Conny Van Rietschoten Biography

Conny Van Rietschoten, born on March 23, 1926, in the Netherlands, was a legendary Dutch sailor and two-time winner of the prestigious Whitbread Round the World Race. Growing up near the sea, Van Rietschoten developed a passion for sailing from a young age. He began his career as a yachtsman in the 1950s, first competing in local regattas and gradually making a name for himself in international sailing competitions. His remarkable talent and determination led him to become one of the most successful sailors of his time.

In 1977, Van Rietschoten made history by winning the Whitbread Round the World Race, a grueling race that spanned over 27,000 miles and tested the sailors’ endurance and skill. He skippered his yacht, Flyer, to victory, showcasing remarkable seamanship and strategic planning. This astonishing achievement propelled him to international fame and marked the beginning of his illustrious career in sailing.

Four years later, in 1981, Van Rietschoten accomplished an extraordinary feat by winning the Whitbread Round the World Race for the second time. This remarkable back-to-back victory firmly established him as one of the most accomplished sailors in the world. His triumph aboard the yacht Flyer II solidified his place in sailing history and cemented his status as a national hero in the Netherlands.

Van Rietschoten’s success in the Whitbread Round the World Race made him a respected figure in the sailing community worldwide. His exemplary sportsmanship and determination served as an inspiration to many aspiring sailors. Aside from his remarkable achievements in offshore racing, Van Rietschoten also contributed significantly to the development of Dutch sailing. He founded the Conny van Rietschoten Foundation, aimed at promoting sailing and providing support to talented Dutch sailors.

Conny Van Rietschoten’s impact on the world of sailing is immeasurable. His extraordinary achievements and unwavering passion for the sport continue to inspire and motivate sailors around the globe. Although he passed away on December 17, 2013, his legacy lives on through the fond memories of those who witnessed his triumphs, as well as through the foundation that bears his name, ensuring that his love for sailing endures for generations to come.

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