The Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation announced today the new format for the third of edition of the U.S. Lotman Challenge® races.Covering three different race distances over the course of 2019, the challenge will identify America's premier scullers and award champions in the culminating race in Philadelphia on October 26th.
The U.S. Lotman Challenge carries the distinction of being the only race offering a substantial cash prize to the top scoring male and female rowers continuing to both attract and support America's top rowers. With a revised selection format for the first leg of the series, the Gold Cup Foundation hopes to provide exciting competition and support US scullers as they gear up for Tokyo 2020.
2019 Race Series Format
The Philadelphia Gold Cup
Will be comprised of 3 separate USRowing events to select the top 7 male and female open weight single scullers.
- US Singles Trials - Sarasota, FL April 18-21, 2019
- Top 4 male and female open weight single scullers proceed to leg #2
- US Doubles Trials
- Womens Trials-Mercer, NJ May 16-19, 2019
- Mens Trials-Mercer, NJ July 7-10, 2019
- Winner of the male and female open weight double scull proceed to Leg #2.
- National Championships
- Cincinnati, OH July 9-14, 2019
- Winner of the male and female open single sculls proceed to Leg #2
Head Of The Charles Regatta Championship Single (Boston, October 19-20, 2019)
- Top 4 male and female cumulative points from Legs #1 and #2 proceed to Leg #3
U.S. Lotman Challenge final during Head of the Schuylkill Regatta (Philadelphia, October 26-27, 2019)
- There will be an A final only for the male and female athletes
- This will take place on the 700 meter Gold Cup course
"We continue to try and find innovative and creative ways to support our athletes and believe the 2019 U.S. Lotman Challenge race series succeeds in doing so," said Bill McNabb, chairman of the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation. "The 2019 U.S. Lotman Challenge races will provide a dynamic and appealing series, continuing our efforts of supporting US scullers to achieve success at the highest levels of our sport."
The first qualifying leg will be raced over 2000 meters and athletes may qualify at one of three USRowing events—the US Singles Trials, US Doubles Trials, or the National Championships. "USRowing is excited to continue to work with the Gold Cup Foundation and the U.S. Lotman Challenge to offer competitive opportunities for US athletes," said USRowing High Performance Director, Matt Imes.
"We continue to look at innovative ways of incorporating qualifications at selection events and future National Championships." Additionally, in support of the U.S. Lotman Challenge races and participating athletes, USRowing will provide a travel stipend amount to the top 7 male and female athletes that are participating in the series.
The second leg will play out during the Championship Singles race at the Head Of The Charles Regatta in Boston on October 20th where the top 7 male and female athletes from leg 1 will race for 4 qualifying spots to the final leg in Philadelphia. "HOCR is proud to continue to support the U.S. Lotman Challenge for a third year," shared Priscilla Livingston, Director of Operations at Head Of The Charles Regatta."The Lotman series is so important for US scullers, and we're excited to be a stop along the way for these athletes. We're looking forward to seeing some great racing this year."
The third and final leg will play out over 700 meters in Philadelphia moments before the Gold Challenge Cup held during the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta on October 26th. "By working together, we can engage a wider audience, driving exposure and support, and place the rowers and the story of their journeys in the spotlight," said Executive Director of the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, Jen Wesson. "The HOSR is proud to partner in this effort to make a difference in the careers of US scullers."
Upon the conclusion of racing, the top 4 scoring athletes will receive prizes of $8,000 for first place, $6,000 for second place, $4,000 for third place, and $2,000 for fourth place. In the instance that an athlete wins all three legs outright, he/she will be rewarded $10,000.
After receiving athlete and partner feedback from 2018, the Foundation will be eliminating the lightweight component of the U.S. Lotman Challenge series, and will instead donate $5,000.00 each to the men's and women's lightweight double sculls representing the United States at Worlds in 2019. Craig Hoffman, Board Member at the Gold Cup Foundation shared, "The U.S. Lotman Challenge race series recognizes the work ethic and talent of American lightweight scullers. We are excited to support their dreams of winning Olympic medals."
More information about the 2019 U.S. Lotman Challenge® race series, including rules and regulations, can be found on the Gold Cup's website.