I grew up in a small inland town in the Netherlands and picked up a love for travel and sailing during my studies. After an international corporate career, I discovered yachting almost 20 years ago and have been sailing ever since. I have sailed, cruised, and raced extensively in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, East Coast of the States, and in the Arctic, including the East Coast of Greenland, crossing the Atlantic 13 times. As I started on smaller sailing yachts, I have been a deckhand, mate, chief officer, and captain, as well as engineer, stewardess, and chef when I was running a 70-foot sailing yacht (with only two crew on board you have to be able to do everything!). Having had a taste of most positions has definitely made me a better leader for my crew. I feel very lucky that I’ve been able to combine my love for the sea with an amazing job…
I’m passionate about helping the crew become their best and building a good team on board, and love being on the water while doing so. Training, for both crew and myself, as well as being open to keep learning from everyone onboard, are key to becoming better crew and better people. And it keeps life at sea interesting! Safety, for both guests and crew, is important to me, and I always make sure that guests have an amazing time while they’re onboard.
It is great to be one of the judges again this year, even more so as I had the honor to be nominated and awarded Best Chief Officer in the inaugural ACREW Crew Awards in 2018, and so can give back a bit of that. Hopefully, I will be able to pass on some of my passion for the sea, for the ultimate guest experience, and, most of all, for the teamwork on board to the upcoming crew and to this year’s nominees.
Good luck, everyone!