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History of AAGPS Head of the River Rowing Regatta

1979 NSW AAGPS Head of the River

Scots break ‘River’ drought (Sydney Morning Herald, 08 Apr 1979)

Scots took the Sydney GPS Head of the River first eight rowing title on the Nepean River yesterday to end a 14-year drought thanks largely to the quiet proficiency of its coach 66-year-old Fred Fullerton.

Fullerton was invited to coach the school’s first and second fours last year, and victories for both crews led to his appointment as coach of this year’s championship eight. Fullerton, one of rowing’s quieter personalities, was not anxious to talk about his crew’s magnificent effort.

In the race, Scots won the event for the fourth time only since the races were instituted in 1893. In typical fashion, Fullerton’s only comment after his crew’s win was: “People as the school thought this crew had a definite show today.”

Scots took the lead with a mile of the 2,400-metre course to go and never relinquished it. With half-a-mile to go, Scots, savaging the water viciously with excellent leg drive in the boat, moved to a one and a half length lead over Newington which provided the greatest threat.

Newington, coached by Olympic oarsman Michael Morgan, made its more with 500 metres to go and made an impression on Scots, but could not alter the outcome of the race. Titleholders Grammar were the first to show out, but after just a quarter-of-a-mile Newington and Scots fell into place behind the leaders.

Scots were not considered to have a chance by the experts, who generally leaned towards Grammar, Shore and Newington. Representative sculled Ted Hale, who assisted in the Scots shed, complimented Fullerton on timing his crew for the one race. He said he thought that the strenuous build-up Fullerton gave his crew over the past two weeks may have left them weary for yesterday’s final effort.

As it turned out, Fullerton had his charges in top physical condition and, with their rugged style, this proved to be the decisive factor. The crews faced a nor’easter which suited the heavier crews, and the Scots combination took full advantage of the conditions.

 

Senior 1st Eight

Major Rennie Trophy

8:01.80

1 length

½ length

1st           Scots

2nd          Newington

3rd          Grammar


Senior 2nd Eight

5:51.10

¼ length

½ length

1st           Shore

2nd          Grammar

3rd          Scots


Senior 1st Four

Yaralla Cup

5:51.10

¼ length

½ length

1st           Shore

2nd          Grammar

3rd          Scots


Senior 2nd Four

5:51.50

2 ½ lengths

1 ½ lengths

1st           Shore

2nd          King’s School

3rd          St. Joseph’s


Senior 3rd Four

5:59.70

½ length

½ length

1st           Shore

2nd          Grammar

3rd          King’s School


Senior 4th Four

5:55.20

6ft

3 ½ lengths

1st           Shore

2nd          King’s School

3rd          St. Joseph’s

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