Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation Introduces the Blackwall Duling Challenge for Adaptive Rowing

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation announced that the inaugural Blackwall Duling Challenge will be contested as part of its U.S. and World Sculling Competition, taking place on Saturday, October 26 at Cooper River Park, N.J.

The Blackwall Duling Challenge is intended to highlight and promote Adaptive Sculling in the United States. Prize money will be awarded to the top four American men and women para-scullers in PR1 (arms and shoulders only) event. In this inaugural year, the Blackwall Duling Challenge competitors will be invited based off their performance at Para Trials which are being held at Mercer Lake July 7-10, 2019.

“The foundation’s mission includes advancing competitive sculling in the United States, bringing together top U.S. and international athletes to compete in a series of sprint races. We are pleased to introduce and include adaptive rowing athletes to the competition,” shared Scot Fisher, Board Member of the foundation. “Holding our event in New Jersey this year allows the foundation to add more events focusing on awareness and inclusivity and we are excited to continue to thoughtfully add programming over the next few years.”

The Blackwall Duling Challenge is named to honor Christopher Blackwall and Fred Duling, two accomplished oarsmen who have been tremendously active in supporting and increasing awareness of adaptive rowing. Christopher Blackwall established the first U.S. rowing club solely for persons with disabilities, Philadelphia Adaptive Rowing, that is part of the Pennsylvania Center for Adapted Sports. Fred Duling is a three-time U.S. National Team member and competitive masters rower. Duling experienced a significant spinal cord injury in 2010 that caused him to switch boats; he now rows an adaptive double purchased by his family. Chris and Fred have been active in the Philadelphia Boathouse Row community for many years.

“USRowing is excited about our PR1 (arms and shoulders) rowers racing in the in Blackwall Duling Challenge. Recognizing Christopher Blackwall and Fred Duling is especially meaningful given the contributions Chris and Fred make to the sport of adaptive rowing and all aspects of rowing in Philadelphia and internationally,” commented Tom Darling, Senior Director of USRowing Para Programs. “It is a fitting tribute to these men who have given so much of their lives to the betterment of our sport through their commitment, dedication, and service to others.”

Prize money of $5,000 will be awarded to each men’s and women’s Champion, $2,500 for second place, $1,500 for third place and $1,000 for fourth place.

Full rules and regulations are available on the Gold Cup website,

About the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation

The mission of the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation, a 501©3 nonprofit, is to promote and educate about the sport of single scull rowing on an amateur level among the general public, particularly youth, by hosting annual competitions, educational programs and scholarships. The flagship competition held by the Foundation is The Gold Cup race. The Gold Cup race is deeply rooted in Philadelphia tradition and history, with the solid gold cup and race created in 1920 to honor the achievements of John B. Kelly Sr., who won the gold medal for single sculls in the 1920 Olympics.

In resurrecting both the Gold Cup trophy (found in an antique shop in the 1990s) and the race itself, the Foundation is encouraging rowing among all types of people. Private contributions from rowing enthusiasts and Philadelphia-area corporations help fund outreach by the top-level athletes to area high school and middle school children. Through the rowing programs and the athlete outreach, the Foundation’s goal is to develop a passion for rowing, athletics and healthy lifestyles at a young age, while also promoting sculling on the international stage.

Contact: Elle Carolan, Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup Foundation, +1-610-715-5357,

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