Marstrand, Sweden is renowned as one of the world’s most iconic match racing venues, drawing large and enthusiastic crowds along the cliffs and shoreline. The natural amphitheatre of the rocky shore almost looks like it is made for the purpose.
The event has seen epic battles in the past, such as when seven-time champion Peter Gilmour took on future America’s Cup winning helmsman Ed Baird, then in 2002 Dean Barker memorably defeating his ‘mentor’ Russell Coutts and in turn Coutts’ own two victories in 2001 and 2004.
Recently there has been a local hero: Björn Hansen, long dubbed the ‘Master of Marstrand’, had won the event five times previously, including a four-event winning streak between 2012 and 2015. This year saw the veteran match racer, together with his Extend Commerce Sailing Team of Mathias Bredin, Philip Kai Guhle and Nils Bjerkås, prevail once again, defeating the USA’s Chris Poole and his Riptide Racing team 2-1 in the final.
Hansen was understandably ecstatic to win again on the world stage:
“Just an amazing finish. We are so pleased to be back in Marstrand and win the event again. Chris [Poole] and the team had a great event, and we knew it would not be easy in the final.
“It has been great to bring this event back and return to the World Match Racing Tour with the world’s best match racers” added Event Manager Matias Rahm. “The island was packed with spectators today which was just fabulous to see again, we look forward to welcoming the world of international match racing back to Marstrand again next year.”