Seventy-three teams from across Europe and as far afield as Japan and Australia have arrived in Marstrand, Sweden to compete for the International Dragon Gold Cup by Yanmar.
The 2020 Gold Cup had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, but thanks to a great deal of hard work and careful planning the 2021 event racing will take place from 15 t0 20 August in Marstrand, Sweden.
At last the wait is over though, and the fleet is poised and keen to snatch this famous trophy from the grasp of its current holder, Pedro Andrade of Portugal.
The challengers include reigning Dragon World Champion Andy Beadsworth and his Provezza Dragon team, Russia’s Anatoly Loginov who will be hoping to add his name to the trophy for a second time, and fellow Russian Dmitry Samokhin.
Denmark’s Jörgen Schönherr has won the Gold Cup no less than four times, back-to-back in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and again in 2018, and remains a feared and hugely committed competitor.
Holland’s Pieter Heerema was runner up at both the 2018 and 2019 Gold Cups and must hope to be the bride and not a bridesmaid this year.
Switzerland’s Hugo Stenbeck, sailing with Martin Westerdahl and Bernardo Freitas, has also made the lower slopes of the Gold Cup podium before, but will be aiming to make it to the top step this year.
Other well-known Dragon names to look out for at the top of the fleet include Denmark’s Jens Christensen crewed by World Sailing Past President Kim Andersen and Gold Cup winning crew Christian Videbaek.
While the German fleet is putting forward a very strong challenge including Dirk Pramann sailing with Marcus Koy, Nicola Friesen sailing with Vincent Hoesch and Michael Lipp and the always competitive Stephan Link.