Top International Rowers Compete For Historic Gold Cup Trophy

by Allison Frederick, | Sep 09, 2014
The historical Philadelphia Challenge Cup returns to the Schuylkill River this fall, along with eight of the biggest names in international elite rowing.

The historical Philadelphia Challenge Cup returns to the Schuylkill River this fall, along with eight of the biggest names in international elite rowing.

Known as “The Gold Cup,” the event began in 1920, during the heyday of Philadelphia rowing and pitted the best amateur male single scullers in the world against each other in a sprint race on the famed Schuylkill River. The contest, and the cup, disappeared in the early 1960s, only to reemerge in 2011 after a 50-year hiatus, with the expansion of the competition to women.

The Gold Challenge Cup Foundation has announced the names of the eight elite scullers who will compete at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta for the historic Gold Cup trophy and a purse of $10,000.

In the women’s race, reigning Gold Cup champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Miroslava “Mirka” Knapková (Czech Republic) will face off against Kim Crow (Australia), Genevra “Gevvie” Stone (United States) and Chantal Achterberg (The Netherlands).

In the men’s race, the current Olympic Gold Medalist Mahé Drysdale (New Zealand) will compete against Ondřej Synek, (Czech Republic), Yohann Rigogne (United States) and Kjetil Borch (Norway).

Coming off the 2014 World Rowing Championships last month in Amsterdam, the athletes will race in a four-lane heat across a 750-meter course on the Schuylkill River near Boathouse Row, beginning at 11:45 a.m., on Saturday, October 25, 2014. Watch racing live on USRowing's You Tube Channel.

Media opportunities exist at a pre-race rowing clinic on Friday, October 24, 2014, at 4:00 p.m., in which the eight Gold Cup athletes and five-time Olympic Gold Medalist Sir Steven Redgrave will answer questions about training, rowing technique, diet and competitive racing. Tickets can be reserved at


Chantal Achterberg, The Netherlands

Chantal is a formidable presence in the single sculls, taking second at the 2014 European Championship, only a few hundredths of a second behind Gold Cup winner Mirka Knapkova. Chantal is also an accomplished sweep rower, earning a bronze medal in the London Games as three seat in the Netherlands’ Women’s Eight.

Kjetil Borch, Norway

Kjetil is one half of the winning double sculls team in the 2013 World Rowing Championships, where he and his teammate Nils Jakob Hoff earned the gold medal. Borch also won a 2013 European Championship bronze medal.

Kim Crow, Australia

Kim is the current female world champion in single sculls, and 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist in the double sculls and bronze in the single sculls in London. Kim is preparing to represent Australia in the Rio Olympic Games.

Mahé Drysdale, New Zealand

Mahé is the current Olympic champion and five-time World champion in the single sculls. Following a small sabbatical and a cycling accident just ahead of the 2013 World Championships, Mahé is gunning for the Gold Cup title and looking to the Rio Olympics.

Miroslava “Mirka” Knapková, Czech Republic

Mirka is the reining Olympic Gold medalist. In 2011, Mirka became the first woman in history to win the Gold Cup challenge and returns to Philadelphia to defend her title. Mirka is also the current Olympic champion in the single sculls, winning Gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Yohann Rigogne, United States

Yohann has recently returned to competitive rowing, representing the USA in the World Rowing Championship a year ahead of schedule. Yohann was the winner of the French Junior National title in the double, and as a rower with Philadelphia’s Vesper club, will have the home field advantage in The Gold Cup challenge.

Genevra “Gevvie” Stone, United States

After taking a season off from international competition, Gevvie Stone, M.D., has Rio in her sights. She clenched first place in the 2014 US National Selection Regatta 1, and earned a spot in the 2014 World Championships after a strong finish at the World Rowing Cup II. Gevvie represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Ondřej Synek, Czech Republic

Ondřej is a two-time World Champion in the single sculls, winning in the 2010 World Rowing Championships and 2013 World Rowing Championships. He won Olympic silver medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

For more information, visit the Gold Cup website:


Rebecca Katz
Gold Challenge Cup Foundation

Ellen Carver
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