Sunday, 1 May 2011
Team Boskalis 2011. Image copyright Team Boskalis.
by Diana Bogaards
Team Boskalis 2011 includes again four F18 catamaran duo's and is bursting with talent and experience. Former Olympian Pim Nieuwenhuis (NED, 34) joined forces with Ferdinand van West (NED, 24), two-time winner of a bronze medal at the F18 Worlds. The combined skills of the entire squad come from sailing at the highest level in the 49er skiff and F18 catamaran.
'It's always a whole tour to get the rightpeople together, but we did it,' said team leader Gunnar Larsen (NED, 35).'I think this is the strongest Boskalis team ever. Unfortunately there areno female sailors involved this year, but that is just the way it sometimesgoes.'
Nieuwenhuis & Van West
'We have Pim Nieuwenhuis and Ferdinand van West", explains Larsen. 'Pim took fifth place at the 2008 Olympic Games and Ferdinand almost won the F18 World Title in 2010, but eventually finished third." Nieuwenhuis collected along with his former skipper Mitch Booth multiple medals at the various ISAF World Cups. In 2007 they won bronze at the Tornado World Championships and silver at the F18 Worlds. After the Tornado class lost its Olympic status, the duo competed in the Extreme 40 and in the F18 class. Nieuwenhuis continued his Olympic career as helmsman on the 49er with Van Weston the wire. Now, they return to the F18 as a duo. Van West has been part of Team Boskalis for several years already. Together with his former skipper Hugh Styles (GBR) he collected many prizes, including two bronze medals at the F18 Worlds in 2009 and 2010.
Veenman & De Waard
'Then we have Frank and Jorden as the youngsters,' added Larsen. 'During the two weekends of Dutch F18 class events, they showed their potential. Our expectations are high in terms of their future growth." For Jorden Veenman (NED, 26) this is going to be his fifth season in the F18, but the first with Frank de Waard (NED, 22). In recent seasons, Veenman belonged to the Dutch F18-top and De Waard made his transition from top-class field hockey only three years ago.
Larsen & Frank
Larsen about his new crew: 'I team up withSam Frank. He has just graduated from the KLM Flight Academy and adopted a job asa pilot. He is a former 49er sailor. Meanwhile, I have become a kind of a godfather to the team and its leader." At the beginning, Larsen guided Stefan Dubbeldam to the top five of the world. Then he sailed one season with former World Champion Jeroen van Leeuwen, with whom he won the International Nacra Championships 2010. Now he takes Sam Frank (NED, 20) under his wing. Frank was an early promise in the beach catamaran. Three times he became Dutch junior champion in the Hobie 16 with spinnaker. At the ISAF Youth World Championships he finished in fifth place in the multihull. Then he continued in the 29er and finally Olympic 49er, so now he turns back to his roots.
Leitner & Beattie (AUS)
The Australians Jamie Leitner and Adam Beattie represent the international arm of Team Boskalis. Larsen: 'Our Australian sailors Jamie and Adam just arrived two weeks ago. They may stay in Europe ninety days and within that period they want to sail as many events as possible." They have worked together for quite a while. Since they come from the Australian summer competition, they have the advantage of being in their race rhythm.
Concerning his expectations for 2011 Larsen says: 'At the first Dutch F18 Class Event we finished with two boats inthe top four. Netherlands is known as a high level F18 catamaran country, so I think we should be able to get podium finishes at the international regatta's." To start with Eurocat in Carnac/France, which starts on Friday April 29th andlasts until May 1st.
'We can be happy if three of our teams finish top fifteen in Carnac. It is early season. We only start training in March, so it is hard to be at your top 1,5 month later. We focus on Texel and the F18 Worlds. That's where we want to reach our peak performances."
The team may be followed on www.teamboskalis.com, Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter.com/TeamBoskalis_1 (Nieuwenhuis &Van West)
Twitter.com/TeamBoskalis_2 (Leitner & Beattie)
Twitter.com/TeamBoskalis_3 (Veenman & De Waard)
Twitter.com/TeamBoskalis_4 (Larsen & Frank)
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. is a leadingglobal services provider operating in the dredging, maritime infrastructure andmaritime services sectors. We provide creative and innovative all-roundsolutions to infrastructural challenges in the maritime, coastal and deltaregions of the world including the construction and maintenance of ports andwaterways, land reclamation, coastal defense and riverbank protection. We offera wide variety of marine services through SMIT and we have positions instrategic partnerships in the Middle East (Archirodon) and in offshore services(Lamnalco). The company holds important home market positions in and outside ofEurope. Boskalis has a versatile fleet of over 1,000 units and operates in over65countries across six continents. Including its share in partnerships,Boskalis has approximately 14,000 employees. Boskalis celebrated its 100thanniversary in 2010.
For more information about Team Boskalis, please visit the website: http://www.teamboskalis.com