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History of the Queensland GPS Head of the River rowing regatta

1958 QLD GPS Head of the River

The 1958 GPS Head of the River was conducted on Saturday 12th April 1958 on the Milton Reach of the Brisbane River. 

After placing second in the three previous O'Connor Cup contest, The Southport School finally prevailed in 1958, claiming their first victory in Eights. 

Below are some excepts from some of the Brisbane newspapers that reported on the Head of the River in the week leading up to the event.

"The eight with the fastest start undoubtedly is Brisbane Grammar School. Although their average weight is more than 12 stone they have a fluid and easy movement when racing high. In some starts they have burned off at 41 strokes to the minute but their more normal procedure appears to be set out at 36 and settle down to 32 after about 200 yards.

Coach Norm Hirst has backed rowing training with afternoon track work on the school oval. Each member of the the crew, including the cox, had to run a mile when the track work began. Each week the objective was to reduce individual times and that has been done. Gregory Terrace have included weight lifting in their training programme. This coupled with their frequent high rating work out has brought them into a fine pitch. Terrace impress forcibly as a crew that even if passed, will not be beaten until the finishing line is crossed. They will row this year in the boat that the NSW King’s Cup used last year."

Page 54, Brisbane Telegraph, Wednesday 9th April 1958 Edition.

“Rowing over the 2 000 Metre course yesterday well below top pressure, Southport Head-of-the-River crew pleased coach Clavil Bere with a fast time of 5 minutes 45 seconds. Southport boys will dwarf the other crews competing in Saturday’s classic, as their average weight is 12st 3lbs and their shortest crewman 6ft."

Page 38, Brisbane Telegraph, Thursday 10th April 1958 Edition

“In an almost exact repetition of last year’s prediction, most rowing critics again nominate Southport and Brisbane Grammar School to fight out the finish of tomorrow’s Head of the River. Study of the crew weights surprisingly reveals that Gregory Terrace are the light weights at an average of 11 Stone. Brisbane State High School average 11.3, CEGS, 11.9, BGS 11.12 BBC 12.0 and TSS 12.6”

Page 34, Brisbane Telegraph, Friday 11th April 1958 Edition

The Southport School rowing eight has emerged as strong favourite for tomorrow’s G.P.S. Head of the River. A cross-section of Brisbane rowing experts yesterday tipped these placings: Southport 1, Grammar 2, with B.B.C. or Terrace third.

Page 13, The Courier-Mail, Saturday 12th April 1958 Edition

The 1958 Head of the River was rowed on the course pictured below:

The race started upstream from the William Jolly Bridge opposite the B.C.C. Transport Office, Coronation Drive, and finished at the Toowong rowing shed opposite the regatta hotel. (Page 13, The Courier-Mail, Saturday 12th April 1958 Edition)

The Coaches of each First VIII had this to say prior to the contest:

Vic Shakespeare (Churchie): “After watching my crew over three miles this afternoon I am sure they give an excellent showing in the title.”

Dave Magoffin (B.B.C.) The crew is a different type to our winning crew of last year but compares well. The race this year will be of a higher standard and will be very close, I would not like to predict it.”

Wally Hughes (State High): “the crew is good considering our limited selection I know they will row well.”

Tiger Fleming (Terrace): “the race will be pretty tough but my boys will be well in it. They are a bright crew and if they hit the front early in favourable conditions they are capable of staying there.”

Norm Hirst (Grammar): “The race is very well open. Any conditions will do my crew on Saturday. They will push things along a bit

Clavil Bere (Southport): “this is our strongest eight ever. It is not a pretty crew but it is fast. I think Grammar is the one to watch.

The positions for the race were:

No. 1 The Southport School, No. 2 Brisbane State High School, No. 3 Gregory Terrace, No. 4 Brisbane Grammar School, No. 5 Church of England Grammar School, No. 6 Brisbane Boys’ College

“In winning Southport broke a run of three consecutive seconds. Southport has been placed second in the last three years since the head of the river was switched from fours to eights in 1955."

Page 22, Brisbane Telegraph Saturday 12th April 1958.


 

Organising Committee:

Great Public School Association 

Known Officials:

Starter: Jack Pritchard



All Schools' Championship First Eight

The O'Connor Cup

Distance: 2000 Metres 

Winning Time: 6:18.00

Margins:

0.5 Length (1-2)

0.5 Length (2-3)

0.5 Length (3-4)

1 Canvas (4-5)

1 Length (5-6)

1st The Southport School (maroon, blue and white facings) - Bow: P. Champion 11st 11lbs, 2: J. White 12st 8lbs, 3: J. heckles 12st 10lbs, 4: J. hunter 12st 3lbs, 5: T. Armstrong 13st 4lbs, 6: R. Kelly 12st 3lbs, 7: G. Davidson 12st 3lbs, Str: W. Chandler 11st 4lbs, Cox: A. Matthews, Coach: C. Bere

2nd Gregory Terrace (red and black) - Bow: R. O’Brien 10st 6lbs, 2: J. Kopicka 10st 7lbs, 3: G. Grant 11st 10lbs, 4: T. Cooney 10st 5lbs, 5: J. Corbett 12st 4lbs, 6: T. Quinn 12st, 7: A. Russell 10st 5lbs, Str: B. Murphy 10st 5lbs, Cox: P. Cole, Coach: T. Fleming

3rd Brisbane Grammar School (Light blue and dark blue) - Bow: S. Day 11st 2lbs, 2: M. Henderson 11st, 3: A. Loutit 12st 7lbs, 4: R. Evans 13st 12lbs, 5: T. Carew 12st 3lbs, 6: P. Bushnell-Guthrie 11st, 7: M. Thurlow 12st, Str: D. Linklater 11st 9lbs, Cox: R. Hiff 7st 3lbs, Coach: N. Hirst

4th Brisbane State High School (cerise and blue)- Bow: J. Bennett 11st 4lbs, 2: G. Payne 9st 13lbs, 3: W. Sole 11st 1lb, 4: R. Bade 12st, 5: S. Krasnoff 12st 2lbs, 6: D. Evans 11st 3lbs, 7: S. McConnell 10st 3lbs, Str: A. Pippos 11st 6lbs, Cox: B. Copley 8st 5lbs, Coach: W. Hughes

5th Brisbane Boys’ College (Black and green)- Bow: J. Shaw 11st 7lbs, 2: D. Robertson 12st 2lbs, 3: T. Murray-Prior 13st, 4: R. Paterson 13st 3lbs, 5: E. Tolmie 13st 10lbs, 6: I. Sinnamon 12st 3lbs, 7: R. O’Reilly 11st 5lbs, Str: R. Hervey 10st 2lbs, Cox: F. Duncan 7st 9lbs, Coach: D. Magoffin

6th Church of England Grammar School (grey and blue)- Bow: D. Fitzsimmons 11st, 2: J. King-Scott 11st 4lbs, 3: P. Blackland 11st 8lbs, 4: D. Wilson 11st 7lbs, 5: J. McAuley 12st 6lbs, 6: R. Densely 10st 12lbs, 7: G. Barlow 12st 4lbs, Str: S. Hogarth 12st 3lbs, Cox: H. Black 7st 6lbs, Coach: V. Shakespear

Page 24, Brisbane Telegraph Saturday 12th April 1958 Edition

Page 36, The Sunday Mail, Sunday 13th April 1958 Edition

Page 36, The Sunday Mail, Sunday 13th April 1958 Edition

Runners Up: 1958 Gregory Terrace First VIIIPages 60-61, St. Joseph's College Gregory Terrace 1958 School Newsletter

Third Place: Brisbane Grammar School 1958 First VIII Page 13, The Courier-Mail, Saturday 12th April 1958 Edition

Brisbane Boys College 1958 First VIII

Page 13, The Courier-Mail, Friday 11th April 1958 Edition

1958 Brisbane State High School First VIII 

1958 Churchie First VIII

Page 22, Brisbane Telegraph Saturday 12th April 1958 Edition

S. Hogarth, the stroke of the 1958 Anglican Church Grammar School First VIII was the 1958 recipient of the Sylvia Dion Prize awarded to the Churchie sportsman who demonstrates the most leadership and skill whilst representing the school in sport that year.  



The Race Described

“A gusty downpour of rain before the start of the eights sent thousands of spectators running for shelter along the crowded upstream section of Coronation Drive. Minutes before the race however, the rain eased and the eights got away in near perfect conditions with a slight following wind and slack tide.The crews took a while to settle down but the starter Jack Pritchard got them away to an even start. With only 100 yards of the 2000 metre course covered, Southport gained a slight lead which they lost only once during the race and then only for a matter of seconds.

The Southport giants settled down early into a rating of about 34 strokes to the minute and a course that never varied. Meanwhile Terrace, lightest crew in the race at an 11-stone even average, were lying in a comfortable position and paddling “like steam” at times rating 40 to the minute to keep pace with the heavier crews.While Grammar pressed Southport for an early lead, B.B.C. steered close to the south bank and was well in the running. Terrace seemed upset early when their craft wavered off course, but approaching the 500 metres mark the crew settled down to solid rowing. With one-third of the course covered, Southport was three-quarters of a length ahead of Grammar with Terrace close behind in line with B.B.C.

The little-favoured State High eight was holding on well with Churchie about a length from the leaders. Churchie was rating high but were not making an impression. Passing the South Brisbane Gas Works with about 1000 Metres to go, B.B.C. stilling rowing to the south bank, hit “dead water” and dropped back considerably. Stroking with long, solid oars the low-rating Southport eight maintained their lead past the Gasworks. Seconds later the Grammar eight increased rating and for an instance, but only an instance, led Southport. Nearing the finish line, Terrace put more sting into their blade-work and passed Grammar.

With 400 yards to go only two lengths separated the six crews. One hundred yards off Southport stepped up the rating to hold off Terrace, at this point rating as high as ever. State High surprised with a solid combination over the 4clsoing stages to hold off B.B.C. into fourth place.”

The Sunday-Mail, Sunday 13th April 1958 Edition  

“The crews were well together after the start, but after 10 strokes Southport, on the north bank had a slight lead. After about 40 strokes Brisbane Grammar had closed the gap to lead slightly, and the race then developed into a great tussle between Southport and Grammar with Terrace always handy.

After the mile, Southport had a slight advantage, but Grammar came again to be up with the leader at the gasworks with about half a mile to go. With just over 200 yards to go, Southport lifted its rating for a powerful finish with Terrace also rating 36, overhauling Brisbane Grammar for second place. Brisbane State High School was half a length away fourth, Brisbane Boys’ College a canvas away fifth and Church of England Grammar School another length away sixth. The time of 6 min 18 sec was slower than expected.

The Southport crew was always in the picture on the north bank and it was its tremendous finish that won it the race. Gregory Terrace was not considered a strong contender for this year’s race but surprised by holding a high rating and finished on well for its first placing in the four years it has rowed in the GPS regatta. After the race Southport’s stroke, Bill Chandler, said he thought his crew virtually led from start to finish. “But it was very tough, we were never really sure we were going to win.” He said.”  

Page 22, Brisbane Telegraph Saturday 12th April 1958



All Schools' First Four

Distance: 0.75 Mile

Winning Time: 3:47.00

Margins

2 Lengths (1-2)

1 Canvas (2-3)

1st The Southport School - Bow: E. Ellen, 2: P. Price, 3: P. Rae, Str: C.Elliot, Cox: D. Egan 

2nd Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: P. Row, 2: D. Gough, 3: B. McLaughlin, Str: G. Maynard, Cox: G. Nixon  

3rd Brisbane Boys’ College - Bow: G. Stehn, 2: J. Grant, 3: R. Warren, Str: J. Job, Cox: L. Hemming

Other Competing Crews:

Church of England Grammar School - Bow: G. Bell, 2: D. Dawes, 3: D. Bryant, Str: D. Ellemor, Cox: W. Walker, Coach: L. Roberts 

Gregory Terrace - Bow: J. Barbeler, 2: B. Moroney, 3: R. Murphy, Str: J. McAuliffe, Cox: R. Dundelach

The race described:

“The first fours started at a strong pace with plenty of splash. No more than a length separated the crews with half the three-quarter mile course covered. Southport held a steady lead followed by B.B.C. and Grammar.

With the same long, solid pull of their Head of the River eight, the Southport four maintained its lead with a low rating. Southport crossed the line two lengths ahead of Grammar with B.B.C. a canvas away third.”

The Sunday-Mail, Sunday 13th April 1958 Edition  

Gregory Terrace 1958 First IV 

Pages 60-61, St. Joseph's College Gregory Terrace 1958 School Newsletter


All Schools' Second Four

Distance: 0.75 Mile

Winning Time: 4:27.00

Margins

2 feet (1-2)

1 Length (2-3)

1st Brisbane Grammar School - Bow: B. Thomas, 2: I. Telford, 3: J. Tait, Str: C. Boyce, Cox: S. Bath

2nd Gregory Terrace - Bow: P. Garske, 2: J. Juratowitch, 3: J. Girard, Str: J. Foran, Cox: P. Wall

3rd The Southport School - Bow: W. Marks, 2: J. Lloyd, 3: P. Henry, Str: G. Leney, Cox: C. Barton

Other Competing Crews:

Church of England Grammar School - Bow: W. Earnshaw, 2: D. Graham, 3: R. Bellamy, Str: R. Adam, Cox: D. McCann, Coach: L. Roberts

1958 Gregory Terrace Second IV

Pages 60-61, St. Joseph's College Gregory Terrace 1958 School Newsletter


All Schools' Third Four

Distance: 0.75 Mile

Winning Times: 2:37.00

Margins:

0.5 Length (1-2)

Dead Head for Second.  

1st Brisbane Boy's College

2nd The Southport School & Gregory Terrace 

Gregory Terrace - Bow: A. Smith, 2: D. Hoffman, 3: P. Bliss, Str: K. English, Cox: J. Cockerill

Other Competing Crews: 

Church of England Grammar School - Bow: I. Pearson, 2: D. McDougall, 3: D. Adam, Str: G. S. Box, Cox: L. Jones, Coach: P. A. Krebs

1958 Gregory Terrace Third IV

Pages 60-61, St. Joseph's College Gregory Terrace 1958 School Newsletter 


All Schools' Fourth Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: 2.46.00

Margins:

1 Length (1-2)

1 Length (2-3)

1st Church of England Grammar School - Bow: I Douglas, 2: A. McMillan, 3: S. Campbell, Str: G. Wightman, Cox: L. Jones

2nd The Southport School

3rd Brisbane Grammar School

Other Competing Crews: 

Gregory Terrace - Bow: R. Pyke, 2: J. McMahon, 3: P. FLynn, Str: P. Ruffin, Cox: P. Wall  



All Schools' Fifth Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: 2:48.00

Margins:

1 Canvas

0.5 Length 

1st Church of England Grammar School (a) - Bow: P. Forster, 2: A. Curry, 3: T. Potter, Str: J. taylor, Cox: F. Beckey 

2nd Brisbane Grammar School

3rd Brisbane Boys' College

Other Competing Crews:

Church of England Grammar School (b) - Bow: A. Macfie, 2: J. Bright, 3: J. B. Burton, Str: D. Teal, Cox: W. Walker 

Gregory Terrace - Bow: A. Fanning, 2: R. Lesina, 3: P. Curtis, Str: E. Myers, Cox: R. Gunelach 



All Schools Sixth Four

Distance: 0.75 Mile

Winning Time: 2:50.00

Margins:

2 ft (1-2)

2 ft (1-2)

1st Brisbane Grammar School 

2nd Brisbane Boys' College

3rd Brisbane Grammar School

Other Competing Crews:

Church of England Grammar School (a) - Bow: P. Thomson, 2: R. Reid, 3: P. Schmidt, Str: B. Cool, Cox: D. McCann

Church of England Grammar School (b) - Bow: W. Smith, 2: R. Grainger-Smith, 3: D. Lovelock, Str: A. Gifford, Cox: R. Stuart 

Gregory Terrace - Bow: J. Peart, 2: J. Brown, 3: A. Rimanoczy, Str: W. Bourke, Cox: P. Cole  



All Schools' Seventh Four

Distance: 0.5 Mile

Winning Time: 3:26.00

Margins:

2 Lengths (1-2)

1 Canvas (2-3)

1st Church of England School (a) - Bow: G. Law, 2: R. Yeates, 3: D. Tomlinson, Str: P. Conroy, Cox: R. Stuart 

2nd Church of England School (b) - Bow: R. Kingwell, 2: E. Bailey-Tart, 3: M. Muspratt, Str: R. Ranson, Cox: B. Bandidt

3rd Brisbane Boys’ College

Other Competing Crews:

Church of England School Grammar (c) - Bow: R. Kingwell, 2: E. Bailey-Tart, 3: M. Muspratt, Str: R. Ranson, Cox: B. Bandidt



Sources

Page 54, Brisbane Telegraph, Wednesday 9th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/details/9-april-1958

Page 38, Brisbane Telegraph, Thursday 10th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/details/10-april-1958

Page 34, Brisbane Telegraph, Friday 11th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/details/11-april-1958 

Page 22, Brisbane Telegraph Saturday 12th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/upload/

Page 24, Brisbane Telegraph Saturday 12th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/details/12-april-1958d

Page 13, The Courier-Mail, Friday 11th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121105412

Page 13, The Courier-Mail, Saturday 12th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121113008

Page n/a, The Sunday Mail, Sunday 13th April 1958 Edition (Race Description) https://archive.org/details/img-20201121113226

Page 36, The Sunday Mail, Sunday 13th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121113152

Page 36, The Sunday Mail, Sunday 13th April 1958 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121113147

Pages 60-61, St. Joseph's College Gregory Terrace 1958 School Newsletter https://media.digistormhosting.com.au/sjgt-au-qld-91-oldboys/documents/1958-St-Joseph-College-Terrace.pdf?mtime=20180403073231

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

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