"When I was 13 years old, I was fascinated by Equity& Law II which was racing in the Whitbread Round the World Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race). The boat was old, and the team was operating on a shoe string budget, but....in the last leg their navigator, and my big hero Marcel van Triest, took a rather unconventional course, taking advantage of a small low pressure system and won the leg. That was it, I decided there and then that I wanted to become a navigator in the round the world race. I had to do all the sailing I could as well as study Meteorology, so that is what I did...."
Wouter Verbraak - a world class yachtsman.
He has skippered HUGO BOSS in the Barcelona World Race, he has sailed several iterations of the Volvo Ocean Race, Americas Cup, Oryx Quest, and Tour de France à la Voile, won the Admirals cup, TP52 MedCup, Middle Sea Race, Cape Town to Bahia Race and the Sydney to Hobart, co-skippered the Elanders and Avant boats in the Volvo Baltic Race and he has advised sailors on strategy and weather in the Vendee, Route du Rhum, the Jaques Vabre and the Olympics.
After almost ten years of dinghy and big boat sailing on Melges 24, Mumm30, IMX 38 etc, Wouter then got his big win being part of the Dutch Admiral's Cup team in 1999, winning the Offshore World Championships.
A year later after completing his Masters Degree in Sydney on sea breezes, Wouter got picked up by Jean Yves Bernot and Knut Frostad, to be the co-navigator in the djuice dragons Volvo Ocean Race campaign; the start of his professional sailing career.
Since then, Wouter has worked for ten years building up his skill set from weather and strategy specialist to electronics and data-analysis in the America's Cup and TP52 classes, and built up a vast amount of ocean racing experience in two Volvo Ocean Races, more than ten Atlantic crossings, and getting top results in most of the Ocean Racing Classics.
In 2011 Wouter showed his leadership talents by skippering the Hugo Boss in the double handed Barcelona World Race.
Wouter continues to perfect his skills, focussing on leading teams as a tactician or skipper, and helping top teams with strategy and offshore sailing as a navigator or strategist. A growing area is to share his experience with corporate teams inspiring them to work together in new ways to get winning results.
When Wouter is not out sailing, he is either found running or biking in the forest with friends or the family dog, and more often than not can be spotted out on the water coaching his son in the Optimist. This energetic and friendly guy really loves sailing!