It was december 2006, I was in the middle of my Olympic sailing career as well as finishing a bachelor in business administration.
I had to write a Thesis to finish my degree, what should I write about?
I met up with Henri van der Aat, former head coach of the Dutch Olympic sailing team and later Technical director of Ajax.
At that time he was doing some consulting for ISAF and he asked me; why not write about something you are passionate about? Point taken, away I went.
There it was, I was writing my thesis for ISAF and Trefpunt about the future of my beloved sailing.
Ever since I was young I have always had a passion for sailing and technology, so quite logically most of my thesis was about how the two should come together in the future.
It was in a time GPS was starting to become mainstream, youtube was being related to as “narrowcasting”. And the first production foiling moth was about to be released.
I very strongly believed the future was here, and ISAF and sailing would be ready to embrace and take it on, making sailing a more populair sport
I wrote about shorter races, different race formats, using GPS and narrowcasting to bring sailing closer to the public, using foiling boats to attract the so called
“playstation generation” , using the aging demographic as a opportunity and many other things.
By now I realize it is not realistic to expect a organisation like ISAF to take this on, they don’t have the resources nor the vision to make this happen.
It should come from companies and organisations that dare to dream and have the resources to do so.
In September 2013 I thought the future finally had arrived!
The live “narrowcast” of the 2013 America’s cup using modern technology and media was everything I had envisaged in my thesis. It was like the future finally arrived.
But not for everyone…