Head of the Schuylkill Regatta
|Head of the Schuylkill Regatta|
The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta logo
|Date||Last Weekend of October|
|Event type||Head Race|
|Distance||2.5 miles (4.0 km)|
|Primary sponsor||NSM Insurance Group|
|Participants||1,614 entries; 230 clubs|
The Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta (also known as the HOSR or the HOS) is a rowing race held annually during the last weekend in October on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The HOSR is the final race in the Fall Fury series, which includes the Head of the Ohio and the Head of the Connecticut. Along with the Head of the Charles and the Head of the Connecticut, the HOSR is considered one of the three “fall classics.” The HOSR is one of the marquee races in the Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series, which also includes the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, the Philadelphia Scholastic Rowing Championship, the Schuylkill Navy Regatta, and the Independence Day Regatta.
— Susan Saint Sing, The Eight: A Season in the Tradition of Harvard Crew
Until recently, the event was the largest one-day rowing competition in the world. The HOSR became a two-day event in 2008. It is the largest regatta in Philadelphia. As of 2003, the HOSR was America's second largest regatta.
Format and course
The HOSR is a head race, which is a time-trial competition where boats race in close succession from a rolling start. The rower or crew completing the course in the shortest time in their age, ability and boat-class category is deemed the winner.
The course stretches 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from the start to the finish at Boathouse Row and contains four bridges in total, which appear in this order from the start:
Coming under the Columbia bridge is like the Weeks [Memorial Bridge] turn at the Charles. You want to be already turning before you get out of the bridge.
The regatta draws competitors from across the United States and internationally. Competing teams regularly hail from countries including:
|Great Britain||Greece||Guatemala||Hong Kong|
The HOSR is a fall championship regatta for many regional schools. The regatta sets itself apart with an expanded schedule of small boats and a field of quads "deep enough to do justice to Philadelphia’s rich sculling heritage." The Head of the Schuylkill is a self-descried "inclusive regatta." However, it also attracts top world-class athletes. Recent competitors include:
- Victoria Opitz, world record W8+
- Kerry Simmonds, world record W8+
- Esther Lofgren, Olympic gold medalist W8+
Since 2010, the HOSR has awarded points trophies in high school, college, open and masters categories for overall all team points and by gender. Only six programs have won the overall points trophy:
- Vesper Boat Club (2010-2013)
- Saugatuck Rowing Association (2012-2013)
- Connecticut Boat Club (2010-2011)
|Year||College Women||College Men||Masters Women||Masters Men||Open Women||Open Men||High School Women||High school Men||Ref.|
|2010||Holy Cross/Trinity||Drexel||Vesper||Malta||Penn AC||Penn AC||Connecticut||St. Joe's Prep|||
|2011||Drexel/Villanova||Drexel/Princeton||Vesper||Potomac/Malta||Vesper||Penn AC||Connecticut||St. Joe's Prep/Crescent|||
|2013||Old Dominion/Drexel||Drexel||Vesper||University||Vesper||Penn AC/Undine||Sagamore||Norwalk River|||
Philadelphia Gold Cup Challenge
The Philadelphia Challenge Cup, known as “The Gold Cup,” began 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. In 1920, J. Elliot Newlin, the Commodore of the Schuylkill Navy and head of the Philadelphia Challenge Cup Committee, presented the Gold Cup to its first winner, John B. Kelly, Sr. from Vesper Boat Club.
The Gold Cup was originally created by a popular subscription of more than $2,500, and was to be to rowing what the Davis Cup is to tennis. Its founding followed Mr. Kelly's winning the 1920 Olympics single sculls and the Henley Royal Regatta barring him from competing in the Diamond Challenge Sculls on the grounds he had been a brick layer, which meant he "wasn't a gentleman" and was therefore ineligible to compete as an amateur.
|1920||John B. Kelly, Sr.||United States (Vesper)|||
|1922||Walter M. Hoover||United States (Duluth Boat Club)|||
|1923||W.E. Garrett Gilmore||United States (Bachelors)|||
|1924||Paul V. Costello||United States (Vesper)|||
|1935||Charles A. Campbell||Canada (Argonaut Rowing Club)|||
|1940||Joseph W. Burk||United States (Penn AC)|||
|1952||Jurij Tjukalov||Soviet Union|||
|1956||Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union|||
|1958||Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union|||
|1960||Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union|||
|1962||Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union|||
|1964||Vyacheslav Ivanov||Soviet Union|||
|1966||Don Spero||United States (NYAC)|||
The Gold Cup mysteriously disappeared, ending the competition in the 1960s, only to reemerge in 2011 after a 50-year hiatus, with the expansion of the competition to women. The race is held on a 750-meter course at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta.
|Year||Men's Winner||Country||Women's Winner||Country||Ref.|
|2011||Iztok Čop||Slovenia||Mirka Knapkova||Czech Republic|||
|2014||Kjetil Borch||Norway||Kim Crow||Australia|||
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