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History of the Queensland GPS Head of the River rowing regatta

1950 QLD GPS Head of the River

The 1950 Head of the River was conducted on Saturday 15th April 1950 on the Toowong Reach of the Brisbane River. 

A new course was initiated for the 1950 event. The championship race was over a straight mile course, with the seconds over three-quarters of a mile and the thirds half a mile. The new starting point was adjacent to the Australian Chemical Company at Montague Road, West End.

The decision to alter the course followed criticism of the old site, which had been considered unsatisfactory by experts since it was adopted by the G.P.S. Association in 1930. 

According to the Queensland times:

"B.B.C and C.E.G.S are the only Queensland school with good fleets. The others will have to race either in borrowed racing shells or ones that have been patched, The purchase of boats is quite an expensive business and consequently, this branch of sport in Queensland schools has not received the attention it deserves." (Page 3, 13th April 1950)

 

Brisbane Boys' College and Church of England Grammar School were the only competing crews with good fleets. The others rowed in borrowed racing shells or ones that had been patched.

"The purchase of boats is quite an expensive business  and consequently, this branch of sport in Queensland schools has not received the attention it deserves." (Queensland Times, Thursday 13th April 1950 Edition)

With Church of England Grammar having made a late change in their crew for the Head of the River due to their bow oarsman coming down with illness, Brisbane Boys' College were heavy favourites. Their victory was by no means a foregone conclusion, yet despite the tight finish, the College won their fourth O'Connor Cup in five years.  


 

Organising Committee:

Great Public Schools' Association 


All Schools Championship Four

The O'Connor Cup

Distance: 1 Mile

Winning Time: 6:43.00

Margins:

2 feet (1-2)

3 feet (2-3)

1st Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: J. R. Slater, 2: D. G. Simpson, 3: A. J. Moore, Str: A. C. Moore, Cox: D. W. McLeod

2nd Brisbane State High School - Bow: Andrew, 2: Macpherson, 3: Shaw, Str: Parker, Cox: Tooth

3rd Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: Lees, 2: Harte, 3: Seaman, Str: Chisholm, Cox: Gillies

4th The Southport School - Bow: J. H. C. Roberts, 2: J. R. Walker, 3: J. G. McKerrow, Str: J. A. Dixon, Cox: J. Bassingthwaighte

5th Church of England Grammar School - Bow: B. Barrett, 2: Templeton, 3: Miller, Str: Harrison, Cox: McKeague

Victorious Crew: Brisbane Boys' College First Four 

From Closest to Farthest from Camera: The Southport School, Brisbane Boys' College, Brisbane State High School, Brisbane Grammar School 


The Race Described


The All Schools' Head of the River was rowed over a new course this year. The starting point was adjacent to the Australian Chemical Company's works at West End, and the finish was at the Toowong Boat House. The Head of the River was rowed also for the time over a mile course.

Conditions were fair for all crews but a cross wind made the water slightly choppy.

All crews were level after the start and they kept that way for the first half mile of the course. Then B.B.C., B.G.S., B.S.H.S., and T.S.S. pulled away with C.E.G.S. dropping back. the boats were becoming bunched now as the C.E.G.S. crew were forcing the T.S.S. crew over on to B.B.C. and B.S.H.S. 

The four crews rowed stroke for stroke for the rest of the course. Southport making a strong finish, drew up to the leaders. At the finish it was difficult to pick the placings. However, the judges gave the decision to B.B.C., as winners by two feet from B.S.H.S., with B.G.S., third by three feet. Thus B.B.C. were the rowing premiers for 1950."

Page 74-76, The Portal, December 1950 Edition


“The five crews kept together for the first half of the mile course. Then B.B.C, B.G.S, B.S.H.S and T.S.S pulled away together, with C.E.G.S dropping back. The Four crews rowed stroke for stroke for the rest of the course. Southport dropped out near the finish and spectators could not pick the winner from Brisbane Boys’ College, Brisbane Grammar and State High.

Veteran Lance Trout , gave the placings as B.B.C. first by 2 feets from B.S.H.S with B.G.S three feet further away third. Any of the three crews could have won if the race had been further…. Feature of the race was was the complete failure of C.E.G.S. They were second favourites before the race but last minute changes in the crew evidently broke up their combination…. Brisbane Boys’ College have now won the Head of the River six times and for another year they will be the premier rowing school.”

Page 20 The Sunday Mail, 16 April 1950 Edition


BROTHERS IN CREW.

It was a triumph for brothers, Alex and Alan Moore, who were stroke and three for B.B.C. Sixteen-year-old Alan was in doubt for the race until a few hours before the start. He had a painful boil on the buttock which looked as though it might keep him out of the race.

But Alan decided otherwise. Alex was in the B.B.C. first crew last year, which at the last minute was withdrawn from the Head-of-the-River and had the B.B.C second four substituted in its place. Ever since he has been one of the keenest on training and most determined to win the 1950 Head-of-the-River.”

Sunday Mail, 16 April 1950 page 20 via Trove

 


All Schools' Second Four

Distance: 0.75 Mile

Winning Time: 4:44.00

Margins:

2 Lengths (1-2)

1 Length (2-3)


1st Church of England Grammar School - Bow: R. Beil, 2: K. Mewing, 3: W. Douglas, Str: B. Blakeway, Cox: B. Bottomley

2nd Brisbane Boys’ College - Str: G. M. Byth, 2: R. M. Walker, 3: J. W. Cameron, Str: L. K. Stubbings, Cox: R. W. Bray

3rd The Southport School - Bow: A. H. Chambers, 2: A. H. Muller, 3: R. Andrew, Str: L. L. Davies, Cox: J. F. D. Douglas  

4th Brisbane Grammar School

The Race Described:

"C.E.G.S. got away to a good start and led all the way to win comfortably by four lengths from B.B.C. B.B.C. rowed a good race, but the opposition was too good. T.S.S. filled third position. The time for the race was 4 minutes 44 seconds."

Page 76, The Portal, December 1950 Edition 


All Schools' Third Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: 3:24.00

Margins: n/a

1st Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: G. I. Fletcher, 2: G. R. Grimmett, 3: M. J. Nalder, Str: J. G. Fisher, Cox: R. W. Morse

2nd Church of England Grammar School - Str: R. Douglas

3rd Church of England Grammar School

4th The Southport School - Bow: N. V. Eglestaff, 2: A. J. Wilson, 3: B. S. Parkinson, Str: S. J. Sutton, Cox: R. P. Snell

Brisbane Boys College Second and Third Crews 

The Race Described: 

"This was the last race of the day. B.B.C. had a young crew with plenty of racing spirit. They were strongly challenged by C.E.G.S., but succeeded in winning from C.E.G.S. by half a length."

Page 77, The Portal, December 1950 Edition 


Sources

Page 20, The Sunday Mail, Sunday 16th April 1950 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/10321839

Page 3, Queensland Times, Thursday 13th April 1950 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/9923030

Page 26, The Brisbane Telegraph, Thursday 13th April 1950 Edition Via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/23802562

Page 11, The Courier-Mail, Friday 14th April 1950 edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/2026313

Page 9, The Courier-Mail, Wednesday 8th March 1950 via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/49717945?searchTerm=head%20of%20river%20crews

Page 74-78, The Portal, December 1950 Edition via Trove https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1585254550/view?partId=nla.obj-1585321513#page/n79/mode/1up

Brisbane Boy's College Regatta Program, Published 10th March 2016 https://issuu.com/collegianmagazine/docs/2016_regatta_program_issuu


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