Rio’s Olympic Rowing Champions to Compete for Gold in Philadelphia

Top international scullers to race on the Schuylkill and connect with Philadelphia student rowers 

Philadelphia, PA – September 6, 2016– Eight of the biggest names in rowing — including the gold and silver single-scull medalists from the Rio Olympic Games – will compete on the Schuylkill River in the 2016 Philadelphia Gold Cup, hosted by the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, on October 29, 2016.

This year’s male competitors will include 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Mahé Drysdale (NZL), Olympic Silver Medalist Damir Martin (CRO), Olympian Angel Fournier Rodriguez (CUB) and 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist and defending Gold Cup champion Kjetil Borch (NOR).

The female competition will consist of Olympic Gold Medalist and defending Philadelphia Gold Cup Champion Kim Brennan (AUS), Olympic Silver Medalist Dr. Genevra “Gevvie” Stone (USA), Olympian Emma Twigg (NZL) and Olympian Jeannine Gmelin (SUI).

This year’s competitors represent single sculling’s most illustrious Olympic champions. The 2016 Philadelphia Gold Cup is very likely to showcase a re-match of both the men’s and women’s finals from the Rio Olympics as well as a symbolic passing of the torch to the younger generation of scullers.

While in Philadelphia, on October 25, 2016, the Olympians will “coach” teams of local high school crews in an indoor rowing machine relay race, with proceeds from the event being used to start indoor rowing programs at local, lower-income middle schools.

”The Gold Cup is not only the most exciting rowing competition outside of the Olympics, but it’s a truly unique opportunity. When kids meet the Olympians they’re inspired to develop a passion for sport, healthy living, and hard work,” said Bill McNabb, chairman of the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation.

The Philadelphia Gold Cup is a “sprint” race, approximately 750 meters in length. The race’s shorter length is designed to foster close competition and down-to-the-wire finishes. The race will occur in the middle four lanes of the Schuylkill River, positioned perfectly to view from the banks of the Schuylkill River. 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.

The Philadelphia Gold Cup will take place in conjunction with The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, which is scheduled for Saturday October 29th and Sunday October 30th.

Philadelphia Gold Cup History

The Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup – Philadelphia Gold Cup was commissioned by the Schuylkill Navy in 1920 to honor the undisputed world champion in the sport of single scull rowing.  It pitted the world’s best amateur single male scullers against each other in a sprint race on the Schuylkill River. John B. Kelly Sr., of Philadelphia’s Vesper Boat Club, was the first recipient. In the mid-1960s, the trophy and competition disappeared.  In 1996 after a long absence, the trophy was rediscovered and thanks to The Gold Challenge Cup Foundation the event returned to its glory in 2011. Since its revival the competition has grown to include the world’s top female scullers.

About the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta

The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with more than 350 volunteers who work year-round to produce Philadelphia’s largest and most inclusive regatta, welcoming nearly 9,000 competitors and 40,000 spectators annually on the last weekend in October. The weekend features races for high school, collegiate, masters, adaptive, and elite rowers, and a free two-day Fall Festival amidst the backdrop of the beautiful and historic Fairmount Park. Last year, competitors traveled from 29 states and 10 countries to be part of this fall head racing tradition.


Elle Carolan

Philadelphia Gold Cup


To learn more about The Gold Cup, visit