Head of the Schoolgirls (Victoria)

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Head of the Schoolgirls
Head of the schoolgirls logo rv 2008.jpg
VenueBarwon River
Coordinates38°09′51″S 144°20′36″E / 38.164053°S 144.343237°E / -38.164053; 144.343237
Most recent18 March 2018 (2018-03-18)

The Victorian Head of the Schoolgirls regatta is contested between girls at schools from all across the state of Victoria Australia. Schools from the Girls Sport Victoria (GSV) and also Associated Public Schools of Victoria (APS), as well as smaller school rowing groups which enter under a rowing club banner, compete in a range of events over 1000m for the Year 9 and Year 10 events or 1500m for the Open events (typically girls in years 11 and 12).

Whereas in most rowing, coxswains can be of either sex, in the HOSG all coxswains must be female and attend the same school as the rowers of the crew that they are coxing.

The racing is usually held over an entire weekend (Friday afternoon, Saturday & Sunday) in mid-March on the Barwon River in Geelong. In 2017 the regatta was held on the third weekend of March, with Open and Year 10 event heats on Friday the 17th, Year 9 event heats, all repechages and Open and Year 10 event semifinals on Saturday the 18th and Year 9 event semifinals and all finals on Sunday the 19th.

Head of the Schoolgirls is the largest single sex regatta in the southern hemisphere, with races starting every 3 minutes over the 3 days. In 2017, over 2100 girls participated in 48 events. In order to keep the regatta within a reasonable time frame and prevent large schools inundating the divisions of the smaller boats (eg. single sculls), girls are only permitted to race in one event over the weekend.


The first girl to row within the A.P.S. was a lone sculler from Geelong Grammar in 1972. There were 32 girls rowing by 1975, and in 1981, girls began competing at the Senior Regatta with Geelong Grammar, Geelong College, Melbourne Girls Grammar, Morongo Girls' College and Lauriston racing in 1st and 2nd Fours over 800m. Methodist Ladies' College, and Carey joined in 1982, with Carey boating a First Four in 1983.

1984 was the final year that non APS school girls participated in the APS Head of the River, with seven girls' crews rowing in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Four events. The following year saw the regatta revert to an all APS event, with only Geelong Grammar and Geelong College boating a First Four. Carey reappeared in the First Fours in 1986, the same year that Wesley joined, and with Caulfield joining in 1987, all five co-educational schools were boating a first four over 1500m. Around this time, the Principal of the Morongo Girls' College initiated a meeting that established the Head of School Girls' Regatta (HOSG).


Last year of schoolgirl participation in APS Head of the River. Principal of Morongo initiates meeting that establishes the HOSG Regatta.


MLC host first HOSG in Ballarat - The Regatta consisted of Heats and Finals for 7 events in which 16 schools and 240 girls competed during a single day. There is no record of the number of spectators who attended. A strong cross wind at Ballarat made conditions very interesting for crews and officials.


Ballarat Grammar and local schools host HOSG - 9 events.


Wesley College host HOSG in Geelong - 9 events


Lauriston host HOSG - 12 events


Loreto Mandeville Hall host HOSG - 13 events


MLC host HOSG - 14 events including Eights for first time


MGGS host HOSG - 14 events. HOSG Regatta Committee incorporates as an Association.


Morongo host HOSG - 18 events. For the first time, the regatta is held over 2 days.


Genazzano host HOSG - 22 events including Quad Sculls for first time. Timing system introduced.


St Catherine's host HOSG - 24 events.


Lauriston host HOSG - 26 events.


Carey Grammar host HOSG - 27 events, 38 schools and 1275 competitors


Loreto Mandeville Hall host HOSG - 28 events. Active For Life becomes Sponsor of HOSG Regatta.


Sacred Heart College host HOSG - 31 events.


Firbank host HOSG - 34 events.


MLC host HOSG - 34 events, 41 schools and 1474 competitors. Sykes Racing becomes naming rights sponsor of HOSG Regatta.


Melbourne Girls Grammar again host the regatta - 34 Events. Professional Event Managers, SSDF, appointed by the host school. City of Greater Geelong provides support for temporary infrastructure costs at this Major Event.


The Committee hosts the regatta, replacing the Host School arrangement. SSDF is again the Event Manager, with the Geelong Rowing Association assuming a significant support role. a Long term agreement is entered into between Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta Committee, the City of Greater Geelong, and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority to maintain the regatta at Geelong.


The 371 crews with their associated 2009 athletes came from 41 Victorian schools. Entries varied from a lone sculler and coach to 195 participants from a large girls' school. There were 28 fastest times recorded during the two days racing. For the first time Rowing Victoria carried out the dual role of providing the officials and being the Event Manager.


On the realigned Barwon River course the increased use of repechage for 1500m crews was a great success and the new Judges' Box proved its worth . There was a noticeable increase in single scull entries.


New Events to the program were the senior third eight.


New Events to the program were the year 9 and 10 division five quad sculls.


New Events to the program were the year 9 and 10 division six quad sculls.


New Events to the program were the year 9 and 10 division seven quad sculls. This year was also the last year the regatta was held purely on the Saturday and Sunday.


Changes to the regatta format included moving the Open event heats to Friday afternoon.


New Events to the program were the Open Double Scull and Year 9 division eight quad scull. Changes to the regatta format included the introduction of exhaustive finals for year 10 events.


According to the 2018 HOSG regatta Bulletin, the regatta format was updated to provide for exhaustive finals for all crews, at all year levels[1]. If necessary, the addition of a fifth round of racing (heats-repechages-qtr finals-semis-finals) was added to the program to a number of events with more than 16 competitors. The open 8 division 4 was also added to the program for the first time. Unfortunately due to extremely windy conditions, the finals day of racing on Sunday was largely cancelled. No A Final races were rowed in the 2018 edition, with all racing being cancelled after just five year 9 Coxed Quad scull minor finals had been held. The HOSG committee subsequently provided a specially minted a special 2018 A Finallist Medal for all members of crews who achieved that position.


The 2019 edition of the HOSG regatta was the first to hold the exhaustive finals for all divisions and all boat classes of all year levels. There were 473 races over three days including 151 races on the Sunday, finals day. Over 2100 athletes competed, in 48 events, making it one of the largest HOSG entry fields.[2]


The first HOSG was held in 1985 at Ballarat with seven events, and 240 competitors from 16 schools. In 1987, the event moved to Geelong where it has been held each year since.

In 2018, the HOSG organizing committee awarded the rights to hold the regatta in Geelong for a further 5-year period from 2020-2024 inclusive.


Each year a different school would host the regatta, but as it grew in size and popularity (from 9 events in 1987 to 321 crews and 2009 competitors in 2005), the Head of the Schoolgirl Regatta Committee decided to contract the event management and official duties. 2005 was the inaugural year in which Rowing Victoria conducted the regatta on behalf of the HOSG regatta committee. Throughout the history of the regatta, the boat racing officials have been through Rowing Victoria.


Racing at the Head of the Schoolgirls is in Eights, Coxed Quad Sculls, Coxed Fours, Double Sculls and Single Sculls across multiple divisions and year levels. Additional divisions have been added over the years to accommodate the increased popularity of schoolgirl rowing. As of 2018 the regatta offers the following:

Year 9 (1000m)[edit]

Coxed Quad Scull (8 Divisions); Coxed Four (8 Divisions); Single Scull (1 Division)

Year 10 (1000m)[edit]

Coxed Quad Scull (7 Divisions); Coxed Four (6 Divisions); Single Scull (1 Division)

Open (1500m)[edit]

Eight (4 Divisions); Coxed Quad Scull (5 Divisions); Coxed Four (6 Divisions); Double Scull (1 Division) Single Scull (2 Divisions)

Morongo Medals[edit]

Those girls who have competed in the Head of the Schoolgirls Regatta for three or more years, and are in Year 12, are eligible to receive a Morongo Medal. These medals have been struck to commemorate Morongo Girls' College's contribution to the HOSG as a competitor before closing and to recognize its supporters' club, the Chirnside Club, as a valued contributor to the Schoolgirls. The medal's inscription - "Sint lucernae ardentes" is translated as "Keep the lamp burning".


Female School Eight Open Div 1[edit]

Female School Coxed Quad Scull Open Div 1[edit]

Female School Four Open Div 1[edit]

Female School Double Scull Open Div 1[edit]

Female School Single Scull Open Div 1[edit]


The school that has the highest medal tally for the regatta is deemed to be the Head of the Schoolgirls Champions. While no trophy is awarded for this feat, it is a source of great pride for the recipient school.

See also[edit]


  • "APS Head of the River - Australian Rowing History". Australian Rowing History.
  • "Head of School Girls - Australian Rowing History". Australian Rowing History.
  • "HOSG - Rowing Victoria - revolutioniseSPORT". Rowing Victoria.

External links[edit]