Division 1


Time - Not recorded

1st Ballarat High School - Sonya J Adrians, Cch: Danny Elliot

Other competitors

Morongo - D Stewart, Cch: Mary Renouf

Sacred Heart - Angela Rice, Cch: Rob Kemp

Coxed Four Open Division 1


Time - Not recorded

1st Methodist Ladies College - Bow: S Varley, 2: C Brumley. 3: J Millard, Str: S McKellar, Cox: Claire Harding, Cch: Susie Palfreyman

Other finalists

Geelong Grammar - Bow: M Schimana, 2: P G Backwell, 3: E Oliver, Str: A K Robertson, Cox: S J Utz, Cch: W A Searle

Ballarat and Clarendon College - Bow: G Menzies, 2: S Titheridge, 3: J Thomas, Str: A Mott, Cox: S Webb, Cch: J Netherway

Morongo - Bow: D McAllister, 2: F Lillie, 3: S Walpole, Str: S Storey, Cox: M James, Cch: Paul Marks

Ballarat & Queens Grammar - Bow: B Kent, 2: S Adams, 3: E Patterson, Str: A Skyogen, Cox: J Nicholas, Cch: P Herrington

Geelong College - Bow: L N Seller, 2: C M henderson, 3: L M Le Deux, str: A L Watt, Cox: Jan Fisher, Cch: Ann Young

Coxed Four Open Division 2


Time - Not recorded

1st Methodist Ladies College - Bow: K Allan, 2: Minnie Cade, 3: C Brumley, Str: J Pinais, Cox: S Chin, Cch: Debbie Bassett

Other finalists

Wesley - Bow: G Lawson, 2: Nicole Nabout, 3: Jodie Dobson, Str: M Achermann, Cox: A Arnold, Cch: Roger Bade

Lauriston - Bow: B K Buff, 2: F M Pettigrew, 3: S D Matthews, str: G R Wainwright, Cox: A S Meehan, Cch: T Kennedy

Carey - Bow: K Russell, 2: E McKeever, 3: M Haverfield, Str: J Ratten, Cox: K McLeod, Cch: Keith Bilney

Sacred Heart - Bow: J Davey, 2: L Schooneman, 3: M Clatworthy, Str: C Elliott, Cox: Siobhan McLure

Ballarat & Clarendon - Bow: K Davies, 2: J Shippen, 3: T Cottman, Str: N Gannon, Cox: H Gulline, Cch: C Cottman

Coxed Four Open Division 3


Time - Not recorded

1st Geelong College - Bow: V L Price, 2: K Smith, 3: C A Graham, Str: P Tucker, Cox: A J Hay, Cch: Dianne Hale

Other finalists

Geelong Grammar - Bow: N Coles, 2: A Mulley, 3: S Rymill, Str: S Gilder, Cox: H Stride, Cch: T Lee

Lauriston - Bow: S R Cohen, 2: K M Welsh, 3: S Shapcott, str: S Vear, Cox: C K Patterson, Cch: James Gobbo

Wesley - Bow: K Montford, 2: L Bloch, 3: H Richards, Str: K Rose, Cox: J Carrey, Cch: Mary-Margaret Gibson

Caulfield Grammar - Bow: S Baldwin, 2: N Bamford, 3: K McFarlane, Str: N Kropiek, Cch: Ian Swann

Loreto Mandeville Hall - Bow: M Dwyer, 2: S Rhoden, 3: N Sanders, Str: V Phillips, Cox: L Wilson, Cch: John Hawkins

Coxed Four Open Division 4


Time - Not recorded

1st Geelong Grammar No 1 - Bow: M McGregor, 2: T Falkiner, 3: I Ashton, Str: I H Vahl Meyer, Cox: S Dollman, Cch: S A Guest

Other finalists

Ballarat & Clarendon No 1 - Bow: S Rowland, 2: C Muir, 3: C Alcorn, Str: J-A Davis, Cox: S Chandler, Cch: P Fawcett

Geelong Grammar No 2 - Bow: C Corwall, 2: O Plumbridge, 3: K McKewan, Str: M Ross, Cox: J Grillis, Cchs: D Wood & M McColl

Genazzano - Bow: B Handley, 2: S Reynolds, 3: D Van Prodyen, Str: D Sommers, cox: M Taylor, Cch: Lloyd Cosgrove

Ballarat & Clarendon No 3 - Bow: R Read, 2: J newton, 3: S Stevens, Str: R McDonald, Cox: S Nicholson, Cchs: R Read and S Hartmenis

Wesley - Bow: A Teacher, 2: G Stewart, 3: S Treyvard, str: L Tritton, Cox: M Patmore, Cch: R Mancarrow

Coxed Four Year 10 Division 1


Time - Not recorded

1st Geelong Grammar No 1 - Bow: A Rusden, 2: L Gunnerson, 3: J Dearnley, Str: Fleur Spriggs, Cox: L Smith, Cch: I F Edwards

Other finalists:

MLC No 4 - Bow: J Goode, 2: S Duell, 3: S Price, Str: F McCasker, Cox: M Browning, Cch: K Smyth

Morongo - Bow: M Richmond, 2: R Hawkins, 3: S Hockley, Str: G Harvey, cox: N Marshmen, Cch: C Lyons

MLC No 2 - Bow: A Shub, 2: M Ashcroft, 3: K Sheen, Str: V Hall, Cox: K Robinson, Cch: C K Cumper

Geelong Grammar No 2 - crew names not known

Caulfield Grammar - Bow: D Hollingsworth, 2: M Kropiek, 3: N Gaal, Str: W Sawyer, Cox: L Futon, Cch: M Harrison

Coxed Four Year 9 Division 1


Time - Not recorded

1st Wesley College No 2 - Bow: R Tidd, 2: A Kay, 3: L Sheard, Str: S Lassez, Cox: K Kelson

Other finalists

Morongo - Bow: S Rush, 2: V Millard, 3: L Stevenson, Str: L Abikhair, Cox: A Lim, Cch: John Elliot

Caulfield Grammar No 1 - crew members not known

Caulfield Grammar No 2 - crew members not known

Wesley No 1 - Bow: V Mayhew, 2: S Bryning, 3: K Farrant, Str: G Wearne, Cox: A Adamson, Cch: Mr Eddie


2011 Victorian Rowing Hall of Fame book by Andrew Guerin - published November 2011

1985 Regatta Program

Minutes of the inaugural meeting of the HOSG Committee 29 Nov 1984

Rob Zahara's records

Rowing Victoria:

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