Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Three new trophies bring equality to open events

Three new trophies bring equality to open events

THREE new solid silver trophies will be presented at this year’s Henley Royal Regatta.

The Town Challenge Cup, the Hambleden Pairs Challenge Cup and the Stonor Challenge Trophy will be awarded to the winners of women’s events that were introduced last year.

The move meant there are now six open events for both sexes for the first time.

All three trophies were made by Ottewill Silversmiths in Kent, which has previously restored several regatta trophies and built a new base for the Grand Challenge Cup in 2014.

Regatta chairman Sir Steve Redgrave said: “The new events give us an equal number of events for men and women and while the Olympics are rightly making moves towards gender parity, we wanted to get there beforehand.

“We hadn’t given much thought to the trophies but after telling three winning crews last year that we didn’t actually have a trophy for them, there was some light-hearted booing and that focused our minds on it.” The Town Challenge Cup for open women’s coxless fours is named after the trophy that was presented to the winner of the coxed fours event at the first regatta in 1839.

That was one of only two presented that year and was awarded annually until 1883, when it was given in trust to the Henley Town and Visitors’ Regatta.

The new cup has four handles, each representing a crew member, which radiate from two intertwined silver spirals that are wound around the stem. The Hambleden Pairs Challenge Cup, which is open to women’s coxless pairs, commemorates the trophy presented for the pairs event by Viscount Hambleden at the Royal Henley Peace Regatta in 1919, the first after the end of the First World War.

The new trophy resembles a whirlpool and its name is engraved in irregularly-shaped lettering in the space between the top two ripples.

Instead of receiving medals, the winners will be given two smaller trophies in a similar design to keep, in a similar manner to the silver goblets which accompany the Nickalls’ Challenge Cup.

The Stonor Challenge Trophy for the open women’s double sculls commemorates Thomas Stonor, later Lord Camoys, who chaired the meeting at which the regatta was founded and went on to become one of its first stewards. It depicts a more gentle swirl, similar to that left in the wake of a rowing blade, in the shape of a plate with a gold plated circle at the centre bearing the faces of Tamesis and Isis, the male and female embodiments of the River Thames.

Sir Steve said: “The new trophies should look stunning without putting the existing ones to shame as they are beautiful in their own right.”

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