Talent alert: Daphne van der Vaart

11 march 2016 – source: Delta Lloyd Regatta 

For the second time we have a Talent alert. This week Daphne van der Vaart shares her story. She is one of the best upcoming Laser Radial sailors.

Where it all started
“From child on I was often on the water, because my parents had a boat at the Kaag, which is a village in the Dutch province “Zuid Holland”. When I was eight years old I started with serious sailing in an Optimist. I did my first races in the Combi events, this is a little competition for beginners in the Optimist. Soon it was clear that I was really competitive and fanatic. After a while I received an invitation for the Optimist selection. When I was 13 years old I participated my first European Championships in Italy in the Optimist. After some European Championships in the Optimist and the Laser 4.7 there was an opportunity to go to the Youth Olympic Games. At these Youth Olympic Games I battled for the silver medal, which really motivated me to fight for the Olympic Games. Time for the next step, I went to the Laser Radial, and soon I received an invitation for the Delta Lloyd Talent Team and I am still in there.“

The big step to the international circuit
“Since two years I race in the senior classes, in the same field as Marit Bouwmeester, which is a really big step, because they all have a lot more experience.

The key to success is in my opinion is experience. But the biggest step I have to take right now is mentally. At the start of the race everybody is shouting to each other for space and most of them intimidate me because they are, in my eyes, ‘the great sailors’. Besides this mental aspect I can learn a lot about strategic decisions.”

What I would like to achieve in the next five years
“I really want to go the next Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. Sometimes it is hard to combine study (Media & Entertainment) and sailing, but the Delta Lloyd Talent Team and coaches always stimulate you. When I finish my study, I can train and focus fulltime to achieve my goals.”

The best reason for sailing
“Sailing can be defined as “chill”, because you can create a situation where you can go very fast. Besides that it is a beautiful feeling, also for kids, to do what you want.

When you sail you always train outside, even when the wetter is bad. These times it is hard to motivate yourself, but when you perform well during training you can feel really satisfied. I can conclude that sailing is a beautiful sport.“

An event in my home country
“The Delta Lloyd Regatta is an experience because there is so much attention for the sport, the technology and the media. By using new technologies it is possible to follow your teammates. It is a well-designed event which you don’t want to miss.

Sailing is, at the moment, not a public sport, because people can’t follow the races live. When the public can see and follow the sailors it is much more interesting for them. This is possible through using the newest technologies, for example drones, Gopro cameras and tracking systems.

The result of these technologies will hopefully help sailing to be more appreciated and understood.”

Who is your role model?
“There are two role models for me. One of them is Lobke Berkhout, 470 sailor, because she won the World Championships five times and she participated twice at the Olympic Games. Besides that, in everything what she does, she is a professional and that inspired me. I also like the way she shares her experiences.

The other role model is Beyonce.one of her favourite quotes for me, is everything starts with a dream. The comparison between sport and singing is, in my opinion, that you want to achieve your goal. What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”

Author: Daphne

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