The seventh Head of the River race was conducted on 15th June 1874 on the Upper Yarra rowing downstream.
Wesley College came of age with it's first win in this event. It was an emphatic win of 6 lengths.
It appears that the Scotch crew were not given much coaching. Messrs Johnstone and Colles assisted only occasionally and the crew suffered as a result.
On the contrary, Wesley benefitted from not only the coaching of Prof Irving, but also in the final fortnight by Mr A Nicholls.
Melbourne Grammar decided not race this year, no doubt after the bitterness regarding the controversy regarding one of their crew of the previous year.
Geelong Grammar started rowing but did not compete. Their 1874 first crew is listed below.
The house on the right was owned by boatbuilder James Edwards and boatbuilder Jerram's house is on the left.
Starter: Not known
Umpire: Not known
Judge: Mr M Byrne
Head of the River
Margin: 6 lengths
1st Wesley College - Bow: E Rowe, 2: F Osborne, 3: H Rowe, Str: E G Ochiltree, Cox: F B C Ford, Cchs: Prof Martin Howy Irving & A Nicholls
2nd Scotch College - Bow: E B Pender, 2: Alexander Oliver, 3: Samuel C Lamrock, Str: Charles W Lord, Cox: Frederick W Barry, Cch: Thomas Colles
As mentioned above, Geelong Grammar commenced rowing but did not compete at this event. Their stroke was Charles Fairbairn, who donated the Fairbairn Challenge Cup, which is the perpetual trophy for the boys Head of the River.
Their first crew was:
Geelong Grammar - Bow: C Hensley, 2: D R Moffatt, 3: R H Cole, Str: Charles Fairbairn, Cox: F W A Godfrey, Cch: unknown.