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History of the Queensland GPS Head of the River rowing regatta

1957 QLD GPS Head of the River

The 1957 Head of the River was conducted on Saturday 6th April 1957 on the Milton Reach of the Brisbane River. 

18 000 people congregated to watch Brisbane Boys' College attain their 12th O'Connor Cup.

However, in the lead up to the contest, this result was far from a foregone conclusion. Below are some excerpts from the Brisbane Telegraph in the week prior to the Head of the River:

"The Southport Eight have been putting so much drive into their training rows for the Head of the River on Saturday that 3/inch adjusting screws on the swivels have been shorn off. Coach C. Bere claims it is power and not rough work that has caused the breakages. He has replaced the brass with stainless steel. They're not a nice looking crew in the sense of smartness but Southport have adopted some ideas learnt by their coach at the Olympics.

Their ability to wind up a good sprinting burst is most impressive. Gregory Terrace will rely on an early lead as a counter to the heavier crews on Saturday. Most precise crew in timing is CEGS. Winding up a formidable training mileage with a final 2 600 metre course today they could lift CEGS to the standard of their hat trick period of 1939-1941. The solid Grammar combination will work right up to the afternoon before the race.”

Page 44, Brisbane Telegraph, Wednesday April 3rd 1957 Edition

“All crews seem to have reached a good rowing standard, In training rows, both BBC and Terrace are known to have done times faster than the race record of 5:58.00.

Pattern the race seems likely to follows is that Terrace should show out early with State High, CEGS and Grammar moving forward at the half-way mark. In the run to the finishing line Southport BBC and Terrace should dominate with CEGS finishing fast”

Page 40, the Brisbane Telegraph, Friday April 5th 1957 Edition

The O'Connor Cup Course:

Page 13, The Courier-Mail Friday April 5th 1957 Edition    


The Coaches of each crew had this to say the night before the race:

"Southport Coach (Clavil Bere): “ I think we will perform well. Our main worry will be from B.B.C. Since Dave Magoffin took them over again they are a force to be reckoned with.”

Grammar Coach (Norm Hirst): “All I can say is that I expect a tight finish.”

Gregory Terrace Coach (“Tigger Fleming): “Terrace is a tough crew. I think we will find Southport hardest to beat.”

B.B.C. coach (Dave Magoffin): “I never like to make predictions, but this crew is shaping as well as that which won last year’s ‘Head’.”

“Churchie” Coach (A. Kidd): “I think it will be just as close as the maiden eight two weeks ago. This is our best crew for three years.”

State High Coach (Wally Hughes): “I don’t expect my crew to win. They are too inexperiencd. Until four month ago they had never held an oar. But they will be all rowing next year and will be a force in that ‘head’"

Page 13, The Courier-Mail Friday April 5th 1957 Edition  

Clavil Bere concerns were about the coaching prowess of David Magoffin were justified and he won his second successive Eight-oared O'Connor Cup. However, the opposition coaches would have also revered the stroke of the winning B.B.C. crew, John Adam, who stroked the eight to victory in the Head of the River race for the second straight year. 

According to the Truth: 

"Weather conditions for the event were perfect, and the river surface was as calm as a millpool, despite a slight south-east cross-wind following the crews." Page 21 Truth, Sunday April 7th 1957

 


 

Organising Committee 

Great Public Schools Association 

Known officials:

Judge: Lance Trout

Assistant Judge: Ron Baum

Starter: Cliff Cullen


All School's Championship Eight

The O'Connor Cup

Distance: 2000 Metres 

Winning Time: 6:03.00

Margins:

0.75 Lengths (1-2)

0.75 Lengths (2-3)


1st Brisbane Boys College (Green, White and Black) - Bow: J. Drewe 10st 11lbs , 2: I. Sinnamon 10st 8lbs, 3: D. Blunck 10st 12lbs, 4: E. Thompson 13st 5lbs, 5: I. Mayes 13st 10lbs, 6: R. Philp 11st 10lbs, 7: J. Wilson 10st 13lbs, Str: J. Adam 10st 3lbs, Cox: I. McDougall 8st 9lbs, Coach: D. Magoffin

2nd The Southport School (Maroon with Blue and White Facings) - Bow: J. MacRonald 9st 9lbs, 2: D. Campbell 10st 10lbs, 3: P. Champion 10st 10lbs, 4: R. Kelly 12st 4lbs, 5: T. Armstrong 12st 4lbs, 6: B. Henning 11st 10lbs, 7: G. Davidson 11st 6lbs, Str: W. Horn 10st 9lbs, Cox: A. Matthews 7st 9lbs, Coach: C. Bere

3rd Brisbane Grammar School (Light Blue and Dark Blue) - Bow: D. Leitner 10st 13lbs, 2: G. T. Franklin, 3: M. McLennan 11st 12lbs, 4: D. Mitchell 13st 10lbs, 5: R. Evans 13st 2lbs, 6: L. Townsend 13st, 7: T. Carew 11st 10lbs, Str: J. Bearn 11st 6lbs, Cox: J. Cribb 8st 4lbs, Coach: Norm Hirst

4th Gregory Terrace (Red and Black) - Bow: P. Goy 11st 2lbs, 2: R. Dunworth 10st 10lbs, 3: D. Driver 10st 10lbs, 4: N. O’Brien 11st, 5: N. Corbett 12st 5lbs, 6: D. Carpenter 10st 10lbs, 7: D. Dann 10st 12lbs, Str: K. Lusk 10st 5lbs, Cox: P. Cole 7st, Coach: T. Fleming

5th Church of England Grammar School (Blue and Grey) - Bow: K. Bishop 11st, 2: C. Kidd 10st 9lbs, 3: A. McCray 12st 3lbs, 4: K. Siddle 12st, 5: M. Alp 13st 11lbs, 6: W. Hansen 11st 13lbs, 7: T. Ellis 11st 6lbs, Str: J. Kidd 10st 5lbs, Cox: O. Edwards 7st 8lbs, Coach: A. Kidd

6th Brisbane State High School (Cerise and Blue) - Bow: J. Bennett 11st 2lbs, 2: V. Lendich 10st 11lbs, 3: W. Sole 11st, 4: S. Hinchy 11st 7lbs, 5: B. Hannant 12st, 6: A. Pippos 11st 6lbs, 7: F. McConnel 10st 7lbs, Str: D. Milliner 11st 7lbs, Cox: B. Copley 7st 1lb, Coach: W. Hughes

Winning 1957 Brisbane Boys' College VIII

Page 10, The Courier-Mail Saturday April 6th 1957 Edition

"A big crowd watched the finish of the 1957 GPS Head of the River as the Brisbane Boys' College crew wins by three-quarters of a length from Southport, Grammar was in third place." Page 24, Brisbane Telegraph, Saturday April 6th 1957 Edition 

Page 21, Truth, Sunday April 7th 1957 Edition

Third Placed 1957 Brisbane Grammar School VIII

Page 10, The Courier-Mail Saturday April 6th 1957 Edition

Gregory Terrace 1957 First VIII

 Pages 60-61, St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace 1957 School Newsletter

Brisbane State High School 1957 First VIII

Page 40, Brisbane Telegraph, Friday April 5th 1957 Edition 

 Page 13, The Courier-Mail Friday April 5th 1957 Edition


The Race Described

The O'Connor Cup



"Starter Cliff Cullen got the crews away well with Brisbane Grammar and Gregory Terrace first to show out slightly from BBC and TSS.Past the mile post Grammar led from Terrace and BBC with TSS a canvas away then CEGS further back by two lengths. BBC rowing beautifully with splendid blade and body work began to open up a lead on BGS and Terrace at the three quarter mile mark. Going to the half mile, BBC was rating 38 strokes to the minute but Southport with a slightly lower rating was starting to move up. Southport’s effort brought them within a quarter of a length of the BBC, with BGS, GT, CEGS and State High following in that order.

With 40 yards to go the race had developed into a great battle between BBC and Southport. BBC then went away again and seemed to have the race easily won.But Southport sprinted hard over the last 100 yards to close the gap to three-quarters of a length on the finishing line. With 400 yards to go the race developed into a great battle between BBC and Southport. BBC then went away again and seemed to have the race easily won. But Southport sprinted hard over the last 100 yards to close the gap three-quarters of a length on the finishing line.

BBC coach Dave Magoffin was not available for comment immediately after the race but captain of Boats, Ian Mayes, said his crew never knew they had the race won. Southport coach Clavil Bere said BBC was too good: “My boys may have left their finish a little late but then they probably had a bit of sting taken out of them by BBC in the middle of the race.” He said.

Page 22, Telegraph, Saturday April 6th 1957 Edition

“Cliff Cullen got the crews away to a good even start.

Rating 32, Gregory Terrace and Grammar were a fraction ahead of B.B.C. at the end of the first 100 Metres. Approaching the 500 metres mark, B.B.C. joined the two leading crews who were slightly in front of Southport. Churchie were one and a half lengths further back making no impression. Leaving the 1000 metres, B.B.C. lifted their rating to 34 and took the lead from Southport who were just ahead of Grammar with Terrace dropping back to join Churchie and High two lengths behind.

The B.B.C. crew held off two determined challenges by Southport, first at the 1300 metres mark when Southport drew level, and again in the final dash to the line. Although Grammar rowed an even race to finish third, condition found them out when the pressure was applied.”

Page 21, The Truth, Sunday 7th April 1957 Edition


All Schools' First Four

Distance: 0.75 Mile

Winning Time: 3:52.00

Margins:

1.5 Lengths (1-2)

0.5 Length (2-3)


1st Church of England Grammar School - Bow: G. Isbell, 2: R. Adam, 3: D. Rainey, Str: S. Hogarth, Cox: P. Harburg, Coach: V. Shakespeare 

2nd Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: A. Loutit, 2: A. Baker, 3: A. Weil, Str: L. Haigh, Cox: n/a

3rd The Southport School - Bow: E. Ellen, 2: R. Cooke, 3: M. Cameron, Str: W. Chandler, Cox: n/a

Other Competing Crews:

Gregory Terrace - Bow: D. Dann, 2: T. Quinn, 3: L. Howden, Str: D. Gardiner, Cox: P. O’Keefe 

Gregory Terrace First IV

Page 60, St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace 1957 School Newsletter


All Schools' Second Four

Distance: 0.75 Mile

Winning Time: 4:14.00

Margins:

3.5 Lengths (1-2)

1 Length (2-3)


1st Church of England Grammar School - Bow: R. McLellan, 2: D. Williams, 3: O. Williams, Str: J. King-Scott, Cox: D. Wenden, Coach: L. Roberts 

2nd Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: W. Richards, 2: B. Edwards, 3: K. Dodds, Str: B. Hervey, Cox: n/a

3rd The Southport School - Bow: J. West, 2: G. Rudd, 3: J. White, Str: R. Hassall, Cox: n/a

Other Competing Crews:

Gregory Terrace - Bow: F. Maguire, 2: T. O’Shea, 3: P. Woodcock, Str: F. Benn, Cox: R. Gundelach

Gregory Terrace 1957 Second IV

Pages 60, St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace 1957 School Newsletter


All Schools' Third Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: 2:41.00

Margins:

1 Length (1-2)

1 Canvas (2-3)


1st Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: R. O’Reilly, 2: I. Park, 3: E. Tolmie, Str: L. Thomas, Cox: n/a

2nd Church of England Grammar School - Bow: K. Johnson, 2: D. Lydon, 3: D. Fitzsimmons, Str: R. Grant, Cox: R. Stuart, Coach: P. Dixon 

3rd Brisbane Grammar School- Bow: B. McLuaghlin, 2: I. Telford, 3: J. Tait, Str: P. Gurthrie, Cox: n/a

Other Competing Crews:

Gregory Terrace - Bow: J. Delahunty, 2: J. Tully, 3: B. McKeering, Str: J. McAuliffe, Cox: R. Gundelach



All Schools' Fourth Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: 2:22.00

Margins:

1 Canvas

1 Canvas 

 

1st Church of England Grammar School - Bow: D. Cheesman, 2: S. Bowden, 3: J. Webb, Str: S. Blank, Cox: H. Black

2nd The Southport School - Bow: W. Marks, 2: W. Lloyd, 3: J. Hunter, Str: D. McCullum, Cox: n/a

3rd Brisbane Grammar School & Brisbane Grammar School 

B.G.S. I - Bow: A. Johnson, 2: D. Clark, 3: E. Webb, Str :A. Smyth , Cox: n/a

B.G.S. II - Bow: J. Morton, 2: A. Orr, 3: R. McNamara, Str: D. Linklater, Cox: n/a

Other Competing Crews:

Church of England Grammar School - Bow: D. McDougall, 2: D. Dawes, 3: G. Thomas, Str: W. Earnshaw, Cox: R. Stuart

Church of England Grammar School - Bow: G. Bell, 2: R. Densley, 3: M. Macaulay, Str: C. McMillan,  Cox: M. Walker 

Gregory Terrace - Bow: A. Russell, 2: J. Darcy, 3: K. Grant, Str: B. Murphy, Cox: J. Cockerill 

All Schools Fifth Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: 3:48.00

Margins:

1.25 Lengths (1-2)

2 Feet (2-3)

 

1st Anglican Church Grammar School (b) - Bow: L. Nairn, 2: A. Jones, 3: D. Bryant, Str: G. S. Box, Cox: A. Begbie

2nd Anglican Church Grammar School (a) - Bow: I. Pearson, 2: D. Ellemor, 3: P. Blackband, Str: M. Joens, Cox: W. Walker

3rd Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: V. Haynes, 2: D. Gough, 3: G. Bowden, Str: M. Henderson, Cox: n/a

Other Competing Crews:

Anglican Church Grammar School (c) - Bow: J. Bellamy, 2: P. Boge, 3: J. Barlow, Str: B. Speight, Cox: n/a

Anglican Church Grammar School (d) - Bow: R. Kingwell, 2: C. Baddiley, 3: G. Adam, Str: R. Adam, Cox: W. Gunn

Gregory Terrace - Bow: L. Burke, 2: M. Dowd, 3: J. Barbeler, Str: J. Kopicka, Cox: P. Wall

Sources

Page 44, Brisbane Telegraph, Wednesday April 3rd 1957 Edition https://archive.org/details/3-april-1957b

Page 40, Brisbane Telegraph, Friday April 5th 1957 Edition https://archive.org/details/5-april-1957b

Page 22, Brisbane Telegraph, Saturday April 6th 1957 Edition https://archive.org/details/6-april

Page 24, Brisbane Telegraph, Saturday April 6th 1957 Edition https://archive.org/details/6-april-1957

Page 13, The Courier-Mail Friday April 5th 1957 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121105401

Page 10, The Courier-Mail Saturday April 6th 1957 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121105552

Page n/a, The Sunday Mail, Sunday April 7th 1957 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121105748

Page 21, Truth, Sunday April 7th 1957 Edition https://archive.org/details/screen-shot-2021-03-26-at-12.46.10-pm

Pages 60-61, St. Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace 1957 School Newsletter, https://media.digistormhosting.com.au/sjgt-au-qld-91-oldboys/documents/1957-St-Joseph-College-Terrace.pdf?mtime=20180403073215

Page 45-52, Churchie Rowing by Peter Jell, Published by Anglican Church Grammar School

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





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