the Gold cup

the history

the olympic years

the winners of the cup

the history

The International Dragon Cup was presented in 1937 by members of the Clyde Yacht's Conference with the intention of bringing together as many competitors of different nationalities as possible for yacht racing in Europe in a friendly spirit, in order to perpetuate the good feeling which existed at the first International Clyde Fortnight. The Clyde Yacht Clubs' Conference has been reconstituted as the Clyde Yacht Clubs' Association and the International Dragon Cup has become known as, and is now renamed, the 'Dragon Gold Cup'. 

Members of the Clyde Yacht Clubs' Association created specific rules for this competition and donated a perpetual trophy made of pure gold for an annual international race. From the beginning, the Gold Cup was considered a family event for the Dragon sailors and could be raced by yachts of the International Dragon Class belonging to any country, and for this reason was a very well attended event. 

Until 1965, the year of the first Official World Championship, the Gold Cup was considered the unofficial World Cup. The first rules created by the Clyde Yacht Clubs' Association established that the Cup should be sailed annually and that the Cup should be retained by the winner for one year only. It also established that the event should take place in rotation in the following countries: Scotland, France, Sweden, Germany, Holland and Denmark. 

With the revision of the rules in 1997, the number of hosting countries was enlarged to eleven: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 


The hosting country and the Organising Authority continue to be selected by the Clyde Yacht Clubs' Association in conjunction with the International Dragon Association and the number of participants was limited to 120.


the olympic years

It was a natural choice as an Olympic class in 1948, and was sailed by an entire generation of regatta competitors in the immediate post-war era.  From 1948 till 1972 the Dragon served as keelboat for the Olympic Games.  This helped the class to develop over different areas in the world.

the winners of the cup

The last Gold Cup was held in 2019  in Medemblik

and this was the top 3

    1st (POR)
Pedro Andrade
Christian Giannini
Joao Vidinha

2nd (NED)
Pieter Heerema
Lars Hendriksen
George Leonchuk

3rd (JAP)
Peter Gilmour
Sam Gilmour
Yasuhiro Yaji


The 2020 Gold Cup in Kinsale was cancelled due to Covid, the current holder of the Gold Cup is therefore Mr Pedro Andrade.

The Dragon Gold Cup is one of the most historical and valued cups in the sailing world.  It is an annual sailing race for the Dragon class since 1937, organized by the International Dragon Association and the Clyde Yacht Clubs' Association. The most successful sailor is Danish Aage Birch, with seven titles, followed by fellow Danish Ole Berntsen, with five titles. In total, Danish crews have won 32 titles.


Dragon legends like Vincent Hoesch value the win of the legendary Gold Cup even higher than a win of the world cup, since it is a fear competition without discards in a bigger and more diverse field!  “It is extremely difficult to win the Gold Cup…”


The full list of honour here.