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1931 APS Head of the River

The sixty-fourth Head of the River was raced on the Upper Yarra course thus enabling a three crew final.

The races were conducted on 14th and 15th May before a crowd of 100,000 spectators. Although not a public holiday, Melbourne was certainly hit by regatta day fever and it dominated both sporting and social activities all day and night.

However there was some controversy over the change of date. The Head-Masters decided, as an experiment this year, to hold the races on the last Thursday and Friday of the term, thereby not interfereing with the terms work. The extra week was appreciated by the coaches.


Starter: H J Green

Umpire and Timekeeper: T Crosthwaite

Judge: H T James

Clerk of Scales: W B Griffiths

Despatch Steward: T Mannix

Mark Shea

Mark Shea took over the Xavier College crew in 1928 and had immediate success winning in both 1928 & 1929. He was a fine all round athlete and rower with the Civil service Rowing Club which later merged with Melbourne Rowing Club. The 1967 centenary program stated: " For years Mark took a leading part in rowing at Xavier, and those privileged to be associated with him look back with gratitude to his guiding influence on their lives. No doubt they enjoyed his occasional headers into the river when concentration on his crew made his bicycle riding erratic, but nothing he ever did lost him the respect and love of Xavierians."

Head of the River

Time: 4:53.5
Margins: 1 length and 2.5 lengths

1st Melbourne Grammar - Bow: E D Scott, 2: J W P Wilson, 3: R S Wilmoth, 4: T W Saxton, 5: F E C Loxton, 6: K F Cole, 7: D J Wilson, Str: T H Collins, Cox: R Eckersley, Cch: Walter E "Wally: Ricketts
2nd Wesley College - Bow: D A V Eastaugh, 2: R S Ley, 3: W d'a Curtis, 4: A W Mitchell, 5: D V Peck, 6: C D Camberlain, 7: J McCulloch, Str: J G Girdwood, Cox: W H Mason-Cox, Cch: Charles W Donald
3rd Xavier College - Bow: R J Calvert, 2: J N Coghlan, 3: G J Perrignon, 4: D G Sheahan, 5: J P Roche, 6: R T McMinn, 7: Gerald F Jones, Str: Jim T Gartlan, Cox: J R England, Cch: Mark Shea

Melbourne Grammar crew


Wesley College crew


Xavier College crew


Other crews were:
Geelong Grammar - Bow: J W Leitch, 2: H M Rutter, 3: H G Coombe, 4: J C Barclay, 5: W E Lloyd, 6: C M Howell, 7: N C Campbell, Str: R E White, Cox: B H O'Beirne, Cch: William H Pincott
Scotch College - Bow: John F Ross, 2: Albert E Carlyle, 3: Roy Ferguson, 4: Henry D L Thompson, 5: George I Anderson, 6: Ian M Bertram, 7: Colin S McKay, Str: William D Refshauge, Cox: Kenneth F E Cook, Cch: Charles W B Littlejohn
Geelong College - Bow: J K Watson, 2: J P Stoker, 3: F G Funston, 4: S W Robertson, 5: H C Tippett, 6: G M Biggin, 7: D L John, Str: A R Hinchliffe, Cox: E M Emerson, Cch: C J Collyer

Geelong Grammar crew


Scotch College crew

A E Carlyle, H D L Thompson, Dr C W B Littlejohn, R Ferguson, J F Ross
I M Bertram, W D Refshauge, C McKay, G I Anderson
K F E Cook
Photo from the Scotch Collegian

Geelong College crew


E1: 1st MGS, 2nd SC - Time: 5:22.5, Margin: 3 lengths
E2: 1st WC, 2nd GGS - Time: 5:22.5, Margin: 1/2 length
E3: 1st XC, 2nd GC - Time: 5:30, Margin: 1 length

Second Crews

(This race was conducted amongst Melbourne metropolitan schools on the Upper Yarra on 9th May and was not conducted at the Head of the River regatta)

Time: 2:41.6
Margins: Canvas and 1 foot

1st Wesley College - Bow: N F Pescott, 2: C D A Hanna, 3: A J Horsefield, 4: W D Hales, 5: T R J Walduck, 6: M J Poysden, 7: M R Millikan, Str: H K Richardson, Cox: R J Mason-Cox, Cch: R J D Turnbull
2nd Melbourne Grammar
- Bow: P N Gunn, 2: A Aitken, 3: H Haseltine, 4: P J Alston, 5: C G Pitts, 6: K BBurnside, 7: J H Thomas, Str: R S Forge, Cox: R S McKillop, Cch: H R Hunt
3rd Scotch College
- Bow: B K Armstrong, 2: J D Balfe, 3: R Drummond, 4: D R Stone, 5: J B Todd, 6: R B Hume, 7: W J White, Str: J R Collie, Cox: S N M Stirling, Cch: C G Boyes
4th Xavier College
- Bow: E Fakhry, 2: P Trahair, 3: M Redding, 4: J McCaffrey, 5: R Whitehead, 6: A Grant, 7: C McLean, Str: A England, Cox: J McConvill

Third Crews

(This race was conducted amongst Melbourne metropolitan schools on the Upper Yarra on 9th May and was not conducted at the Head of the River regatta)

Time: 2:40.0
Margins: 3 feet and a canvas

1st Wesley College - Bow: W J V Watson, 2: F L Jones, 3: L N Lamble, 4: J B Curtis, 5: T E Ingpen, 6: G C Hartnell, 7: N S Hosking, Str: L M Brown, Cox: A W Stubbs, Cch: W G Rolfe
2nd Melbourne Grammar
- Bow: B A Carnegie, 2: W J Rosenthal, 3: H P Braddock, 4: B J Hoffent, 5: D A Calder, 6: D R Brown, 7: W H Miller, Str: P S Teesdale-Smith, Cox: Griffith, Cch: C R Franklin
3rd Scotch College
- Bow: D T Galt, A L Kong, 3: J S McK Stewart, 4: L F Orr, 5: A R Paton, 6: B Widmer, 7: F W Mitchell, Str: N J Weston, Cox: N Nicholson, Cch: G G Powell
4th Xavier College
- Bow: A Aird, 2: J Smith, 3: A Gaillard, 4: B Murphy, 5: D Firth, 6: F Barlee, 7: B Buxton, Str: A Rice, Cox: C O'Loghlen, Cchs: W Fox and J Cass

Fourth Crews

(This race was conducted amongst Melbourne metropolitan schools on the Upper Yarra on 9th May and was not conducted at the Head of the River regatta)

Time: 2:32.4
Margin: 0.3 length

1st Melbourne Grammar - Bow: J G Wilson, 2: D V Hyams, 3: I P James, 4: H M Sandford, 5: E G Arnold, 6: S J Fraser, 7: T I R Walker, Str: J E King, Cox: W M Nodrum, Cch: I E Giles
2nd Scotch College
- Bow: P Komesaroff, 2: A Goldsmith, 3: P Peltier, 4: D R Gauld, 5: C C Wark, 6: A Sloan, 7: K B Hume, Str: J O Lavarack, Cox: A Addison, Cch: David B Skewes
3rd Melbourne Grammar No 2 crew

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