The 2015 Gold Cup Regatta will be remembered as an historic occasion. The day on which a new Women’s Gold Cup was presented to St Ignatius College for the Women’s Eights and a day on which the Women’s Eights (now only 6 years old at this regatta) would stand on equal footing with the men’s eights event. The new Riverview Women’s Challenge God Cup was manufactured by Melbourne sculptor Jennifer Mann and commissioned on behalf of approximately 35 donors by the leaders of this project and Rowing NSW.
The cup acknowledges the style and size of the original Gold Cup which was donated to St Ignatius and the Regatta by subscription of residents of Lane Cove in 1893.
Fayette the women’s eights the head of Women’s Gold Cup project, Chris Noel made a speech about the motivations of the donors and the hopes they this trophy would inspire the same traditions as the original Gold Cup. Julia Bell, representing the 2001 Australian Women’s eight (the crew is etched on the trophy) spoke of her hopes for this trophy and on behalf of the donors presented the cup to Dr. Paul Hine, the Headmaster of St Ignatius College.
The first race for this trophy saw a great battle between the UTS and Mosman crews with UTS leading around the pile but Mosman finishing strongly over the final 200 meters to take victory by only 0.22 seconds.
The speech at the presentation is printed below along with the donors who made this possible.
Speech for Presenting Women’s Gold Cup to St Ignatius College Sat 21st February 2015
Headmaster Dr Paul Hine, Rowers, Parents and Friends of Rowing
Traditions are a great thing when they promote something worthwhile and great traditions only stay great when they are honoured, continued and renewed.
What a great tradition is the Gold Cup Regatta.
For many rowers – including myself – rowing in the Gold Cup Eights is among the really cherished memories of a rowing career.
Six years ago the then Headmaster Shane Hogan suggested and the regatta committee introduced the women’s open eight to the program with the aim of encouraging more women’s participation in the Gold Cup.
In 2012 The Regatta Committee thought it would be a good idea to have a suitable trophy for this event that reflected the importance of creating a tradition for the women’s eights that the men’s race has enjoyed for over 120 years.
In the spirit of the original Gold Cup we wanted to raise funds for this trophy by donation subscription just as happened with the citizens of Lane Cove subscribing to the original Gold Cup. Around 35 rowing clubs, school rowing committees and individuals have contributed to make this trophy possible. They are listed in the program – I thank all of them for supporting this trophy and a new tradition. Many of them are with me here around the beach.
On behalf of all those donors we sincerely hope that in 120 years this new trophy will develop the same traditions of the original Gold Cup.
The trophy itself draws on the style of the original cup – we were cognizant of the small size and unique design of the original and accordingly commissioned Jennifer Mann – a well-known sculptor from Melbourne – to design a gold – plated cup that had some unique points but complements the existing men’s cup. The trophy is titled “The Riverview Women’s Challenge Cup” and the handles are decorated with gold waratahs – our state’s flower. On the body of the cup is an etching of the 2001 Australian Women’s Eight – World Champions that year - and on the base the inscription reads – “Presented to St Ignatius College for the Annual Gold Cup Regatta by the Rowing Community of New South Wales”.
Finally could I thank Rowing NSW CEO Tony Blower and Office Administrator Melissa McCormack who registered this project with the ASF, promoted it on the Rowing NSW website and processed donations. I would also like to thank Deanna Fekete who worked with me in rounding up donations.
St Ignatius College – you have been an excellent custodian of the original Gold Cup. We – the donors- know that this new trophy will be looked after by St Ignatius College in the same way as the original. I will now ask Julia Bell (Wilson when she rowed) to say a few words and present the trophy to Dr Hine.
DONORS: Mosman Rowing Club, Sydney Rowing Club, Sydney University Boat Club, NSW Union of Rowers, Loreto Kirribilli Rowing, Old Ignatians Rowing Club, Chris Noel, Phillip Sharp, Ann Koutts, John Croll, Bernard Smith, Will Liley, Jenny and Graeme Allen, Alison and Paul Gotch, Jim Busteed, Rob Scott, Lionel Robberds, NSW Union of Oarswomen, John Coates, Paul and Lisa Lee, Adam Vine- Hall, Terry and Jane O’Hanlon, Deana Fekete, PLC Sydney, Ellen Randell, Debbie Fox, Anthony Blower, Gillian Campbell, Stephen Donnelly. Ann Stormon, Phil Rossi, Thea Wheatley, Freya Wheatley, Linda McDonald.