Making a living out of sailing is easier said than done. The Bladerider adventure was over, but my ambition and passion for bringing technology and sailing together was not.
After finishing as 4th in the 2008 Olympic Games (losing a medal on a count-back), we ironically finally climbed to the number one spot in the world ranking.
My brother (Sven) and I decided to embark on one final Olympic journey.
Our 2008-2012 campaign turned out to be a tough one and with the financial crisis hitting hard in October 2008, finding enough funding was very hard.
At the time that crowdfunding was at it’s infancy (summer 2009) we started our own crowdfunding campaign “friends of TeamCoster”. Some 32 sailor friends, entrepreneurs and others contributed € 1000 per year each to our campaign. It barely kept us afloat.
After our (final) fall out with the Dutch Sailing Federation in 2011, the government funding dried up and we were in desperate need of more funds. Sven and I were dividing the phone calls and I had to call this guy that Sven had met. His name was Peter Houtzagers.
Kalle: ”Hi. I’m Kalle Coster, you spoke with my brother Sven about funding for our Olympic campaign and he said you might be able to help us. Would you have time somewhere in the next few weeks?”
Peter: ”Sure why not, how about tomorrow at 12.35 at the Squash centre in Amsterdam south. I’ll have about 20 minutes”
Kalle: ”Great, I’ll see you tomorrow”
The next day we sat down and within 3 minutes Peter agreed on becoming a friend of TeamCoster.
After which he asked: “what makes you tick, what are your passions?”
We spoke for 2 hours about many things; life, Peters business adventures, his new yacht which was being build. And my latest interest: Marine electronics.
I had built a (simple) telemetric system to monitor data on the 470, which could be relayed to a tablet on the coach boat.
At the end of the meeting Peter added: “I’m in the final stages of negotiating the instrument package for my new yacht. Why don’t you have a look? Maybe you have some suggestions?”
After receiving the proposed package from Peter, I reviewed it and emailed him that I thought it could be done for half of the price.
He made me an offer I could not refuse; everything you manage to save me, I’ll double and put back in your Olympic campaign.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that my ambitions far exceeded my talents……