Benedict Tufnell

World’s Best Scullers Prepare To Race For $37K In Prizes This Weekend

by Benedict Tufnell

Eight of the world’s best male and female scullers will compete on Saturday 27th October for a share of the $37,000 (US) in prize money which is up for grabs at the 2018 Philadelphia Gold Cup.

The invitation-only race, hosted by the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, sees single scullers sprint side-by-side over a short, 750m, four-lane course finishing at Philadelphia’s infamous ‘Boathouse Row.’

“This group of young athletes is arguably one of the strongest and fastest we’ve seen … “

The winners of the men’s and women’s races will each receive the top prize of $10,000 cash. $5,000 will be awarded to second place, $2,500 to third and $1,000 to fourth.

Racing for the top prize in the men’s and women’s events will be reigning world single scull champions Kjetil Borch (NOR) and Sanita Puspure (IRE).

Kjetil Borch (NOR) © Benedict Tufnell

Joining Puspure in the women’s event is a world class field comprising world bronze medallist Magdalena Lobnig (AUT), 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Kara Kohler (USA) and Olympian Carling Zeeman (CAN).

Magdalena Lobnig (AUT) © Benedict Tufnell

In the men’s event Borch faces world best time holder Robbie Manson (NZL), rising star and 2018 Lucerne medallist Oliver Zeidler (GER), and Olympic silver medalist Damir Martin (CRO).

Oliver Zeidler (GER) © Benedict Tufnell

“This group of young athletes is arguably one of the strongest and fastest we’ve seen since we brought the Gold Cup race back to Philadelphia in 2011,” said Bill McNabb, Chairman of the Philadelphia Gold Cup Foundation, the organisation behind the race. “This is a unique opportunity for our local rowing community to see and learn from the next generation of elite rowers.”

Hudson Boatworks and Concept2 are the official outfitters to the Gold Cup and will be providing custom built boats and oars for all competitors.

In 2018 The Gold Cup introduced the ‘Gold Cup Triple Challenge’, claiming to be the first international rowing series that offers prize money of $50,000 to any rower, male or female “who places first in the following three 2018 single-scull championship events: Henley Royal Regatta, the World Rowing Championships, and the Philadelphia Gold Cup race.”

Drysdale overturns Borch on the line at Henley this summer. © Benedict Tufnell.

In the men’s event Kjetil Borch could have been on course to win the ‘triple’ in Philadelphia had he not been pipped on the line of the Diamond Sculls Henley final this summer by Mahe Drysdale, before going on to win the world championships. Sanita Puspure – who won the women’s world championships – chose not to race at Henley this summer which means nobody is eligible to win the larger $50,000 prize this year.

The Gold Cup was created to honour Philadelphian and great American sculler John Kelly in 1920 and was revived in its current format in 2011.

Leave a comment