The eighteenth Head of the River was conducted 15th and 16th May 1885 on the Upper Yarra course.
Wesley were again absent due to injury to their three man.
Geelong Grammar was supreme by 1 1/2 lengths over Melbourne Grammar. They led by far more earlier in the race but the Melbourne crew fought back very well. This was to be the first of six straight wins for Geelong Grammar.
Starter: Mr G G Henderson
Umpire: Mr A Nicholls
Judge: Mr J Irvine
Margin: 1 1/2 lengths
1st Geelong Grammar - Bow: A J Bailey, 2: J E Robertson, 3: J Rutherford, Str: S F Mann, Cox: F N Clarke, Cch: James L Cuthbertson
2nd Melbourne Grammar - Bow: H S H Baird, 2: J R Mouritz, 3: W C MacKnight, Str: E Champion, Cox: E G H Graham, Cch: W M Burn
Other crew competing:
Scotch College - Bow: William L Aitken, 2: Ewen Macpherson, 3: Arthur M Begg, Str: Andrew R Robertson, Cox: Henry N Young, Cch: Alfred W Pace
Wesley College did not compete this year. One report advises that this waas due to injury to a crew member.
1st MGS, 2nd SC, Margin: 3 lengths. Geelong Grammar secured a bye.
Margin: 1/4 length
1st Melbourne Grammar School
2nd Geelong Grammar