The Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation

The Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup

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.

Gold Cup Winners

The celebrated names of the international rowing elite have since been engraved on the Gold Cup.

  • 1920 John B. Kelly (Vesper – United States)

  • 1922 Walter M. Hoover (Duluth Boat Club – United States)

  • 1923 W.E. Garrett Gilmore (Bachelors Barge – United States)

  • 1924 Paul V. Costello (Vesper – United States)

  • 1924 Jack Beresford (England)

  • 1925 Jack Beresford (England)

  • 1928 H.R. Pearce (Australia)

  • 1935 Charles A. Campbell (Canada)

  • 1936 Gustav Schaefer (Germany)

  • 1940 Joseph W. Burk (Penn A.C.R.A. – United States)

  • 1948 Mervyn Wood (Australia)

  • 1950 Mervyn Wood (Australia)

  • 1952 Jurij Tjukalov (Soviet Union)

  • 1956 Vyacheslav Ivanov (Soviet Union)

  • 1958 Vyacheslav Ivanov (Soviet Union)

  • 1960 Vyacheslav Ivanov (Soviet Union)

  • 1962 Vyacheslav Ivanov (Soviet Union)

  • 1964 Vyacheslav Ivanov (Soviet Union)

  • 1966 Don Spero (NYAC – United States)

  • 2011 Mirka Knapkova (Czech Republic), Iztok Čop (Slovenia)

  • 2014 Kim Brennan (Australia), Kjetil Borch (Norway)

  • 2015 Kim Brennan (Australia), Kjetil Borch (Norway)

  • 2016 Kim Brennan (Australia), Damir Martin (Croatia)


The course for the Gold Cup race and Gold Cup Corporate Challenge races is a 750-meter straightaway between Girard Avenue Bridge and the start of 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 toeach winner, and his and her names will be inscribed on the base of the historic GoldCup, alongside of some of history’s greatest single scullers.First, second and third place winning boats in each heat of the Gold Cup CorporateChallenge will also win medals. Awards will be presented by five-time Olympic goldmedalist Sir Steve Redgrave.

Corporate Challenge

Olympic and elite rowers from across the globe will converge on Philadelphia onSaturday, October 29, 2016 to compete in the prestigious Gold Cup single scullingchampionship— and your employees can have an opportunity to be a part of theexcitement, meet Olympic athletes, and learn leadership skills. This is not a sponsorship program: It is a unique and memorable teambuilding event for your employees.

The Gold Challenge Cup Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand sculling opportunities among Philadelphia-area youth, in partnership with Drexel University’s crew program, is hosting a Gold Cup Corporate Challenge race to be held immediately preceding the international Gold Cup race at the historic Head of the Schuylkill regatta, near Boathouse Row in Philadelphia.

Your company can enter teams of eight employees to row in a 750-meter “sprint” event, as thousands of spectators and media watch the action along Kelly Drive. It’s a great branding opportunity for your firm, as well as a fun teambuilding event for your employees — even those with NO rowing experience! Your teams will receive up to six professionally coached learn-to-row lessons or practices for experienced boats by Drexel staff leading up to the event, and equipment and coxswains are provided.

Your firm will also be prominently listed in the Regatta Program and on its website and social media feeds, seen by tens of thousands of high school, collegiate, and adult athletes and their families. Participants will also be invited to a special meet-and-greet event with the elite Gold Cup competitors, as well as the world’s most outstanding rower of all time, Sir Steven Redgrave, the Gold Cup event Honorary Chairman. Sir Redgrave is a five-time Olympic Gold Medalist in five consecutive Olympics from 1984-2000.

Each participating company will also receive a pair of tickets for a senior executive representative to attend the Gold Cup Gala at the Westin Philadelphia, on the evening of

Saturday, October 29.

The Gold Challenge Cup Foundation is a nonprofit organization and a portion of your entry is tax deductible. The fee structure is as follows:

First team entry: $6,000

Additional entries: $5,000

Entries are limited, so don’t delay — reserve your spot today!


Rebecca Katz at phillygoldcup@gmail.com

484.928.0577 (mobile)




The Gold Cup event will be a“sprint” race, approximately750 meters in length.


Directions, hotel recommendations, parking information and maps are available on our partner site – Head of the Schuylkill Regatta – www.hosr.org.


You can also find detailed information about the best place to watch the race; as well as, information about our Festival Tent, at www.hosr.org.