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History of the Queensland GPS Head of the River rowing regatta

1960 QLD GPS Head of the River

The 1960 GPS Head of the River was conducted on Saturday 9th April 1960 on the Milton-Toowong Reach of the Brisbane River. 15000 people seized the various vantage points along the 2000 Metre Olympic Course which began opposite the Tramway Building on Coronation Drive and terminated just past the Regatta Hotel. A record 57 crews rowed in eight races. 

Below are some excerpts from Brisbane Newspapers written in the lead-up to the regatta. 

“Rowing experts have elevated Brisbane Grammar to joint favouritism with the Southport School for the Queensland Great Public School Head of the River eights race on the Milton-Toowong reach on Saturday [9th April 1960]. Much of Grammar’s training has been clouded in secrecy and coach Norman Hurst, following a pattern set in recent years by him, has kept the hopes of his crew secret.

On the other hand, coach Clavill Bere considers Southport crew the best and strongest he has coached. Southport are looking forward to winning the race for the third successive year, a feat only equalled by Church of England Grammar (1939-40-41) and beaten by Brisbane Boys’ College (1949-50-51-52). Southport and CEGS crews average 12st 6lbs and will be the heaviest crews in the race. Lightest crew will be Gregory Terrace at 11st 7lb.

Terrace and Brisbane State High School are not expected to be winning chances, but the other two crews, Brisbane Boys’ College and Church of England Grammar could be surprise packets. BBC has sharpened its work in the last week and intends to stick with Southport. CEGS has worked more miles in training than any other crew.”

Page 53, The Telegraph, Thursday April 7th 1960

“Coach Clavill Bere considers Southport the fittest crew, he has coached in 12 years. They are slight favourites from Brisbane Grammar and, particularly if the breeze remains to make conditions choppy, the race is likely to be decided between these two schools. The six crews spent today in light work at 6 P.M., coxwains and strokes will attend a talk by Brisbane District Rowing Association officials at O’Connor Boathouse.

Final polishing in the last 16 days has improved Brisbane State High School, Church of England Grammar, Brisbane Boys College and Gregory Terrace crews, but training and race form does not suggest they will beat either Southport or Grammar. Under new rules which will require coxwains in eights and first fours to weigh 7.12 or more, Grammar and State High coxswains in the main race will have to carry weights to reach the limit.

 State High cox B. J. Irwin weighs 7.3 and Grammar cox G. M. Adsett only 6st 6lbs. Southport and Churchie are the heaviest crews averaging 12st 6lbs. The breeze could be a worry to lighter crews but Southport and Grammar are well off with specially modified shells.”

Page 47, The Telegraph, Friday April 8, 1960 


“Southport is after treble.

Added incentive of a rowing hattrick could swing tomorrow’s Head of the River to the high-rating continental-style Southport eight

on form there is little between Southport and the equally heavy Brisbane Grammar eight. Both will be rowing in £600 “banana” type racing shells rom the same mould. Southport and Grammar are equal favourites, followed by “Churchie” with nothing between the others-Terrace, B.B.C. and State High. Southport, with a “Head hattrick in sight” have a definite psychological advantage. They also have the added advantage of a crafty rowing tactician in coach Clavill Bere.

Bere is sure to push his crew to an early lead and let them be contest to sit tight until the sprint area. The clash for the early lead should be one of the features of the race. Grammar coach, Norm Hirst, has his eight working beautifully, and is sure to have Grammar fight out the early lead with Southport. The pace set could burn out the lighter crews. The real surprise should come from the light but lively Terrace Eight. They are not the most stylish oarsman around but have tremendous drive and too condition. 

The hard working “Churchie” crew, which has come through a most rigid training programme in top form, must be considered a place. B.B.C and State High are sound crews. State High is probably the most improved eight in G.P.S. but how they can handle the early pace will decide their place chances.”

Page 19, The Courier-Mail, Friday April 8 1960 

“Curfew on head ‘8s’

G.P.S. Head of the River crews were in bed early under a strict pre-race curfew last night 

All crews had light workouts yesterday and spent most of the day preparing racing shells and rigging and listening to final instructions. The Southport School eight were still favourites from Brisbane Grammar in bank-side betting last night.  “Churchie’ were tipped as the place-filling crew. Of the others, State High, Terrace and B.B.C., Terrace are most likely to cause a surprise”

Page 18, The Courier-Mail, Saturday April 9th 1960 

The 6 First VIII crews lined up in this order from Coronation Drive: No. 1 Brisbane State High School, No. 2 Brisbane Boys’ College, No. 3 The Southport School, No. 4 Brisbane Grammar School, No. 5 Gregory Terrace and No. 6 Church of England Grammar School 

 

Organising Committee 

Great Public Schools Association 


All Schools Championship Eight

The O'Connor Cup

Distance: 2000 Metres

Winning Time: 6:23.00 

Margins:

0.75 Length (1-2)

1 Canvas (2-3)

1st Brisbane Grammar School (light Blue, Dark Blue) - Bow: M. D. Bowmaker 12st 10lbs, 2: I. C. Lavery 11st 9lbs, 3: D. R. Thomas 11st 10lbs, 4: J. Flutter 12st 1lb, 5: B. Summersgill 14st 9lbs, 6: P. J. Clutterbuck 12st 2lbs, 7: F. K. Truman 13st, Str: L. J. Warren 12st 1lb, Cox: G. M. Adsett 6st 6lbs, Coach: N. Hirst 

2nd The Southport School (Maroon, Blue, White) - Bow: M. J. Johnson 11st 9lbs, 2: G. G. L. Greenup 12st 8lbs, 3: W. L. Beresford 12st 8lbs, 4: L. J. McIntosh 12st, 5: B. D. McCullough 13st 7lbs, 6: J. N. L. Armstrong 12st 9lbs, 7: P. A. Rae 12st 10lbs, Str: G. W. Isaacs 11st 11lbs, Cox: I. W. Black 8st 12lbs, Coach: C. Bere

3rd Church of England Grammar School (Blue and Grey) - Bow: B. Cool 12st, 2: C. H. Tranberg 11st 7lbs, 3: P. J. Schmidt 11st 7lbs, 4: P. A. Conroy 13st 3lbs, 5: R. A. Ridgeway 14st 1lbs, 6: T. I. Tassell 12st 11lbs, 7: J. B. Burton 12st 7lbs, Str: A. E. Gifford 11st 12lbs, Cox: D. J. McCann 8st 4lbs, Coach: J. Thodey

Other Competing Crews:

Brisbane State High School (Cerise and Blue)- Bow: R. G. Muller 10st 5lbs, 2: B. Morton 10st 8lbs, 3: R. Lauder 10st 12lbs, 4: D. R. Watt 13st 8lbs, 5: D. C. Palmer 13st 4lbs, 6: J. R. Griffin 12st 1lb, 7: G. Payne 11st, Str: R. J. Jakins 11st 10lbs, Cox: B. J. Irwin 7st 3lbs

Brisbane Boys’ College (Green and Black) - Bow: P. Hemming 10st 2lbs, 2: R. G. Bentley 11st 8lbs, 3: C. H. Bartlett 12st 3lbs, 4: R. J. Grant 12st 2lbs, 5: R. K. Dunn 13st 3lbs, 6: I. F. Simpson 11st 8lbs, 7: K. D. Gordon 12st 3lbs, Str: B. Hemming 10st 1lbs, Cox: L. Hemming 8st 7lbs

Gregory Terrace (Red and Black) - Bow: J. Peart 10st 12lbs, 2: F. Moloney 11st 3lbs, 3: K. O’Hanlon 11st 10lbs, 4: B. Ward 11st 7lbs, 5: I. McCann 12st, 6: A. Rimanoczy 11st 3lbs, 7: A. Fanning 11st, Str: B. Moroney 12st 2lbs, Cox: R. Parry 8st



First Four


Second Four


Third Four


Fourth Four


Fifth Four


Sixth Four


Seventh Four


Eighth Four


Sources

Page 53, The Telegraph, Thursday April 7th 1960 Edition https://archive.org/details/7-april-1960

Page 47, The Telegraph, Friday April 8th 1960 Edition https://archive.org/details/8-april-1960

Page 19, The Courier-Mail, Friday April 8th 1960 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121115409

Page 18, The Courier-Mail, Saturday April 9th 1960 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121115542

Page 44, The Sunday-Mail, Sunday April 10th 1960 Edition https://archive.org/details/img-20201121115748

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

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