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Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in News and Events, US | 1 comment

Throwback Thursday: Celebrating Conny van Rietschoten and Flyer

The Flying Dutchman has sailed over the horizon.

Cornelis ‘Conny’ van Reitschoten died Tuesday this week. He was 87. To this day, the Dutch sailing legend remains the only skipper to have twice won The Whitbread Round the World Race, now the Volvo Ocean Race. His winning yachts were named Flyer (1977-78, 1981-82). They called Conny The Flying Dutchman.

Here’s the obituary from Volvo Ocean Race.

Conny van Rietschoten

van Rietschoten won the Whitbread Round the World Race twice. Photo: Onne van der Wal/ vanderwal.com

The Flying Dutchman wasn’t tough as nails. No, nails aspire to be as tough as Conny:

He suffered a heart attack when their yacht was deep into the Southern Ocean, enroute to Auckland, New Zealand. Van Rietschoten swore his crew to secrecy, and would not even allow the Flyer doctor Julian Fuller to call a cardiologist aboard their rival yacht Ceramco for advice. “The nearest port was 10 days away and the critical period is always the first 24-36 hours,” he recalled later. “Ceramco was already breathing down our necks. If they had known that I had a health problem, they would have pushed their boat even harder. When you die at sea, you are buried over the side. Perhaps those Ceramco boys might then have spotted me drifting by. And that I was determined would be the only thing they would see or hear from Flyer on the matter!”

Sail on, Flying Dutchman.  (1926 – 2013)

1 Comment

  1. A man to aspire to. His toughness, resilience and determination to succeed in what he loved and believed in should be a life lesson for those saplings who bend in the wind so easily.