Please select your home edition

A natural fit: Henri-Lloyd's support of the Dragon Gold Cup

by Mark Jardine 21 Jul 2021 08:00 PDT
Hans Eckerström and his team training ahead of the Dragon Gold Cup © Mikael Britschgi

The Dragon Gold Cup is an event steeped in history, presented by members of the Clyde Yacht's Conference in 1937 and won by Sweden's Rolf Billner that same year. It is one of the most prestigious trophies in yachting and this year is being hosted at the stunning location of Marstrand, Sweden in August.

Henri-Lloyd's association and sponsorship of the event and class is a natural fit. Marstrand is the home port of Chairman Hans Eckerström, and the Dragon's timeless, elegant design, coupled with the latest technology, mirrors that of the marine clothing brand.

A regular sailor in many small keelboat classes, Hans wasn't going to let an opportunity such as the Gold Cup being hosted in Sweden pass him by, and as with so many of his projects, he has immersed himself fully in the class, buying a Dragon and naturally calling her Maverick, as all his yachts are named.

I spoke to Hans to find out more about the event, the sponsorship, and his sailing so far in the class:

"I'm a rookie in the class, having bought a second-hand boat last summer as I saw that the interest here in Marstrand was picking up and I thought it would be a fun complement to the other boats that I sail. The Gold Cup is a special event with only one race per day, with quite long races. It's going to be exciting!"

Hans is used to the J70s, with short, sharp races on much tighter courses, but is relishing the challenge:

"I am sailing both the J70 and Dragon in parallel, and while they are quite different, they are equally challenging in different ways and I'm quite surprised as to how physical the Dragon is. If you really want to push it, you need to be quite fit and work hard. Also, with no toe-straps you need to hike out in quite an exciting way."

Hans is very aware of the history of the class and believes this is an important part of the Dragon's enduring appeal:

"The Dragon was designed by a Norwegian yacht designer Johan Anker in a competition run by the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club in 1927 which had the aim of producing a less expensive boat for younger people than the metre classes which were predominantly raced at the time. With this heritage I'm hoping there will be some Swedish sailors who are competing at the very top of the fleet in Marstrand; as there are some crews practicing hard it will be interesting to see how well they perform at the event."

Naturally, Hans is excited on both a personal and professional level as the event date comes closer on the horizon:

"Having the Dragon Gold Cup here in Marstrand resonates with the ambition we have with Henri-Lloyd, to promote sailing in different shapes and forms. It is going to be fun to show the world Marstrand at its best; our fingers are crossed for sunshine and good winds! Normally in August it is very nice weather so I'm looking forward to it. We also have the Swedish Championship just two weeks beforehand, so we're hoping for a big line-up of international boats competing as well as a tune-up regatta ahead of the main event. We will give every competitor the warmest Swedish welcome."

Recently Henri-Lloyd have released items from their range in exclusive new colour combinations, which has appealed to those teams looks for a particular style. Henri-Lloyd's sponsorship of the Dragon Gold Cup gives teams the opportunity to purchase event clothing for both on and off the water:

"Henri-Lloyd have produced a line of branded clothing specifically for the event, including the iconic Consort and Consort 2 jackets. We've had a number of teams buying kit, in the Dragon class as well as many other classes, and I think it's picking up nicely. The new colourways are a great way of providing a distinct look for your crew."

Sustainability is at the core of everything that Henri-Lloyd does, from sourcing sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials, using recycled materials and, new for 2021, the REPAIR-REWEAR service, bringing the philosophy of never throwing away a quality product to technical marine clothing. The Dragon Gold Cup organisers are also embracing this philosophy, with the approach of minimising the impact the event.

Marstrand is a natural amphitheatre for sailing with beautiful open sea conditions just outside the harbour, providing the perfect setting to show the Dragon class and Henri-Lloyd technical clothing in their natural element:

"It is a genuinely nice environment here with the old, historic town from the 17th century and then the long, rolling waves just outside the harbour. I think it will be very interesting with the long courses out to sea; judging the current as well will be important."

The Swedes are renowned for their hospitality, and Marstrand will be welcoming to all the visiting sailors from around the world:

"I think there will be a lot of energy at the event with so many people coming out of Covid lockdowns, hungry to get back out on the water in top-level competition. Hopefully, we will see more than 100 boats on the start line which will be an impressive sight. Also, in the harbour seeing these stunning boats next to each other on the docks will be spectacular. Marstrand is fantastic town for social activities, and I know that the organising committee has a lot of plans in place. I'm very much looking forward to showing Sweden at its best!"

You can find out more about the event at and view the Henri-Lloyd Dragon Gold Cup 2021 Collection at

Related Articles

Henri-Lloyd Customer Favourites
Timeless, high performing designs, chosen and worn by you Timeless, high performing designs, chosen and worn by you. Take a look at some of our customer favourites below and get ready to love any weather. Posted on 24 Jun
Now Online! GBR SailGP Merchandise
Where performance meets responsibility is the driving ethos behind the new partnership Henri-Lloyd have proudly partnered with the GBR SailGP Team as their official technical clothing partner. Where performance meets responsibility is the driving ethos behind the new partnership, raising the bar for design and manufacturing. Posted on 21 Jun
Henri-Lloyd x LØCI
British performance wear brand and British vegan sneaker brand launch collaboration British performance wear brand Henri-Lloyd and British vegan sneaker brand LØCI have launched a new collaboration for a limited-edition range of luxury sneakers made from recycled ocean plastic. Posted on 17 Jun
Henri-Lloyd teams up with Worn By Us
Initiative for pre-loved garments launched The British performance clothing brand Henri-Lloyd today launches a new initiative for pre-loved garments. Henri-Lloyd has teamed up with clothing re-sellers, Worn By Us, to take pre-loved products on a journey to their next life. Posted on 16 Jun
The road to responsibility
It's easier said than done Achieving the goal of becoming a responsible technical clothing brand is hard. If it was easy then every manufacturer would do it in an instant and shout from the tallest building that their clothing was 100% green, carbon neutral and recyclable. Posted on 8 Jun
Packable Performance
20% OFF at Henri-Lloyd £200 ends tonight Wherever you're headed this summer, Henri-Lloyd's High Performance Packable products are the perfect travel companions for your future adventures. Posted on 5 Jun
Celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
15% or 20% off at Henri-Lloyd 15% or 20% off at Henri-Lloyd, depending on how much you spend. offer ends June 5th. Posted on 3 Jun
Bank Holiday Essentials from Henri-Lloyd
Timeless items help you spend time outside in comfort Timeless items help you spend time outside in comfort. Posted on 31 May
One short, countless activities
Say hello to the Henri-Lloyd Explorer Shorts Designed and built to get you out there. The Explorer shorts are high performing and feature a recycled, 4-way stretch fabric that is lightweight, water resistant and perfect for summer adventures. Posted on 20 May
New colourway for Henri Lloyd M//PRO 2.0 jacket
Recycled GORE-TEX Pro fabric comes in Orange, Navy and White 100% waterproof recycled GORE-TEX Pro fabric comes in Orange, Navy and White - a no compromise durable yet lightweight construction lets you forget about your gear and focus on winning. Posted on 17 May