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Rowing Victoria

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Rowing in a young Victoria
  3. Formation of the Association
  4. Growth of the Sport 1876-1889
  5. Years of great success 1890-1899
  6. The rise of Henley on the Yarra 1900-1909
  7. The War Years 1910-1919
  8. Women's rowing and the modern era 1920-1929
  9. The Depression years 1930-1939
  10. War and rebuilding 1940-1949
  11. Expansion years 1950-1959
  12. The search for international success 1960-1969
  13. Combining the Associations and lightweight success 1970-1979
  14. The new national program 1980-1989
  15. Golden years 1990-1999
  16. Professionalism 2000-2009
  17. Yet More Growth 2010-2019


  1. Life Membership and other important awards
  2. Patrons and Presidents
  3. Office Bearers
  4. Clubs and their histories
  5. The Oarsmen's Centotaph and WWI Roll of Honour
  6. WWII Roll of Honour
  7. Premierships
  8. State Championships
  9. Hall of Fame Inductees
  10. Victorian Olympians
  11. International representation
  12. Intercolonial and Interstate Racing
  13. School rowing
  14. University rowing
  15. Personalities of the sport

Appendix 13. School rowing

Victorian schools have always taken a keen interest in boating. The APS Head of the River has its origins in a race between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar School in 1868 and has been conducted every year since.

The first intercolonial schools race appears to have been between Geelong Grammar School, St Peters College, Adelaide and St Ignatius' College, Sydney. The first was a race on the Barwon River in 1888 between Geelong Grammar School and St Ignatius' College. A return match the following year was conducted on the Lane Cove in Sydney. The crews used string-test gigs with sliding seats.

There appears to have been regular annual races between Geelong Grammar School and St Peters College, Adelaide from 1895 onwards alternating between the Barwon River in Geelong and the Port River in Adelaide.

The first eight oared race for schoolboys in Australia was conducted between Melbourne Grammar and Geelong Grammar on Albert Park Lake on 14th October 1899. Melbourne Grammar won by a third of a length in a race where the lead changed between the crews on several occasions.

Schoolgirl rowing took a lot longer to become established and is now equally popular with girls as with boys. The Head of the Schoolgirls regatta on the Barwon is reputed to be the largest regatta on the calander.

For full details of these regattas, follow the links below.

APS Head of the River

Ballarat Head of the Lake

Head of the Schoolgirls

Victorian School Championships

National School Championships


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