Dutch initiative Perseverance debuts as Team Partner in the Clipper 2023-24 Race

18 August 2023

A Dutch initiative, working in collaboration with the Princess Máxima Center for Paediatric Oncology, will be making its debut as a Team Partner in the Clipper 2023-24 Race, under the team name Perseverance. Dutch Skipper, Ineke van der Weijden will be leading the team, with AQP Joss Creswell as second-in-command as the yacht races 40,000nm around the world.

Through the partnership, the Perseverance team will raise awareness for the Princess Máxima Center, a Dutch research hospital of international standard with the mission to cure every child with cancer, with optimal quality of life. The organisation works every day in a ground-breaking and passionate way to find better cures.

Perseverance, in collaboration with the Princess Máxima Center, has also created the possibility for cancer survivors to experience the challenge of the Clipper Race through an Ambassador Programme. The partnership will create the possibility for the individuals who show perseverance to re-kickstart their life with a once in a lifetime experience of crossing the world’s oceans. The Ambassadors will race on Legs 5-8 of the circumnavigation on board Perseverance.

Image: The Perseverance team yacht branding design

The term perseverance reinforces the message that the Ambassadors and Race Crew are strong and capable of extraordinary things, and by experiencing this challenge, they can carry this forward for the rest of their lives. The Perseverance team will set the bar high and share the perseverant attitude that the Princess Máxima Center inspires.

Perseverance is the brainchild and passion project of Mr Koole, a Dutch entrepreneur and Alumni Clipper Race crew, who created this initiative to support cancer survivors. He will be guiding and keeping in touch with the Ambassadors during their race, sharing his stories and experiences of his time on the Clipper Race.

With Dutch Skipper Ineke van der Weijden at the helm, the team will be flying the flag for the Netherlands as Perseverance circumnavigates the globe.

Image: Dutch skipper Ineke van der Weijden

When Perseverance was revealed as her Team Partner, Ineke said: “I am super excited to be Skipper of Perserverance! It will be an amazing opportunity to sail with people that have faced the immense challenge of overcoming cancer. I hope participating in the race will allow them to demonstrate what they have overcome and the possibilities of things still to come. As a Dutch sailor, it makes me extra proud to be doing this with the Princess Máxima Center, bringing a little orange to our boat.”

Eight Dutch Race Crew, and crew who reside in the Netherlands, currently signed up for the Clipper Race will be racing on board Perseverance and flying the flag for The Netherlands:

Dennis De Rond, 57, creative director, living in Dubai

Jacobus Ligthart, 58, retired, living in Malaysia

Jeroen Overing, 64, manager, from Utrecht

Jerry Smit, 51, entrepreneur, from Amsterdam

Peter Wilms, 52, technical advisor from Den Helder

Stephanie Didier, 50, software engineer from France living in Hoofddorp

Willemijn Van Der Meer, 24, student from Delft

Thijs Mathot, 39, engineer, Dutch, living in Canada