The historic Philadelphia Challenge Cup race will return to Philadelphia as part of this year’s Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta on Saturday, May 14, 2011.
The cup, also, known as the Gold Cup, gained prominence in the rowing world after the Schuylkill Navy commissioned it in 1920 to honor the world champion of single scull rowing. The first winner was gold medalist and Philadelphian John B. Kelly. It has been compared to the Davis Cup in tennis and the America’s Cup in yachting.
In the mid-1960s, single scull rowing faded from popularity and the trophy disappeared. It was rediscovered in 1996 in a Philadelphia antiques shop. The race has not occurred since 1966 and not in Philadelphia since 1962.