Damir Martin and Kim Brennan take The Gold Cup

Kim Brennan won 2016 The Gold Cup. Photo: The Gold Cup website.

30 October 2016

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

Rowing history was written yesterday on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Eight of the world’s best scullers, four male, four female, were racing for The Philadelphia Challenge Cup, also known as The Gold Cup.

On the starting line for the first race for men were: Damir Martin, Kjetil Borch, Martin Sinkovic and Mahe Drysdale. As you might imagine, Martin had a score to settle with Drysdale, the latter winning the Olympic gold medal in the singles in Rio with an incredible photo finish win of five thousandths of a second. However, the length of the race course on the Schuylkill is more of a sprint, 750 metres, making it a closer race where anything could happen. And yesterday, things did not go the New Zealander’s way. The Croatian Martin won, followed by the Norwegian Borsh, who won The Gold Cup last year, with Martin’s countryman Sinkovic in third place, placing the Olympic champion in the far rear.

Thereby, Martin earned the $10,000 first prize, Borch the $5,000 for second, Sinkovic got $2,000 for third and Drysdale earned $1,000 for fourth. Or if you like, racing 750 metres, winning first prize, means Martin raced for $13.33/per metre – not a bad income for a few minutes row.

On the starting line in the women’s race were Olympic champion Kim Brennan – last year’s Gold Cup winner –, Olympic silver medallist Gevvie Stone, Olympic fourth-placed Emma Twigg and Olympic fifth-placed Jeannine Gmelin. Brennan won getting the $10,000 first prize, second-placed Twigg the $5,000, Stone the $2,000 and Gmelin $1,000 for her fourth prize.

About racing for The Gold Cup trophy, Stone told Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer: ‘It’s definitely one of the reasons we’re all here. ‘It’s prestigious to be named to the event, and pretty nice to have that bonus.’

goldcupThe Gold Cup was first given to Jack Kelly Sr., in 1922, after his victory at the 1920 Olympic single scull race. The trophy mysteriously disappeared in the beginning of the 1960s.

In November 2010, HTBS got its first major scoop when we were the first to report that The Gold Cup had been found and bought by the philanthropist Herb Lotman and that the trophy was going to be re-instituted as a challenge race on the Schuylkill for both men and women.

On Saturday, Head of the Schuylkill Regatta for master, club, college and high school rowers was also held on the river. Read more here.

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