Scroll To Top
history of head of school girls rowing regatta victoria

Head of Schoolgirls' Regatta

A Brief History

The Head of Schoolgirls' Regatta (HOSG) was constituted in 1984 after the Principal of Morongo initiated a meeting with interested girls’ schools.

The first regatta was rowed in 1985 at Ballarat comprising 7 events with 16 schools and 240 competitors. These regattas were hosted and run by participating girls’ schools, the task alternating each year.

There is a prescient statement in the 1985 program worth recording: The purpose of the regatta is to allow girls' crews from all schools to compete on an unrestricted basis and we anticipating that it will become the highlight of the Schoolgirls Rowing calendar.

In her 1992 President's report, Susie Palfreyman described the reasons for the establishment of the regatta. During the early 1980's, apart from a few events at the VRA regattas or an opportunity to row at the APS Head of the River, schoolgirl rowing in Victoria was not taken very seriously. Unless a school competed at the National Rowing titles, the highlight of the season was to be invited to race at the APS Head of the River. When that competition was again restricted to APS members, it became apparent that a competition which would cater for all schoolgirl rowers was needed. A meeting was called by Morongo to discuss this possibility, and as a result, a committee was formed and the first Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta was held in Ballarat in 1985.

The restriction on APS invitations arose for a number of reasons. But it is interesting to note that MLC won the Head of the River for girls in 1984, thus being the only non-APS school to ever win an APS Head of the River race.

The second year, the regatta once again was rowed at Ballarat but thereafter from 1987 until the present day the regatta moved to the calmer waters of the Barwon River, thereby allowing the event to rapidly grow.

In the early days from 1985 to 1989 the only senior boats were fours. In 1990 senior eights appeared for the first time.

Quad Sculls were introduced as Division 1 boats in 1993. Then followed the appearance of the Single Scull as a Division 1 event in 2005.

In 1991 the HOSG Regatta Committee was incorporated as an association and in 1993 the timing system was first used. “Active For Life” became the sponsor of HOSG regatta in 1997 and in 2000 Sykes Racing were awarded regatta naming rights.

By 2001 Melbourne Girls’ Grammar, who were to be the last of the host schools, appointed professional event managers SSFD who are assisted by the City of Geelong with temporary infrastructure costs.

In 2002 the HOSG event was managed by SSFD and supported by the Geelong Rowing Association. With the APS Heads of the River Regatta moving to Nagambie, a long-term agreement was entered into between HOSG Regatta Committee, the City of Geelong and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority to maintain the regatta in Geelong.

Interestingly, the School Snowsports Development Foundation managed the regatta in 2004 and in 2005 and Rowing Victoria undertook the event management task. Participation has grown enormously from its first year of 240 competitors. By 1996 competitor numbers had grown to 1,275; by 2000 there were 1,474 girls on the river, then in 2003 there were 2,151 and now there are more than 2,500 girls rowing at this regatta, making it the largest regatta in the Southern Hemisphere.

GGS remains the most decorated of all Victorian girls’ schools competing at this monster regatta.

Typical regatta scene from 2009

 

Summary of Senior Division 1 Winners

Year Eight Quad Scull Four Scull
1985     Methodist Ladies College Ballarat High
1986     Geelong Grammar Ballarat High
1987     Wesley College Ballarat High
1988     Geelong Grammar Lowther Hall
1989     Morongo  
1990 Wesley College   Geelong Grammar Lauriston Girls Schoo
1991 Methodist Ladies College   Geelong Grammar Loreto Manderville Hall
1992 Genezzano   Geelong Grammar Lauriston Girls School
1993 Lauriston Girls School Genezzano Lauriston Girls School Matthew Flinders
1994 Geelong Grammar Genezzano Lauriston Girls School Toorak College
1995 Geelong Grammar Loreto Mandeville Hall Lauriston Girls School Firbank Grammar
1996 Geelong Grammar Methodist Ladies College Geelong Grammar Gippsland Grammar
1997 Geelong Grammar Methodist Ladies College Geelong Grammar Matthew Flinders
1998 Geelong Grammar Methodist Ladies College Lauriston Girls School Strathmore High School
1999 Geelong Grammar Genezzano Methodist Ladies College Strathmore High School
2000 Geelong Grammar Sacred Heart Lauriston Girls School Strathmore High School
2001 Geelong Grammar Sacred Heart Ballarat Grammar School Canterbury Girls SC
2002 Geelong College Methodist Ladies College Ballarat Grammar School Canterbury Girls SC
2003 Geelong College Loreto Manderville Hall Ballarat Grammar School Lowther Hall
2004 Geelong College Firbank Grammar Ballarat Grammar School Brighton SC
2005 Methodist Ladies College Sacred Heart Ballarat Grammar School Methodist Ladies College
2006 Methodist Ladies College Firbank Grammar Ballarat Grammar School  
2007 Methodist Ladies College Firbank Grammar Ballarat Grammar School Melbourne Girls College
2008 Methodist Ladies College Genezzano Ballarat & Clarendon Melbourne Girls College
2009 Geelong Grammar Genezzano Lauriston Girls School Caulfield Grammar
2010 Methodist Ladies College Gippsland Grammar Lauriston Girls School Mentone Girls School
2011 Melbourne Girls Grammar Sacred Heart Lauriston Girls School Melbourne Girls College
2012 Melbourne Girls Grammar Loreto Manderville Hall Ballarat Grammar School Melbourne Girls College
2013 Genezzano Firbank Grammar Lauriston Girls School St Columba's College
2014 Methodist Ladies College Firbank Grammar Ballarat & Clarendon Sacred Heart Yarrawonga
2015 Geelong Grammar Ruyton Girls Melbourne Girls College Lowther Hall
2016 Geelong Grammar Ruyton Girls Ballarat Grammar Kardina International
2017 Methodist Ladies College Ruyton Girls Loreto Ballarat Melbourne Girls College
2018 No final-adverse weather No final-adverse weather No final-adverse weather No final-adverse weather
2019 Methodist Ladies CollegeRuyton GirlsBallarat GrammarMaribyrnong Secondary
2020



Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management