Scroll To Top
history of psa head of the river rowing regatta western australia

1906 PSA Head of the River

The race was moved permanently two months earlier than past races and held on Saturday 28th April 1906.

Light Blue in the Western Mail reported on the race as follows.

When it was arranged by the Secondary Schools.' Association that the schools' boat race should be rowed in future two months earlier in the year than formerly, the only objection offered to the change was that smooth water could not be depended upon at this season. So far as Saturday last was concerned, spectators saw as complete a refutation of this charge as those both directly and indirectly interested in the day's proceedings could have desired. The sun shone warmly, and perfect weather conditions rendered a large attendance a foregone conclusion.

Friends of the oarsmen, of the schools engaged, and rowing devotees in general, assembled to witness the race. Numbers thronged the terraces of King's Park, while others sought a nearer view from Mount's Bay Road, and still others viewed the event from excursion steamers or pleasure boats, with which latter the "Narrows" was plentifully dotted.

The West Australian Rowing Association had secured the Westralian for the occasion, and this boat bore the officials, together with a very large number of passengers, who wished to see the race, and the whole race.

A start was to have been made at 3.30, but time was well on its way towards four when Scotch College paddled leisurely down to the starting point, followed shortly by the remaining crews. Mr. C. Horsborough, who in the unavoidable absence of Mr. Underwood, had kindly consented to act as starter, presently got the boats, in line, and sent them away on equal terms. It was however, only for six or seven strokes, for scarcely had the boats got under way when one of the Guildford crew caught a crab, and confusion reigned in their boat. The crews were thereupon called back for a fresh start, and at this attempt went on their way without mishap. Scotch College stroke set his crew a fast but even stroke, and in his boat was none of that fatal bustle evident amongst the other crews, and which at the initial start was responsible for Guildford's misfortune.

Davy set Guildford a very fast stroke, which gave them the lead at the outset, and they managed to keep their boat well in advance of Scotch College for nearly half the distance. Christian Brother's College were pulling strongly, and indeed disputed second position with the Claremont boys, until disaster befell them; their bow caught a crab, and the Blue and Whites dropped rapidly astern.

High School, who, despite their lack of weight, had been pulling gamely, although some yards behind, and had not for some time materially lost ground, now saw a fit occasion to call up their reserve powers, and spectators were agreeably surprised to see them make a plucky spurt, and their craft, in response, shot forward at a good speed, passing Christian Brothers' College, and gaining visibly on Guildford, encouraged by cheers from the Westralian, where the spirit of the effort was appreciated.

Meanwhile Scotch College, without undue exertion had been gaining on Guildford; they were rowing rather short, but their form generally was distinctly good, and the opinion prevailed that they must win. lt was generally felt that Higham had his crew well in hand, and that when called upon they would respond in no uncertain manner. Guildford had been going the pace that kills, and with about half the distance covered, it seemed pretty certain that they would be obliged to slacken down. As their speed decreased opposite the Swan Brewery, the Claremont stroke quickened, and the Maroons took the lead, and retained it until ever increasing distance, until the winning post had been passed, two lengths ahead of the Guildford boys.

Christian Brothers' College struggled manfully to recover their lost ground, but the task was too great. Their efforts, however, were so far successful, in that they finished only a canvas behind Guildford. High Schools brought up the rear about a length behind Christian Brothers' College.

The winners rowed a pretty race They were cool throughout, and did justice, as a consequence, to the high standard of form to which they had attained in practice. Higham judged his race to a nicety, and is evidently possessed of many of the qualities with which a successful stroke should be endowed.

Davy, the Guildford stroke, started his crew at about 40, and endeavoured to keep his crew going at this pace for some distance, but the task was beyond them, and its attempt played havoc with their combination. These tactics pained them the lead, however, and they kept it for longer than was anticipated. Their boat was unevenly manned, and this fact considerably militated against their chances of success.

Christian Brothers' College, minus their accident, would possibly have pulled unto second place. Their oarsmanship was rougher than Scotch College, but their leg-work was good, and they made a very plucky recovery.

The High School form was fairly good, but the crew were too light for successful competition. Their bid for a place came rather too soon, hastened, no.doubt, by the Christian Brothers' mishap. Still it was a splendid effort, and evidence of careful training.

At the conclusion of the race His Excellency the Governor presented the Headmasters' Cup to Higham, as stroke of the winning crew. 

B. Parry, who rowed 3 in the Scotch boat, received from the same hands Mr. D. G. Gawler's form prize, and was complimented on his oarsmanship. Mr. P. J. Ryan, the form judge, said that he had no hesitation in awarding Parry this distinction. Clarke’s, (Scotch College bow) rowing was at the same time favourably commented on. It gives me much pleasure to congratulate the Scotch College crew and their coach Mr. W. A. Goland, on their magnificent win. This is the fourth time that a Scotch College winning crew has been coached by Mr. Goland and Scotch Collegians fervently hope that it will not be the last.



Starter: C. Horsborough

Head of the River - Fours

Challenge Cup

Distance: 1 mile

Time: 7:06

Margins: 2 lengths, canvas and 1 length

1st Scotch College - Bow: A L Clarke, 2: W R Campbell, 3: R E Parry, Str: N H Higham, Cox: D R Galwer, Cch: W A Goland

2nd Guildford Grammar School - Bow: C Crossland, 2: A R Brockman, 3: E Stewart, Str: L R Davey, Cox: K E Brockman, Cchs: C R Penny and C S Hutchinson

3rd Christian Brothers' College (later Aquinas College) - Bow: G McCarthy, 2: J Guilfoyle, 3: F Dorney, Str: A Juett, Cox: S Sermon, Cch: K J Fourdrinier

4th Perth High School (later Hale School) - Bow: T G Watkins, 2: A P Turnbull, 3: R B Browning, Str: G L Burges, Cox: H L Fowler, Cch: T Coy

Race finish

Source: Western Mail 5th May 1906, page 27


Western Mail 5th May 1906 pages 27 and 37.

Subsequent regatta programs providing past results. extracted 2018

< previous 1905

> next 1907

top of page

Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management