Our vision

Our vision is to create a world class sailing event with a thrilling competition, business values and a fantastic atmosphere among the visitors.

The event shall be sustainable with innovative solutions in a genuine and historical environment.


Sailors Paradise

In the far west, where the archipelago ends and the open sea begins, you find the island of Marstrand with Carlsten Fortress at the top. The sailing town and seaside resort Marstrand is a favourite with visitors. It is home to a harbour filled with all kinds of boats, cosy homes along car-free streets, top restaurants and cafées, sun and salty swims, music and spectacle.

Ever since the Middle Ages Marstrand has exerted a special attraction, and has retained it up to our own days. The town of Marstrand was founded back in the 13th century by the Norwegian king Håkon Håkonsson. Sited way out on the edge of the archipelago, Marstrand was an ideal harbour, often ice-free and with mooring facilities regardless of the wind direction. It was for many years a major fishing centre and the starting point for international maritime trade. Directly to the west lies Skagen in Denmark, and the route from there was regularly followed by the old sailing boats.

Nowadays Marstrand is best known for other kinds of sailing craft. Sailing has grown to be a public sport here, one that can be watched from the only natural sailing arena in the world. This is where the regatta Match Cup Sweden has been held the past 23 years. During the event, exciting sailing is combined with business and a fantastic atmosphere among the visitors, making Marstrand the sailing capital of Sweden.

It has not always been like this and for many centuries it was the herring that made the difference between wealth and poverty. In the 16th century Marstrand was the herring capital of Europe. The street lamps of Paris burned herring oil imported from Marstrand. Employment opportunities brought folk from far and near, and the island became renowned for its immorality. There were more than a hundred taverns on the little island. The island was wealthy enough to build the town hall in stone as they were tired of the many fires they’d suffered. But suddenly the herring ceased to swarm and no more stone buildings were erected.

In the 18th century the herring returned once more and – to attract labour to Marstrand – the “Porto Franco” was established, meaning a free harbour, paying no taxes, and a refuge for criminals. It was also a place of total religious freedom. The first synagogue in Scandinavia was founded here. But the great herring years once again came to an end and the people of Marstrand were forced to find a new source of income. When sea bathing became the fashion in the 19th century Marstrand began a fresh era of glory. The island attracted the upper classes, eager to mingle with royalty in the newly built Societetshus, Turisthotell and the Marstrand bath house (today’s Båtellet).



How did it all begin?

A somewhat remote island on the Swedish west coast, connected to land only by a small ferry, is today the home of one of the most respected sailing events in the world. Over the last 23 years, Marstrand’s unique race arena has been a scene for legendary sailors and spectacular match racing duals. Thousands of spectators have been able follow every move on the race course with excitement and awe. But how did it all start?

Modern match racing, where two boats duel in a race against each other, has its roots in the start of the America’s Cup in 1851. The concept became a further established form of racing in events such as the King Edward VII Gold Cup I Bermuda and the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, California. In the mid 80’s, after the success of the 26th America’s Cup in Australia, the international sailing world started talking about how to develop the spectator friendly concept.

An international tour of match racing events began to take form and in the Barcelona Olympics 1992, where the sport became a part of the Olympic program. One of the sailors set on competing in the new Olympic sport was Sweden’s Magnus Holmberg and together with his team he turned to the international match racing circuits to find training through competing against the best match racing teams in the world.



His first event, in Bermuda, was an eye opener for Holmberg, with crowds following the racing in Hamilton Harbor with commentators guiding them through the matches and a large sum of prize money to give the event a golden edge. He immediately saw the potential in bringing a similar match racing event to Sweden. In the winter of 1993, Magnus Holmberg started working with his dream to bring a match racing event to Sweden. With Swedish Match as a sponsor and The Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club as organizers, Marstrand was decided as the place to host the first edition of Swedish Match Cup.

Holmberg had a fellow Swede Peter Klock by his side to organize the inaugural event but they were far from certain if the concept would work. In the summer of 1994, distinguished skippers like Peter Gilmour, Russell Coutts and Ed Baird all lined up to compete at Marstrand. And it soon became clear that the organizers had found a successful recipe. Thousands of spectators travelled to Marstrand to follow the action in a perfect setting and a beautiful Swedish summer.

1997 Swedish Match Cup became a part of the official match racing World Championship tour. In just a few years, the event had become an institution on the Swedish West coast and a “must see” for a growing number of fans. The event has continually attracted the best sailors in the world, and some have stood out more than others.

2016 saw big change to the event as Aston Harald stepped in as owners of the World Match Racing Tour and introduced the modern catamaran M32 in several stages of the tour. Match Cup Sweden was the final event of this new season with multihulls.

Today, we are proud to call ourselves one of the highlights of the World Match Racing Tour. We are proud of our history but also look forward to another 20 years of match racing at Marstrand.



GKSS Match Cup Sweden is organized through the partnership between the World Match Racing Tour, the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club (GKSS) and Create Agency Sweden. World Match Racing tour owns the tour and the boats, GKSS takes care of everything off shore and make the competition possible and Create Agency are responsible for creating an amazing event on shore for both visitors and sailors. Everyone involved starts working with the event one year in advance and through a strong cooperation between partners, sponsors and volunteers a world class sailing event is created.


Patrik Malmer
Event Director
+46 705-81 45 03


Madelene Gimlegård  

Event Manager
+46 767-75 92 13



Anna Serner

Project Manager
+46 735826242



Lina Lundkvist
Transport & logistics
+46 708- 39 47 44



Alexandra Aaseby
Exhibitors & Costumer activations
+46 702- 29 09 08




Evelina Holmqvist
+46 736 48 34 63




Bror Beckholmen
+46 708 39 47 49



Olof Lidh
Press Officer
0725 35 84 06