Did you know that TU Delft has a sailing team? The team just finished fourth place in the overall class in the Sailing Arabia the Tour (SATT).
International Student Dominique Smit found out about the team when he moved to Delft from Singapore to start a civil engineering degree. Smit is of Belgium decent but grew up in Singapore. Since his move to Delft, he has changed majors from civil engineering to maritime engineering and joined the Team Delft Challenge in 2011.
Team Delft Challenge was founded in 2003 by a group of avid sailing students. They had an ambitious idea to compete in the Tour de France a la Voile. The team has now competed in several Tour de France a la Voile competitions and earned some excellent results. This year is their first time participating in the SATT.
The team has just completed the SATT and took fourth place. The Tour began in Manama, Bahrein on February 9th and then with inshore and offshore races stopping in Quatar, the United Arab Emirates, and finally ending in Oman on February 25th. The team had an exciting time on their Farr 30 boat and even boasted a first place finish on the 140 nautical mile portion into Mussanah, Oman. Most importantly, Smit pointed out that, “The weather was obviously better than in the Netherlands.”
Coming from Singapore, Smit is well-versed in the challenges of the cooler climate here in the Netherlands. His profile on the Team Delft Challenge webpage jokes that he had to get used to sailing in something other than shorts.
When Smit came to Delft, he started looking for a way to pursue his passion for sailing. He found the Team Delft Challenge and was selected to join the team. At the end of every season, the team holds a selection weekend. International students are always welcome, but all participants in the selection weekend must keep in mind that not everyone is selected and the ones who are must be a good fit for the team. Sailing is very much a team sport and team cohesiveness is extremely important. Smit says that Dutch and English are used when they are working together on the boat.
Team Delft Challenge is a unique sporting team since they do all of their own managing, logistics and sponsorship dealings. Smit is responsible for all the logistics of the team. He admits that doing all their own work on and off the boat has a great impact on their networking and bonding skills, which should be useful for their careers.