The Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation announced in a press release yesterday that the inaugural Blackwall Duling Challenge will be contested as part of its U.S. and world sculling competition, taking place on Saturday, 26 October 2019, at Cooper River Park in New Jersey.
The Blackwall Duling Challenge is intended to highlight and promote adaptive sculling in the United States. Prize money will be awarded to the top four American men and women para-scullers in PR1 (arms and shoulder only) event. In this inaugural year, the Blackwall Duling Challenge competitors will be invited based off their performance at Para Trials which are being held at Mercer Lake on 7-10 July 2019.
‘The foundation’s mission includes advancing competitive sculling in the United States, bringing together top U.S. and International athletes to compete in a series of sprint races. We are pleased to introduce and include Adaptive Rowing athletes to the competition,’ said Scot Fisher, board member of the foundation. ‘Holding our event in New Jersey this year allows the foundation to add more events focusing on awareness and inclusivity and we are excited to continue to thoughtfully add programming over the next few years.’
The Blackwall Duling Challenge is named to honor Christopher Blackwall and Fred Duling, two accomplished oarsmen who have been tremendously active in supporting and increasing awareness of Adaptive Rowing. Blackwall established the first U.S. rowing club solely for persons with disabilities, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing, that is part of the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports. Duling is a three-time U.S. National Team member and competitive Masters rower. He experienced a significant spinal cord injury in 2010 that caused him to switch boats where he now rows an adaptive double purchased by his family.
Blackwall and Duling have been active in the Philadelphia Boathouse Row community for many years.
‘USRowing is excited about our PR1 (arms and shoulders) rowers racing in the in Blackwall Duling Challenge. Recognizing Christopher Blackwall and Fred Duling is especially meaningful given the contributions Chris and Fred make to the sport of adaptive rowing and all aspects of rowing in Philadelphia and internationally,” commented Tom Darling, senior director of USRowing Para Programs. ‘It is a fitting tribute to these men who have given so much of their lives to the betterment of our sport through their commitment, dedication and service to others.’
Prize money of $5,000 will be awarded to each men’s and women’s Champion, $2,500 for second place; $1,500 for third place and $1,000 for fourth place.
Full rules and regulations are available on the Gold Cup website, www.thegoldcup.org