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1936 APS Head of the River

The Geelong schools hosted the sixty-ninth Head of the River on the Barwon on 8th and 9th May and finally Geelong College won. The Geelong crew was coached by Charlie Saleh who was to become a highly respected coach and State selector in Victoria and also take a prominant role at Xavier College.

Charlie Saleh in 1950

Wesley College broke the course record in the heat against Xavier.

In the junior regatta, yet another event was added - a race for seventh crews. For the first time Scotch boated more crews than Melbourne Grammar in the junior regatta.


Head of the River

Time: 5:46.8
Margin: 1 1/4 lengths and 1/2 length

1st Geelong College - Bow: T M Collins, 2: T H Kensall, 3: I H Silke, 4: J A Forbes, 5: C W Robertson, 6: D M Calvert, 7: D A Cumming, Str: A W Douglas, Cox: N C Reid, Cch: Charles G Saleh
2nd Wesley College - Bow: T G Treloar, 2: R G Curtis, 3: L F Taylor, 4: H J Firth, 5: J Rudduck, 6: I M Burns, 7: R A McFarlane, Str: D K Parnaby, Cox: J G L Jones, Cch: Charles Donald (W J Young was the original stroke of this crew but fell ill days before the race. H J Firth joined the crew and Parnaby was moved from four seat to stroke.)
3rd Geelong Grammar - T M Stokoe, 2: C C Bird, 3: O J White, 4: C D Smith, 5: K R Knox, 6: G L B Macleod, 7: J J Holden, Str: R H Angas, Cox: A R Walker, Cch: William H Pincott

The stations for the final were:
North - Geelong College
Centre - Wesley
South - Geelong Grammar

The conditions were very different from the heats with a head breeze. At 3pm the starter's gun was fired and all crews got away well. GC got the slightest of leads early. WC fought back but could not take the lead from GC. The net result of thiese efforrts were that WC began to tire and WC extended their lead over GGS. GC finished hard and eventually finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of the other crews who ended up with their own race for second place.

After 28 years of striving to win this event, GC finally became Head of the River winners for 1936.

Finish of the Head of the River

Other crews competing were:
Melbourne Grammar - R D Meighan, 2: K O Nuendorf, 3: K J Laycock, 4: W T Robertson, 5: T W L Officer, 6: R G Allen, 7: B F Rose, Str: I A Scales, Cox: J E Handbury, Cch: W E "Wally: Ricketts
Scotch College - Bow: William H Glen, 2: Iain O G MacCormick, 3: Gordon R Henderson, 4: Phillip A Jacobsen, 5: Greig McCracken, 6: Henry McL Stevenson, 7: Alexander Strang, Str: G Harvey Nicholson, Cox: Colin E Smith, Cch: Archibald L Dobbie
Xavier College - Bow: Edward Marron, 2: F A Russo, 3: John H Marron, 4: H G Lightly, 5: J P Andre, 6: Paul J Lachal, 7: G T Connolly, Str: John J Bourke, Cox: B England, Cch: Marcus Bourke

Scotch College crew

Back row: G McCracken, A Strang, P A Jacobsen, G R Henderson
Front row: H M Stevenson, G H Nicholson, Mr A L Dobbie, I O G MacCormick, W H Glen
Seated: C Smith

Photo from the Scotch Collegian

Known heat results:
E1: 1st WC, 2nd XC, Time: 5:00.8 (course record), Margin: 1 length.
The strong cross breeze suited the neater WC crew which got away well. By Packington Street, the lead was 1/2 length. XC fought back narrowing the led but in the end could maintaing the pace. WC finished strongly in record time.
E2: 1st GC, 2nd SC. Time: 5:09. Margin 1 1/2 lengths.
After a delayed start due to a repair to the GC boat, the crews got away well. GC gradually took a slight lead which it then increased. SC then made a great effort to catch the GC crew and came within a couple of feet before GC answered the challenge. After repelling yet another push by SC, GC went on to win well.
E3: 1st GGS, 2nd MGS. Time 5:06, Margin 1/2 canvas.
This was a race between a well controlled GGS crew and a rugged and strong MGS crew. GGS led early taking a length lead by the 1/4 mile. The MGS had several bad flops in their endeavours to catch the GGS crew. One ocurred just after Packington Street when they got within a canvas. It all came down to a hard fought finish where GGS held on to win narrowly.

Second Crews

(This race was conducted as part of the Junior Eights regatta amongst Melbourne metropolitan schools held on 2nd May on the Upper Yarra. It was not part of the Head of the River regatta.)

Time: 2:28.0 (unofficial record time)
Margins: Canvas, 2 feet and 6 feet

1st Xavier College
2nd Wesley College
3rd Scotch College
- Bow: W E Swaney, 2: M V Frew, 3: J A Blanch, 4: O D Jackson, 5: S F Anderson, 6: A Marshall, 7: R C Bretherton, Str: D D Fisher, Cox: H G Boulter, Cch: C B Boyes
4th Melbourne Grammar

Xavier and Melbourne got the best of the start. Scotch were last into the start and they suffered from a bad start as a result. By Branders (now Swan Street Bridge), Wesley on the north had a slight advantage over Melbourne with Scotch just behind in third place. Xavier made their move down the staging and got a slight lead over Wesley, with Scoth in third position followed closely by Melbourne. This is how the race ended in a great finish.

Third Crews

(This race was conducted as part of the Junior Eights regatta amongst Melbourne metropolitan schools held on 2nd May on the Upper Yarra. It was not part of the Head of the River regatta.)

Time: 2:06.8
Margin: Dead heat and 4 feet back to third and a further length back to XC
Distance: 700 yards

=1st Melbourne Grammar
=1st Scotch College
- Bow:
3rd Wesley College
4th Xavier College

XC returned to this race after a break of three years. MGS got the best of the start followed by WC but SC rowed with more power and kept up with them. The first three crews raced almost together until the staging when MGS gained a canvas. SC then spirted and got in front for a second before both crews past the line level with WC a few feet back.

Fourth Crews

(This race was conducted as part of the Junior Eights regatta amongst Melbourne metropolitan schools held on 2nd May on the Upper Yarra. It was not part of the Head of the River regatta.)

Time: 1:48.0
Margins: 1 foot and 3 feet

1st Melbourne Grammar
2nd Wesley College
3rd Scotch College
- Bow: J Opitz, 2: A McK Hepburn, 3: J F M Scholes, 4: A C King, 5: T P Derham, 6: C M Harry, 7: G A Turner, Str: T Darling, Cox: I J green, Cch: W Morgan

Scotch College were the early leaders and maintained the lead through to he staging when they were overtaken in a close finish.

Fifth Crews

Time: 1:43.6
Margin: 3 feet

1st Scotch College - Bow: A Gray, 2: R M Aitchison, 3: A R Beattie, 4: A M Hall, 5: M A Barr, 6: W C McNaught, 7: S P Hancock, Str: J A S Jolly, Cox: A B Chivers, G Harvey Nicholson
2nd Melbourne Grammar

SC led all the way in this close race. MGS challenged and nearly broke through.

Sixth Crews

Time: 1:51.0
Margin: 1 3/4 lengths

1st Melbourne Grammar
2nd Scotch College
- Bow: P W Gratham, 2: L P Hancock, 3: R A McKimmie, 4: H T Robotham, 5: J P Gill, 6: J B Hipwell, 7: K L Blackham, Str: P I Rosenblum, Cox: R A Mullett, Cch: J A Blanch

The SC crew got away well gainig an early half length lead. Unfortunately for them, half way down the staging they had a bow side crab and continued to row without gaining the oar back in position. The rew eventually stopped but they had lost too much ground. Despite a convincing finish, SC could not catch the winning MGS crew.

Seventh crews

Time: 1:43.6
Margins: 3/4 length and 4 feet

1st Scotch College seventh crew - Bow: S Wilson, 2: H G Fleming, 3: J B Leckie, 4: O Whitney, 5: G Sprigg, 6: G Bourne, 7: L Jarvis, Str: J Inkster, Cox: F Smith, Cch: G Harvey Nicholson
2nd Melbourne Grammar seventh crew
3rd Scotch College ninth crew
- Bow: D M Wittaker, 2: A L Burns, 3: J S Parsons, 4: I A F Clarke, 5: Bruce D Guerin, 6: K R Muir, 7: W J Douglas, Str: A L Rogers, Cox: N D Wright, Cch: R C Bretherton
4th Scotch College eighth crew - Bow: J R Allison, 2: J R Armstrong, 3: W J Proud, 4: K A Hansen, 5: J A K Wicks, 6: J N Duckett, 7: R M Harris, Str: R FR C Campbell, Cox: R J Carter, Cch: R C Bretherton

The Scotch crew led from start to finish in a good time. This showed the depth of Scotch rowing in that year. The SC eight crew had the misfortune of a crab approaching the line allowing their ninth crew to defeat them.

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