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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Dutch initiative to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer

by Clipper Ventures 21 Aug 11:09 BST
The conditions faced on the Clipper Race © Clipper Race

A Dutch initiative, working in collaboration with the Princess Máxima Center for Paediatric Oncology, will be making a debut team entry in the Clipper 2023-24 Race, under the team name of Perseverance. Dutch Skipper, Ineke van der Weijden will be leading the team, with AQP Joss Creswell as second-in-command as the yacht races 40,000 nautical miles around the world.

The Clipper Race is one of the world's toughest endurance challenges and sees Race Crew from diverse backgrounds and nations take on the challenge of racing across the world's oceans. Teams are made up of crew of all ages and professions: students race alongside consultants, professional chefs and tattoo artists in a truly life-changing adventure.

The fleet of Clipper 70s consists of eleven 70ft yachts that circumnavigate the globe, facing the most challenging ocean conditions that sailors can face: from freezing storms and gigantic swells in the North Pacific, to searing heat of the tropics. Many crew members who step on board have no prior sailing experience before undertaking the compulsory and intensive four levels of training and are led by a Professional Skipper and First Mate.

Through partnering with the global sailing event, the Perseverance team will raise awareness for the Princess Máxima Center, a Dutch research hospital of international standard with the mission to cure every child with cancer, with optimal quality of life. The organisation works every day in a groundbreaking and passionate way to find better cures.

Perseverance, in collaboration with the Princess Máxima Center, has also created the possibility for cancer survivors to experience the challenge of the Clipper Race through an Ambassador Programme. The partnership will create the possibility for the individuals who show perseverance to re-kickstart their life with a once in a lifetime experience of crossing the world's oceans. The Ambassadors will race on Legs 5-8 of the circumnavigation on board Perseverance.

The term Perseverance reinforces the message that the Ambassadors and Race Crew are strong and capable of extraordinary things, and by experiencing this challenge, they can carry this forward for the rest of their lives. The Perseverance team will set the bar high and share the perseverant attitude that the Princess Máxima Center inspires.

Perseverance is the brainchild and passion project of Mr Koole, a Dutch entrepreneur and Alumni Clipper Race crew, who created this initiative to support cancer survivors. He will be guiding and keeping in touch with the Ambassadors during their race, sharing his stories and experiences of his time on the Clipper Race.

With Dutch Skipper Ineke van der Weijden at the helm, the team will be flying the flag for the Netherlands as Perseverance circumnavigates the globe.

When Perseverance was revealed as her Team Partner, Ineke said: "I am super excited to be the skipper of Perserverance! It will be an amazing opportunity to sail with people that have faced the immense challenge of overcoming cancer. I hope participating in the race will allow them to demonstrate what they have overcome and the possibilities of things still to come. As a Dutch sailor it makes me extra proud to be doing this with the Princess Máxima Center, bringing a little orange to our boat."

Eight Dutch Race Crew, and crew who reside in the Netherlands, currently signed up for the Clipper Race will be racing on board and flying the flag for The Netherlands:

  • Dennis De Rond, 57, creative director, living in Dubai
  • Jacobus Ligthart, 58, retired, living in Malaysia
  • Jeroen Overing, 64, manager, from Utrecht
  • Jerry Smit, 51, entrepreneur, from Amsterdam
  • Peter Wilms, 52, technical advisor from Den Helder
  • Stephanie Didier, 50, software engineer from France living in Hoofddorp
  • Willemijn Van Der Meer, 24, student from Delft
  • Thijs Mathot, 39, engineer, Dutch, living in Canada

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