World’s top scullers vie for The Gold Cup
October 29, 2016
@ Head of the Schuylkill Regatta
The Gold Cup is the most storied race in Philadelphia’s rich rowing history and one of the most exciting rowing competitions outside of the Olympics. The Gold Cup event will be a “sprint” race, approximately 750 meters in length. The shorter length of the Gold Cup races will make for close competition and exciting finishes. The race will take place in the middle four lanes of the Schuylkill River, near iconic Boathouse Row. Prize money of $10,000 will be awarded to the Champion; $5,000 for second place, $2,500 for third place and $1,000 for fourth place. A Gold Cup medal will be given to each winner.
In 2015, World Champions descended on Philadelphia to battle for the prestigious Gold Cup. Kim Brennan (AUS) took the Gold Cup title for the second year in a row, despite a strong challenge by newcomer Carling Zeeman (CAN). On the men’s side, Kjetil Borch (NOR) held off Olympic Gold Medalist Mahe Drysdale (NZL) to defend his Gold Cup title. This year, the Gold Cup contest comes on the heels of the Rio Summer Olympics. Our competitors will include the Olympic gold medalists — Drysdale and Brennan –but the title of world’s best single sculler will be defined by a different kind of gold — the Gold Cup! Can Kim Brennan and Kjetil Borch hold their titles for a third consecutive year??
The world’s most outstanding rower of all time, former British rower Sir Steve Redgrave, serves as The Gold Cup Honorary Chairman. Redgrave won an incredible five gold medals in successive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000, as well as a bronze medal. Today, Redgrave devotes his time to the support of rowing and sport globally, as well as philanthropy, through the Steve Redgrave Fund, which uses sport to bring about positive change in the lives of disadvantaged children. Open and collegiate single scullers will compete in The Redgrave Challenge at HOSR.
The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta will host The Gold Cup challenge, bringing two great Philadelphia traditions together. The Gold Cup is the most storied race in Philadelphia’s rich rowing history, and HOSR is emblematic of the City’s rich rowing tradition with rowers of all skill levels competing across a diverse field of events.
The Gold Cup, a near century-old tradition
The Philadelphia Challenge Cup event, otherwise known as “The Gold Cup,” began in 1920, during the heyday of Philadelphia rowing. The event pitted the best amateur male single scullers in the world against each other in a sprint race on the famed Schuylkill River course. Philadelphia’s own John B. Kelly Sr. was the first recipient. The contest, and the cup, disappeared in the early 1960s, only to reemerge in 2011 after a 50-year hiatus. A private group of Philadelphia rowing enthusiasts rediscovered the Gold Cup and reinstated the event and tradition to its rightful place in single scull rowing prominence, with the positive expansion of the competition to women. Iztok Čop (SLO) and Mirka Knapkova (CZE) claimed victory, and both went on to earn medals in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The Gold Cup 2016
This year, The Gold Cup event will span 750 meters in the middle four lanes of the Schuylkill River, near iconic Boathouse Row, with world champions and Olympic medalists competing to have their names added to The Gold Cup trophy. The shorter length of the Gold Cup races will make for close competition and exciting finishes. Prize money of $10,000 will be awarded to the Champion; $5,000 for second place, $2,500 for third place and $1,000 for fourth place. A Gold Cup medal will be given to each winner. The day’s events will also feature a Gold Cup Corporate Challenge in partnership with Drexel University’s rowing program. Area corporations will enter teams of employees to vie for their own place in history as Gold Cup champions.
Rowing is the ultimate expression of the power of a team. You can see how much you can accomplish if you channel energy towards a common purpose.Bill McNabb
Countdown to Race!