The Heard in City Hall blog has broken the news of the imminent return of the Philadelphia Challenge Cup race. According to the blog, the cup became rather a big deal 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 famous Philadelphian John B. Kelly.
When single scull rowing fell out of favor in the mid-1960s, the race faded out and the trophy itself went missing until it was rediscovered in an antiques shop in 1996. The race will make its comeback as a part Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta this coming May. The 2011 race will include a women’s competition — a first.