Papendrecht / Netherlands, May 10 2007 -- Since the year of 2007, Dredging contractor Royal Boskalis Westminster nv sponsors the ambitious catamaran sailors Stefan Dubbeldam (19) and Sebastiaan Tentij (19) from the Netherlands. These technical students, who won last year’s Dutch Championship Hobie 16 with spinnaker, aim at participation in the Tornado class at the Olympics of 2012. To reach the level of world’s best cat sailors as fast as possible, the team attends a special Nacra Master Class given by professionals Mischa Heemskerk and Gunnar Larsen. Dubbeldam is sailing with Larsen to learn the tricks of the trade, and Tentij with Heemskerk. In these formations the crews participate in the international Formula 18 circuit. In the beginning of May, Heemskerk and Tentij won their first large regatta, Eurocat 2007, in Carnac (FR). Larsen and Dubbeldam obtained a tenth position.
The young Team Boskalis Dubbeldam/Tentij faces a double challenge: to graduate with flying colours and to become part of the catamaran world top. Dubbeldam is a sophomore of Marine Technology at Delft University of Technology. Tentij is a first-year student Civil Engineering at The Hague University. The student team, which is motivated by ambition and perseverance, will work in phases towards participation in the Olympics of 2012 in London. The adventure begins with the first Nacra Master Class in the competitive F18 class, after which the young sailors will move up to the Olympic Tornado. Roel Berends, Group Director Corporate Relations Boskalis: “The boys’ project fits into our new sponsoring policy. Their plan is not only of maritime nature, but it also involves innovative technique and it contains an important element of knowledge transfer. Apart from that, it is ambitious; these sportsmen want to win. So there are many associations with Boskalis. You could say that they might have been two of our men.”
Nacra Master Class In 2006, Dubbeldam and Tentij took part in the youth training programme from the Dutch foundation Youth Cat Sailing Program. Since the Hobie 16 with spinnaker is the ISAF youth catamaran, the boys learned the basics of racing in that boat. They trained with the coaching of experts on the Braassemermeer and on the IJsselmeer at Medemblik. Their enthusiasm was that big, that they decided to look for a sponsor to finance their path to the top. Via Dubbeldam’s studies they came in contact with Boskalis. In corporation with Watersport Scheveningen, their project soon was moulded into unique shapes. The one-to-one coaching from masters Gunnar Larsen, who is a successful F18-helmsman, and had his own Tornado campaign in 1999 and 2000, and professional sailor Misha Heemskerk, who was within an ace of participating in the Games of 2004 himself, has to make the difference. Dubbeldam: “The main idea is to do in one season what would otherwise take years.” The two students will sometimes compete on their Boskalis Nacra Infusion together, to see how they have improved. From 2008 onwards, they will permanently sail as Team Dubbeldam/Tentij to put into practice what they have learned. About Boskalis
Royal Boskalis Westminster nv is an international group with a leading position in the world market for dredging services. Its core activities are the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, land reclamation, coastal defence and riverbank protection. The company holds important home market positions in and outside Europe and targets all market segments in the dredging industry. Boskalis also has strategic partnerships in maritime infrastructure (Archidoron) and in maritime and terminal services (Lamnalco). Boskalis has a versatile fleet of over 300 units and operates in over fifty countries across five continents. Including its share in partnerships, Boskalis has over 8,000 employees.