Scroll To Top
History of the Queensland GPS Head of the River rowing regatta

1952 QLD GPS Head of the River

The 30th Head of the River was conducted on Saturday 19th April 1952 on the Toowong Reach of the Brisbane River. 

According to the Brisbane Telegraph, no school crew had a grip on the Head of the River in the build up to the 1952 event. Southport Won their last race in Brisbane by six lengths and then came from behind at the Tweed Regatta to win narrowly from Tweed's under 20 Four, which is considered to be a strong crew. 

At the same regatta, Churchie finished a reasonably close second the University's Under 20 Four, which went on to win the Queensland Championship. On the previous Wednesday, B.B.C. rowed a mile course against Toowong's senior four and got the better of them by 3.5 lengths. 

Brisbane Grammar were the second heaviest crew but had not yet had the opportunity to demonstrate their rowing form in lead up regattas and Brisbane State High School had their training restricted due to Anti-polio precautions. 

Brisbane Boys' College won their fourth successive O'Connor Cup trophy, the first of any school to accomplish this feet in the history of GPS rowing.  

Brisbane Boy's College flexed their muscles in 1952 by winning all three events on the programme. 

Brisbane Boys' College won their fourth successive O'Connor Cup trophy in 1952, the first of any school to accomplish this feet in the history of GPS rowing.  

 

Organising Committee 

Great Public Schools Association 

Known Officials

Umpire: Mr. A. Lewis 


All School's Championship Four

The O'Connor Cup

Distance: 1 Mile

Times: 6:18.00

Margins:

2 Lengths (1-2)

3 Lengths (2-3)

2 Lengths (3-4)  

1st Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: L. K. Stubbings, 2: J. W. Cameron, 3: J. J. Shannon, Str: D. M. Cameron, Cox: R. Bray, Coach: Mr. J. R. Cameron 

2nd The Southport School - Bow: A. C. Ussher, 2: A. J. Stevenson, 3: R. D. Smith, Str: H. B. Muller, Cox: J. A. Kingston

3rd Church of England Grammar School - Bow: E. Meissner, 2: B. Day, 3: K. K. Larkin, Str: A. D. Johnston, Cox: J. O’Carroll, Coach: P. A. Taylor 

4th Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: G. Lazardes, 2: N. Duvett, 3: S. Corone, Str: C. Wreide, Cox: J. Berry

Winning Crew: Brisbane Boys' College



The Race Described

“Brisbane Grammar jumped out at the start of the main race on the Toowong Reach, and led for the first quarter-mile closely followed by Churchie and Southport with B.B.C last. B.B.C then came to the lead and settled down at a steady 28 to sit on the other high-rating crews. With a quarter of a mile to go. B.B.C and Southport, together in midstream, were well clear of the other crews, with B.B.C leading by a length. B.B.C stroke “Red” Cameron rushed the rating up to 34 and crossed the line leading by three-quarters of a length. A strong ebb tide slowed races and the Head of the River was covered in 6 min 18sec.”

Page 20, The Sunday Mail, 20 April 1952 Edition via Trove

"Head of the River - 1952

On a beautifully sunny day - 19th April 1952 - four crews faced the starter for the Head of the River title. Conditions were heavy. The tide was still ebbing and a slight headwind made conditions hard, but even for all crews. The starter got all crews away to a good start. Churchie and Grammar went ahead for an early lead, but Southport and College soon overhauled them and drew ahead. B.B.C. drew ahead of Southport, and at the half mile had a length's lead when Southport made an effort and gained on B.B.C., who again drew away until, with a quarter of a mile to go, Southport came again to within half a length of B.B.C. who held of the challenge, and over the last two hundred yards drew away again to cross the line rating twenty-nine strokes per minute, three-quarters of a length ahead of Southport, who were rating about thirty-five. C.E.G.S. finished third, five lengths further back. The time for the race was 6 mins 13secs, beating the old record by 11 seconds. This is a slow time for the mile, but good, considering the heavy conditions."

Page 85, The Portal, December 1952 Edition via Trove



All Schools Second Four

Distance: 0.75 Miles

Winning Time: 4:58.00

Margins:

1 Length (1-2)

1.5 Lengths (2-3)

1 Length (3-4)

1st Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: C. Clarke, 2: W. Clarke, 3: N. Simmonds, Str: R. M. Lappin, Cox: M. Kelly, Coach: Mr. C. M. Goldburg

2nd Church of England Grammar - Bow: P. Clark, 2: S. Jackson, 3: J. Hutchison, Str: D. Casey, Cox: P. Peterson, Coach: P. A. Taylor

3rd The Southport School - Bow: W. Phipps, 2: J. Williamson, 3: R. Straughan, Str: J. King, Cox: A. Douglas

4th Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: D. Nicklin, 2: J. Young, 3: R. Andrews, Str: R. Smith, Cox: G. Bates

Brisbane Boys' College Second and Third Crews 

The Race Described:

"Race for Second Crews

Again four crews faced the starter who got the crews away well. C.E.G.S. took an early lead, closely followed by B.B.C., T.S.S. and B.G.S. The crews remained well bunched for the first half mile, but over the last quarter mile B.B.C. drew away to win by a good length, moving away from C.E.G.S. second, T.S.S. third, and B.G.S. fourth. [B.B.C.'s] seconds were again the lightest crew in the race."

Page 85, The Portal, December 1952 Edition via Trove




All Schools' Third Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: 2:55.00

Margins:

1 Length (1-2)

1.5 Length (2-3)


1st Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: J. Scott, 2: J. Stewart, 3: D. Cameron, Str: D. Street, Cox: J. Jack, Coach: Mr. C. M. Goldburg

2nd Church of England Grammar School - Bow: Copp, 2: Laun, 3: Whatmore, Str: I. Miller, Cox: Grundy, Coach: P. Krebs 

3rd Brisbane Boys’ College IV

The Race Described:

"B.B.C. Thirds were left badly, but soon settled down to chase B.B.C. IV and Churchie III. B.B.C. III rowed through the field well to win by a length from C.E.G.S. III."

Page 85, The Portal December 1952 Edition via Trove 


Fourth Four

Distance: 0.75 Mile

Winning Time: n/a

Margins: n/a



Anglican Church Grammar School - Bow: M. Miller, 2: D. Henderson, 3: W. Coburn, Str: J. Dafforn, Cox: Horsburgh, Coach: P. Krebs


Fifth Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: n/a

Margins: n/a



1st Anglican Church Grammar School - Bow: P. Clarke, 2: Yeates, 3: P. A. Dixon, Str: M. Townsend, Cox: Morris, Coach: P. A. Krebs

Other Competing Crews:

Anglican Church Grammar School - Bow: Shaw, 2: Billing, 3: Batts, Str: Ure, Cox: Salisbury, Coach: P. A. Krebs



The Cossack Cup



This cup was presented by the 1952 Anglican Church Grammar School’s 6th IV of 1952. The crew, consisting of M. Townsend (stroke), P. Dixon (3), B. Yeates (2), P. Clarke (bow), J. Morris (cox) had won the Fifth IV at the 1953 Head of the River in the old tub four, COSSACK. Undoubtedly the elation of that victory, said to have been a most impressive one against all odds, contributed to their presenting the cup, named for their victorious craft, for novice fours competition at the first re-vitalised Churchie Regatta in October of the same year.

The Cup was presented to successive victorious Novice Fours at the Churchie Regatta for more than 20 years, until the ‘novice, trial, maiden’ classification of races was abandoned for school regattas in favour of underage classifications. It was particularly fitting that the crew who had presented the cup won it, exhibiting power and drive, from a field of seven boats at the first Churchie Regatta where it was contested. 

Page 53, Churchie Rowing by Peter Jell, Published by Anglican Church Grammar School 


Sources

Page 15, the Brisbane Telegraph Friday 18 April 1952 edition https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/23810800

Page 4 (Sports Supplement), the Courier-Mail 18 April 1952 edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/2034886

Page 4, The Queensland Times, 17 April 1952 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/9928049

Page 20, Sunday Mail, 20 April 1952 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/10330403

Page 14, The Truth (Brisbane), 20 April 1952 Edition via Trove https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/22065147

Page 53, Churchie Rowing by Peter Jell, Published by Anglican Church Grammar School 

Pages 68-98, Churchie Rowing by Peter Jell, Published by Anglican Church Grammar School 

Pages 84-87, The Portal (Jubilee Year 1952 Edition), https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-1560772412/view?partId=nla.obj-1560985622#page/n86/mode/1up


< previous 1951

> next 1953

top of page

Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management