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1872 Head of the River

The fifth Head of the River races were rowed on 14th, 18th & 20th June.

The cox of the winning Scotch crew, Syd Edwards, went on to be a respected Victorian coach. The Scotch coach Thomas Colles, was also a respected oarsman, competing in the winning Victorian crew in the intercolonial fours championship in 1873. He was also in the first two Australian Universities Championships crews for Melbourne University.

The races appear to have been conducted in a way to determine the best crews overall. The results below show the rankings after three races, not one individual race.


This is a very early picture (circa 1860) of the punt on the Yarra River at the Punt Road hill.

In the background the grape vines can be seen on the hill. Left hand side house was owned by Mrs Gardner and Madam Du Bois Wine and Tea Gardens on the right. Burns boats are in the foreground.



Starter: Mr A F Ross
Umpire: Mr H A Williams
Judge: Mr J H Hood


Head of the River

Time: NTT
Margin: 4 lengths

1st Scotch College - Bow: M C Moore, 2: Robert R Macpherson, 3: Robert B Duncan, Str: Murdo McLeod, Cox: Sydney A Edwards, Cch: Thomas C Colles
2nd Melbourne Grammar - Bow: J C Ritchie, 2: G J Watson, 3: J G Burton, Str: J Watson, Cox: W Greenland, Cch: A Nicholls
3rd Wesley College - Bow: L Lyons, 2: Chambers, 3: G Adamson, Str: J Rickards, Cox: Burrows, Cch: Prof Martin Howy Irving

Race 1 - 14th June: 1st MGS, 2nd WC, Margin: easily. The Wesley stroke collapsed and Melbourne Grammar paddled home easily.
Race 2 - 18th June: 1st SC, 2nd MGS, Margin: 2 lengths. The race was won easily but not before being a good race for the first part until MGS lost their form. The Scotch coxswain was given great credit for his steering.
Race 3 - 20th June: 1st SC, 2nd WC, Margin: 4 lengths. The Wesley crew was changed with the removal of the original stroke Rickards who had not recovered from the first race and was replaced by Lowe. Scotch won well.

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