The twenty-third Head of the River was back on the Barwon on 16th and 17th May and Geelong Grammar celebrated this with a win. However this was to be the last of their string of six victories. The race was rowed in heavy rain. The Geelong crew suffered injury and illness leading up to the race. The original stroke Bagot was injured and relinquished the stroke seat to the two man Whitney. Influenza also struck down the crew.
Wesley College won the second crew race. But on the day of this race, the boat shed purchased in 1887 was blown down in a gale and all boats were lost.
Sydney Edwards, a former Scotch coxswain, returned as coach of the crew.
Starter: Mr C Shannon
Umpire: Dr J Hope
Judge: Mr D Strachan
Margin: 3 lengths
1st Geelong Grammar - Bow: A Rutherford, 2: E W Bagot, 3: L Rutherford, Str: A W Whitney, Cox: H Cross, Cch: James L Cuthbertson
2nd Scotch College - Bow: William Murphy, 2: Herbert D Morrison, 3: Egbert W Hutchison, Str: Alexander R Lewis, Cox: Ralph B Ross, Cch: Sydney A Edwards
Other crews competing were:
Melbourne Grammar - Bow: F B White, 2: F J Beecher, 3: A J McPherson, Str: W J F Singleton, Cox: F N Pleasance, Cch: A Holcroft
Wesley College - Bow: H R Catford, 2: R C Withington, 3: H M Watson, Str: W R Thomson, Cox: H D Johnson, Cch: E A Derrick
E1: 1st SC, 2nd MGS, Time: 8:10.0. Margin: 4 lengths. Melbourne started well but were soon overtaken by Scotch who went onto a comfortable victory.
E2: 1st GGS, 2nd WC, Time: 8:00.0. Margin: 4 lengths. An all the way win for Geelong.
(The second race was not conducted as part of the Head of the River regatta. It was held on Albert Park Lake on 24th October.)
Margins: 4 lengths and 4 lengths
1st Wesley College - Bow: A B Campbell, 2: H Parfitt, 3: F S Broadbent, Str: R G Greene, Cox: R D Johnson
2nd Geelong Grammar
3rd Melbourne Grammar - Bow: N Paxton, 2: A Davies, 3: J Spence, Str: E N Pringle, Cox: N Pleasance
The Argus reported that the weather was so boisterous that it would have been impossible to row in the normal direction into the wind. The course was thus reversed. Earlier in the day the prevailing gales blew down the Wesley Boatshed and the two racing boats contained in it were destroyed. WC therefore raced in a borrowed boat from MGS. Mr S H Gowdie had the difficult task of starting the race and Mr C Cunningham acted as judge.
MGS were in difficulties from the start with their stroke side barely able to get their oars out at all. The stroke man caught a crab and broke his thowl (the row lock) thus making his difficult job far worse. GGS also suffered a crab allowing WC to come up on level terms. WC rowed on top of the water well and went out to a commanding lead of two lengths which was extended to four lengths after GGS caught another crab 200 yards from the finish.