Hornbaek Boat Club’s Julian Isherwood in front of the new pier in Hornbaek Harbour. Photo: Torben Sørensen – Kalabas.dk
By Nicolai Lassen
In six weeks’ time, the Danish hamlet of Hornbæk will be welcoming around 75 of the world’s best Dragon teams for this year’s Gold Cup – one of the world’s most prestigious regattas. Perched on the northern coast of the capital island Zealand – or Sealand as some prefer to call it, Hornbaek’s hosting of the Hamlet Dragon Gold Cup 2016 is the latest in a string of Dragon championships to be held off the coast of this small but vibrant sailing community.
A strong sailing triumvirate – Hornbaek Boat Club, the Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY) and Hellerup Sailing Club – will be welcoming all-comers from August 26 to Sept. 2, three years after the North Zealand club was asked to house the 2016 championship.
Initiated back in 1937 by the Clyde Yacht Club Association (CYCA) to unite as many competitors of different nationalities as possible in a friendly atmosphere, the Dragon class Gold Cup has captured the imagination of many of the world’s leading sailors.
With just over a month left to the start of this year’s race, the 25 land volunteers from Hornbaek and almost as many helpers from KDY and Hellerup Sailing Club on the water, are putting the final touches to what promises to be a great event.
“Some 60 participants are currently registered and I expect around 75 – but the more the merrier and we can cater for as many Dragons as care to take part,” says Hornbaek Boat Club’s commodore, Julian Isherwood.
Apart from the many Danish crews taking part this year, the fleet is already living up to the CYCA motto, with a broad section of international Dragons taking part. Crews from Germany, Sweden, Japan, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway, Finland, Russia, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates are also taking part.
From July 15 – 22, Dragons will be holding their European Championships in St. Petersburg and Isherwood expects some of the participants there to decide on taking part in the Gold Cup during or after St. Petersburg.
While Hornbaek Boat Club will be responsible for activities on land, KDY, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, and Hellerup Sailing Club will be responsible for the sporting activities at sea, in what is hoped will develop into a continuing partnership between the three clubs.
“We are aiming to develop our cooperation into a continuing collaboration between the three clubs to form a strong future partnership at several levels,” says Royal Danish Yacht Club Commodore Lars Ive.
Unlike many other major regattas, the Dragon Gold Cup has only one longer race per day, with organisers facing an extra challenge of making sure that all are aware of the various activities in and around Hornbaek so that afternoons and evenings can be spent in social gatherings for crews and families.
In order to provide space for such a large number of competing vessels, Hornbæk Harbour has built a new pier, where all of the Dragons will be able to berth together. “We felt that it was important to extend the existing Royal Pier in the outer harbour, so that all of the Dragons could be in one place. It will be a fantastic sight to have these beautiful boats lined up, and much easier to manage for both sailors and organisers,” says Isherwood, who apart from bring commodore of the Hornbæk Boat Club is also a member of the private harbour’s board.
The Ilse Jacobsen Hornbaek fashion house is main sponsor for this year’s event, which is also partnered with Sport Event Denmark, Visit Nordsjælland and not least Elsinore Municipality. Nearby Elsinore houses Kronborg Castle, where Shakespeare chose to locate Hamlet – probably the world’s greatest tragedy. As part of the 400th anniversary celebrations for Shakespeare, this year’s Dragon Gold Cup has been dubbed the Hamlet Dragon Gold Cup 2016.
Read more about The Hamlet Dragon Gold Cup 2016 and make your entry here
Check out the DGC 2016 limited edition collection from main sponsor and designer Ilse Jacobsen Hornbæk here
Harbourmaster Allan Vodder and Hornbaek Boat Club Commodire Julian Isherwood is looking forward to welcoming 75 of the world’s best Dragon teams to compete for this year’s Dragon Gold Cup. Photo: Torben Sørensen – Kalabas.dk