Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne wins first Sophie Hosking Cup at Metropolitan Regatta

The Sophie Hosking Cup and accompanying medal for Women’s Championship Sculls complement the London Cup and medal, which have long been presented to the winner of the Open Championship Sculls


David Hosking, Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne and her son with the Sophie Hosking Cup and medal at Metropolitan Regatta

Metropolitan Regatta, which took place last weekend, is renowned for its impressive range of cups and trophies. One of these, the London Cup and medal for open elite single sculls, has long been regarded as one of the most prestigious prizes in rowing. The cup presented to the winner dates from 1866 and the matching solid silver medal, which is awarded to the winner to keep, has the cup depicted on it.

In 2020 the organising committee decided to introduce a similar prize for the women’s elite sculls and to dedicate it to Sophie Hosking MBE, who was 2012 Olympic Champion in the Lightweight Double Sculls with Kat Copeland, and is a former captain of London RC, with which the regatta is closely associated.

Kat Copeland and Sophie Hosking Kat Copeland (left) and Sophie Hosking, 2012 Olympic Champions

For the following two years, while a suitable cup was sought, the solid silver medal was awarded on its own; the winner in both 2021 and 2022 was Lauren Henry of Leicester RC.

The committee was delighted that in 2023, the winner of the Women’s Championships Sculls on the Saturday of Metropolitan Regatta event could also be presented with the Sophie Hosking Cup. This beautiful trophy was originally awarded in 1874 to the winner of the elite sculls at Metropolitan Regatta in Ireland. In recent years it came into the possession of Cousins of Canterbury who generously donated it to ‘the Met’. The regatta has had it replated and mounted on a plinth containing a copy of the medal, which now includes a design of the cup.

The Sophie Hosking Cup was presented for the first time on Saturday to Mathilda Hodgkins Byrne of Upper Thames RC by Sophie’s dad, David Hosking, also a London RC member, who was World Champion in the Lightweight Eights in 1980.

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Mathilda said, “With this being my first race after having my son last summer, I had no idea what to expect. I remember watching Sophie race in 2012, so to be the first winner of this trophy named after her is a great honour. I can’t wait to see how the rest of this season goes, and return to full International racing soon.”

Sophie, who is currently in France, is looking forward to presenting the Cup and medal in person at future regattas.