With just under 1.5 years to go before the  start of The Ocean Race 2021/22, our Team Childhood 1, like everybody else, is affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. We had a couple of very successful events during the winter months. The highlights being winning the line honours in the RORC Transatlantic and becoming the top contender of all the Volvo 65´s racing during the St. Martin Heineken regatta and then all of a sudden our campaign  “stopped”.

Four planned racing events in the Caribbean got cancelled and Team Childhood 1 who had their base in St Martin more or less got stuck there. All flights into St Martin got cancelled by the two major European airlines, so what to do next? Luckily we still had our boat captain there, so he was able to do the daily required maintenance and keep the boat in top shape. Being in the Caribbean doesn’t sound bad at all, but the Hurricane season starts soon, so we like to get Childhood  1 out of there in time.

The status right now is that the crew can fly in via Paris to Guadaloupe and from there take a small plane into the French side of St Martin.  Sounds easier than done: plenty of paperwork and necessary documents are required to enter France and to get onboard the flight. And the flights are still not confirmed.

Once the boat leaves St Martin, they should be able to get back to Holland in 2-3 weeks . The crew will push the boat when they can, but always keep in mind that the bottom-line is getting the boat back without any damage. There is only a short window for preparation for our next event: the Gotland Runt Race. The largest offshore race in the Baltic, starting in the center of Stockholm in the end of June and finishing out side the archipelago  in Sandhamn.  Without the support of the Swedish company Slätto,  it wouldn’t have been possible to sail under the name of Childhood1. Hopefully we can do something back for them in defending the overall title we won last year sailing under the name HIQ sailing team.

We have a contract until the end the of September 2020 to sail under the name Childhood1. Without putting all our eggs in one basket, we keep looking at all other opportunities there are to be on the starting line of The Ocean Race 2021/22.  This includes that we are looking for partners / sponsors to join us. We know that there will be plenty of challenges and hurdles to overcome the Covid19 crisis and that our sport is not the most important thing right now. But we are positive and love this race and we will do everything to be on the starting line again!


Sailing Holland is a collaboration of professionals. The collaboration started in 2013 with Gideon Messink and Anita van Oeveren. In close collaboration with 8-fold participant in The Ocean Race Bouwe Bekking. Together they had a dream to participate in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014 -15 with a Dutch boat and an experienced team. Together they went looking for sponsors. Not a sponsor for the entire campaign, but different sponsors who can reinforce each other, work together as a team and go for the highest possible result.

Team Brunel 2014-15 was a collaboration between BRUNEL, Schouten, Robeco and Moduleo. A successful formula. Bouwe Bekking gathered a good team around him and won second place in the race.

After the success of 2014-15, Sailing Holland immediately started looking for new sponsors for the 2017-18 race. This was not easy due to various circumstances. The team was finally able to start at the end of July 2017. A late influx, but Bouwe managed to gather good people around him. Another approach: many young people with a lot of knowledge and ambition. From the middle of the race, the team was unstoppable and made up for the backlog that had arisen in the beginning, leaving the team headlong with the winning teams: DongFeng and Maphre. After a nerve-racking battle, Team Brunel had to settle for an honorable third place.

The most important goal of Sailing Holland now is to train young enthusiastic people who have the dream to sail an Ocean Race. Coached by Bouwe there is a group of talents who sail along as a crew on the VO65. The goal is talent development so that more Dutch sailors can participate in the Ocean Race.

In the summer of 2019 the boat sailed among other things AF Offshore (Gotland Runt). Team Brunel and skipper Bouwe Bekking, along with young talents and HIQ as a partner, won the speed record, line honors and the class. Then came Channel Race, Fastnet Race and and Pro-am races in Aarhus.

Team Brunel 2nd place Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15

Team Brunel 3th place Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18


In October 2019, Sailing Holland entered into a partnership with the World Childhood Foundation (founded by Queen Silvia of Sweden) to generate more brand awareness for this foundation, which is committed to protecting children worldwide against violence and sexual abuse. The boat name has been changed from Team Brunel to Childhood1. Everyone who comes on board contributes to the name recognition of the foundation and the new Swedish - Dutch campaign in the Ocean Race 2021-22, through a donation / contribution.