Čop and Knapková Grab the Golden Cups of Philadelphia

Slovenian rower Iztok Čop has won the men’s singles race at the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, overtaking Kenneth Jurkowski of the United States in second. Last year’s world champion, Ondřej Synek of the Czech Republic finished in third, followed by Čop’s compatriot Luka Špik in fourth.

It looks like the retirement of Slovenia’s most successful Olympian from top rowing events last year started his victorious spree throughout regional rowing races.

The trophy for women’s singles has been taken by Czech sculler Mirka Knapková. Her rivals were Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus, finishing second, with last year’s world champion, Sweden’s Frida Svensson, in third. The fourth place went to Iva Obradović of Serbia.

Screenshot from the official website of the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta.

The regatta was held on 13 and 14 May 2011. It featured a rich variety of events, with singles, coxless pairs, coxed fours, and eights divided into student categories (varsity, collegiate, and frosh/novice crews). The competition of corporate eights featured crews rowing for well-known brands such as Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, and Vanguard. World elite men’s and women’s single scullers pursued the Golden Cup trophies.

Full list of results is available on the official website of the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta.

The regatta is raced over the classical two kilometres’ distance. The moderately curved regatta course is situated on the Schuylkill River in Aberdeen, a neighbourhood of central Philadelphia city.

The name of the regatta held in Philadelphia since 1934 pays tribute to the acclaimed local rowing coach, Harry Emerson Vail nicknamed Dad (died 1928 at the age of 69). It is recognised as the largest collegiate regatta in America. This year, more than 3,500 athletes from 100 universities and colleges of the United States and Canada took part, the Philadelphia and the Countryside website has reported. With such a concentration of young people, it is no wonder that the regatta has attracted several sponsors including the Coca-Cola company.

UPDATE: See additional useful information in an article on the official FISA website, published on 16 May.

In a comment on his result, Czech sculler Ondřej Synek was quoted by the 19 May Prague edition of the daily Metro as saying: “I took part in a race in Philadelphia last weekend and it didn’t turn out there well at all. But, it was caused by the fact that I didn’t have my own boat. I got there a boat for 85 kilos and, moreover, a totally different type [than I’ve been used to]. So, it didn’t go well for me with that boat at all.” According to Synek’s official website, his weight is 100 kilograms.

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