Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup
VenueHenley Royal Regatta, River Thames
LocationHenley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
Dates1946 – present

The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup is a rowing event at Henley Royal Regatta open to school 1st VIIIs.[1]


The event was instituted in 1946 for public schools in the United Kingdom. It was opened to entries from overseas in 1964, and that year Washington-Lee High School (United States) became the first overseas crew to win the event, beating Groton School, USA, in an all-American final.

The inauguration of this race coincided with future queen Princess Elizabeth's first visit to the regatta, and so permission was given to name the trophy "The Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup".

The PE (as it is usually abbreviated) is one of only a few races in the regatta which does not allow composite crews to be entered, and as such each race is a straight competition between one club and another. As the most prestigious race of the school rowing year, the event attracts strong competition both from the UK and abroad. For British crews, winning the PE can be the final victory needed to win “the triple", a prestigious achievement which comprises winning the Schools' Head of the River Race, The National Schools Regatta and finally the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup, all in the same year. The "triple" was first achieved in 1978 by Eton College who have subsequently achieved it a further six times (1990, 1991, 1995, 2005, 2009 and 2010). Other winners of the triple are St. Edward's School in 1984, Hampton School in 1985, 1986 and 1988, Abingdon School in 2002 and 2012, and St Paul's School (London) in 2018. Both St Pauls and Eton have also achieved a so-called "quadruple" by additionally winning the Youth Eights at the Head of the Charles Regatta; Eton in both 2008/09 and 2009/10 and St Paul's in 2017/18.[2]

Of British entries, Eton College have won the PE a total of 15 times, St Paul's School (London) 7 times, St. Edward's School 5 times, and Abingdon School, Bedford School, Hampton School, Pangbourne College and Shrewsbury School have each won the event 4 times.

Radley College are the most frequent losing finalists having done so on 7 occasions, followed by Eton College and St Paul's School on 6 occasions. Hampton School and St. Edward's School have been the losing finalists on 4 occasions. Westminster School, The King's School Canterbury and Oundle School share the record for the most losses (4) in finals without having ever won the event.

The PE was opened to international crews in 1964, since when American crews have won the event 14 times (and been losing finalists 19 times), Canadian crews 7 times (losing finalists 3 times), and Australian crews 3 times (losing finalists twice).[3] Ridley College (Canada) remain the most successful North American school in the event having won the PE 5 times in the 1970's. Holy Spirit High School, USA and St.Paul's School, Concord, USA have both won the event 3 times, St.Paul's School, Concord, USA also having been losing finalists on 4 occasions. The Australian school to have won the event most recently was Scotch College, Melbourne in 2017.

At the 2023 regatta, the rules for the PE were changed to allow junior crews from clubs as well as schools to enter the event.[4]


See table below.

Year Winner Runner-Up
1946 Bedford School Radley College
1947 Bedford School Shrewsbury School
1948 Bedford School Radley College
1949 Winchester College Westminster School
1950 St Paul's School (London) Bedford School
1951 Bedford School Radley College
1952 Radley College Monkton Combe School
1953 St Paul's School (London) The King's School Canterbury
1954 Winchester College Oundle School
1955 Shrewsbury School Oundle School
1956 Eton College St Paul's School (London)
1957 St Paul's School (London) Shrewsbury School
1958 St. Edward's School Oundle School
1959 St. Edward's School Oundle School
1960 Shrewsbury School The King's School Canterbury
1961 Shrewsbury School The King's School Canterbury
1962 Radley College Nautical College, Pangbourne
1963 Nautical College, Pangbourne St Paul's School (London)
1964 Washington-Lee High School, USA Groton School, USA
1965 Tabor Academy, USA Phillips Exeter Academy, USA
1966 Emanuel School Halcyon Boat Club, St.Paul's School, USA
1967 Eton College Tabor Academy, USA
1968 JEB Stuart High School, USA Eton College
1969 Washington-Lee High School, USA Emanuel School
1970 Ridley College, Canada Hampton Grammar School
1971 Pangbourne College St. Andrew's School, USA
1972 Kent School, USA Brentwood College School, Canada
1973 Ridley College, Canada St. Paul's School, USA
1974 Holy Spirit High School, Absecon, New Jersey, USA Kingston Grammar School
1975 Ridley College, Canada St. Paul's School, USA
1976 Holy Spirit High School, USA Emanuel School
1977 Ridley College, Canada Hampton School
1978 Eton College Brentwood College School, Canada
1979 Ridley College, Canada Eton College
1980 St. Paul's School (Concord, New Hampshire), USA St. Joseph's Preparatory School, USA
1981 Holy Spirit High School, USA Emanuel School
1982 Eton College Holy Spirit High School. USA
1983 Eton College St. Andrew's School, USA
1984 St. Edward's School St. Joseph's Preparatory School, USA
1985 Hampton School St. Paul's School, USA
1986 Hampton School Belmont Hill School, USA
1987 Belmont Hill School, USA Hampton School
1988 Hampton School Eton College
1989 Hampton School Shiplake College
1990 Eton College Westminster School
1991 Eton College The King's School Canterbury
1992 Pangbourne College Westminster School
1993 Brisbane Boys' College, Queensland, Australia Eton College
1994 St. Paul's School (Concord, New Hampshire), USA Atlantic City High School, USA
1995 Eton College Hampton School
1996 Brentwood College School, Canada St. Edward's School
1997 St Paul's School (London) Canford School
1998 Radley College St. Mary's Preparatory School, USA
1999 St. Edward's School St. Peter's College, Australia
2000 Saint Joseph's Preparatory, USA Groton School, USA
2001 The King's School, Parramatta, Australia Radley College
2002 Abingdon School St Paul's School (London)
2003 Pangbourne College St. Edward's School
2004 St. Paul's School (Concord, New Hampshire), USA Abingdon School
2005 Eton College Saint Joseph's Preparatory, USA
2006 St. Ignatius College Preparatory, USA The King's School Chester
2007 Shrewsbury School Brentwood College School, Canada
2008 Shawnigan Lake School, Canada Eton College
2009 Eton College Abingdon School
2010 Eton College Kent School, USA
2011 Abingdon School St. Andrew's School, Delaware, USA
2012 Abingdon School Radley College
2013 Abingdon School St. Edward's School
2014 Eton College St. Edward's School
2015 St Paul's School (London) Westminster School
2016 Eton College St Paul's School (London)
2017 Scotch College, Melbourne, Australia Radley College
2018 St Paul's School (London) Eton College
2019 Eton College Scotch College, Melbourne, Australia
2020 No competition due to COVID-19 pandemic[5]
2021 Eton College[6] St Paul's School (London)
2022 St Paul's School (London)[7] Radley College
2023 St Edward's School St Paul's School (London)

Record times[edit]

The record holder for the event is St Paul's School (London), having finished the course in 6 minutes 06 seconds in the final against Eton College in 2018. They beat the previous record for the event by 11 seconds, held by Abingdon School.

The course record times for the event are:

  • 1:46 to the Barrier (St. Paul's School 2018)
  • 2:58 to Fawley (St. Paul's School 2018)
  • 6:06 to the Finish (St. Paul's School 2018)



  1. ^ "Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup". Henley Royal Regatta. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Champions".
  3. ^ "Results of Final Races - 1946-2003". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2007.
  4. ^ "Henley Royal Regatta Junior Events".
  6. ^ "Results 2021". Henley Royal Regatta. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Results 2022". Henley Royal Regatta. Retrieved 3 July 2022.