Riverview Gold Cup
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Founded by Father Joseph Dalton, S.J., the founding Rector of Saint Ignatius' College, it is one of the oldest rowing events in Australia and the oldest New South Wales schoolboy regatta. It is held annually, typically in March, on Sydney's Lane Cove River against schoolboy and schoolgirl crews, with the inclusion of club boats in Men's Open VIII.
The "Riverview Rowing Club" was founded late in 1882 under the guiding hand of Father Thomas Gartlan, S.J. The Rowing Club held its first regatta on Sunday 20 June 1885. It was recorded in many of the daily newspapers of the time and hailed as "the first College Regatta in the Colony"
In the 1890 Regatta, a race was instituted called "The Lane Cove Challenge Eights", which grew into the "Riverview Gold Cup Regatta", from which comes the name of the modern day Regatta. In 1892, the Regatta Committee invited the residents of Lane Cove, and others interested in rowing to subscribe to a fund to acquire a suitable Gold Cup, as a trophy for this race. The result is the Riverview Gold Cup, as we have it today. In 1893, the St. Ignatius' Regatta, featured its valuable Gold Cup for the first time. In this year, nine crews fought out the maiden fours, with North Shore winning by two lengths from Sydney, Glebe third, and East Sydney and Mercantile behind. The regatta itself was said to be a great success: "such cheering and enthusiasm has seldom, if ever before, been noticed at an amateur meeting." The winners were also each awarded gold medals and later gold oars, as individual trophies for this event. At the time of its inception, the Gold Cup was looked upon as an outstanding trophy for rowing.
A second regatta was held in November of that year to honour Catholic Bishops, assembled in Sydney for the first Plenary Council. The programme provided for six events, mainly of College crews and their supporters. From this modest beginning, the Annual Riverview Regatta has grown into eighty events today with one thousand competitors and ten thousand spectators through the day.
The Gold Cup
The Gold Cup Trophy took about three months to complete and was put on show in April 1893. At the time it was said to be the only gold cup for rowing in the world. According to The Town & Country Journal (1 May 1893), apart from its intrinsic value (29 oz. of gold), it was one of the finest specimen of anything of its kind yet manufactured in Australia.
The Cup features the characteristic flora and fauna of Australia. The handles of the trophy come out of the upper portion of the body of the kangaroo, while the garlands and wreaths that ornament it are the leaves and flowers of the waratah. The front of the trophy is engraved with eight-oared boats, in full swing. The figure of an oarsman holding the College flag surmounts the lid.
Regatta winners (1998-2010)
Men's Open VIII for the Riverview Gold Cup
|2005||USYD||King's||Sydney Boys High|
|2008||Sydney RC||Shore||St Joseph's|
Schoolgirl VIII for the Centenary Cup
|2002||Pymble||Loreto Normanhurst||Sydney Girls|
|2003||Pymble||Loreto Kirribilli||Loreto Normanhurst|
|2009||Pymble||Loreto Kirribilli||Loreto Normanhurst|
Schoolboy 1st IV for the Sydney University Cup
|2004||Shore||St Ignatius'||St Joseph's|
|2011||King's||Scots||Saint Augustine's College, St Augustine's|
A video of the St Ignatius 1st VIII crashing into a wooden pole in the last stretch of the race circulated on the internet. It shows the umpire yelling for St Ignatius to "Check their course" and "Stop Rowing", concluding with the boat hitting the pylon and six seat being thrown out.
- Head of the River (Australia)
- Athletic Association of the Great Public Schools of New South Wales
- Association of Heads of Independent Girls' Schools
- May, A.L (1970). "3. Summary of the Head of the River for the Fairbairn Cup". Sydney Rows. Guerin-Foster History of Australian Rowing. Retrieved 2011-06-20.[permanent dead link]
- May, A.L (1970). "4. The Amateur Question: 1890-1900". Sydney Rows. Guerin-Foster History of Australian Rowing. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
- "Riverview Gold Cup - Saturday, 15 March 2008 - Results". Riverview Gold Cup Regatta. NSW Rowing Association Inc. 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2008-03-15.