The sixteenth Head of the River was conducted upstream on the Upper Yarra on 11th and 12th May 1883.
Melbourne Grammar won both events this year and in good fashion, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Scotch College in the main race.
This was the ninth and final year in which John Wallace coached the Scotch crew.
Starter: G G Henderson
Umpire: A Nicholls
Judge: J W Colville
Margin: 1 1/2 lengths
1st Melbourne Grammar - Bow: G B Teague, 2: J C Pender, 3: C G Ryan, Str: F W Osborne, Cox: E Higginbotham
2nd Scotch College - Bow: John A Petersen, 2: Samuel J Baird, 3: Walter B House, Str: David E O'Neill, Cox: Francis E Jacomb, Cch: John Wallace
Scotch College were firm favourites but Grammar raced superbly to comfortably win. Strange to say, but all members of the Scotch crew were red heads.
Other crews competing were:
Geelong Grammar - Bow: R S Thomson, 2: G Ritchie, 3: S F Mann, Str: H Brush, Cox: J Dudgeon, Cch: James L Cuthbertson
Wesley College - Bow: J J Frazer, 2: W H Williams, 3: H Rush, Str: W J Robb, Cox: P E Oakley, Cch: Mr Hamilton
E1: 1st MGS, 2nd WC, Margin: 6 lengths
E2: 1st SC, 2nd GGS, Margin: easily. The Geelong crew three man caught a crab breaking the oar. He leapt out of the boat to save carrying him but it was to no avail. Some Geelong supporters were upset that the Scotch crew continued to race after the oar breakage. However the rowing authorities assured all that a breakage resulting from a crab was a responsibilitity of the crew.
Margin: 1 length
1st Melbourne Grammar
2nd Geelong Grammar
Other crew competing:
1st GGS, 2nd WC. Margin 2 lengths. MGs Secured the bye