Dear members of the IFDCO,

we received two nominations according to 6.6.5 our Byelaws for a new president of the IFDCO. Thanks to Eric Deleu and Peter van Koppen who are willing to become president! Please find their curriculum vitae below. 

According to 6.6.6 of our Byelaws we need a voting process. To make sure that all current IFDCO members can vote for the new president we will have a vote by email. 
From now on any IFDCO member is requested to vote for our new president.
Please send an email to generalsecretary@sailifdco.net with your preferred candidate as president (Eric or Peter) and your complete name, nation and IFDCO number till 31 of August 2019. 

You can use one of the following links to vote for the candidates:

Eric Deleu Peter van Koppen

Meike Greten, IFDCO General Secretary


I’m Belgian, French mother tongue although my father is Flemish. I speak fluent English and Italian and I understand “een beetje” Dutch.

In 1989, I migrated to Italy “per amore”. My wife Alessandra is Neapolitan and our daughter Carolina is 21 years old. And yes, thanks to the mozzarella di bufala, pizza, spaghetti alle vongole, pastiera and pasticciotti, I gained some twenty kilos to crew on FD!

Since 1993 I have been working in the Communication and Advocacy Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, http://www.fao.org, the biggest UN specialized agency. I’m a sound engineer and, for the last 19 years I have been working on Media production (Radio, TV, podcast, multimedia and live webcasting operations), dealing with 194 countries in the 6 official languages of the United Nations system.

My sailing experience

I started sailing when I was seven years old, on “Optimist” in Bretagne (France). I also sailed on Caravelle, Trident 16, Vaurien, 420 and Hobie Cat. For many years I sailed just for fun, participating at small regattas during holidays. I fell in love with the Flying Dutchman in 2006, when I met Francesco Vespasiani (ITA 4) on the Bracciano lake (Rome). I’m an IFDCO member since 2009.

In 2012, I coordinated the design and development of the FD Italian class new website (http://www.sailfd.it) and since then, together with Luigi Macci, I’m the website Webmaster.

If you are on Facebook, you may have noticed that I also do some promotion for the FD activities.

About the FD activities

I think we are all aware of the difficult time that sailing activities, in almost any dinghy class, are facing today. Somehow, I see it as an opportunity to reach out new FD sailors who, for different reasons, gave up sailing on other dinghies: Star, 470, Finn, Contender, Laser…, not only by focusing on the way we could improve the IFDCO communication and coordination but also by enhancing promotion, marketing and branding of the Flying Dutchman. Advertising is a form of communication, the soul of any human activity, and it starts with your smile!

The dialogue and the complicity among all countries and amongst FD sailors could be enhanced.The International Flying Dutchman Class Organization (IFDCO) is a community present in more than 20 countries around the world. In my view, a healthy FD International class means that the structure of the class could be strong only if the network is strong enough. The first and most important networks being the IFDCO Executive Committee  and the IFDCO General Committee.

I see the role of IFDCO President as the Coordinator of a small international community, namely the Executive Committee and the General Committee. And I see the General Committee as the leading force of another international community made of 20 national classes or so. Each national class is a community itself, each national class is another network. And in some countries, a national class is made of different regions (or zones).

Sailing on the Flying Dutchman dinghy also means fellowship with others, sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. The FD is not an easy boat to sail. It is a very technical boat to sail if you want to win a regatta and that’s probably why there are still so many of us in love or fighting with her!

I believe that most of us will agree that, to enjoy a regatta on FD, you need good wind (not too little, not too much), a nice body of water, some sun, and in the late afternoon, good drinks and good food…  with fellow sailors.Enthusiasm, a positive approach, passion, good will, commitment, common sense are the key ingredients that each and all of us should bring on board. So… All hands on Deck!

Thank you

Eric Deleu (Crew on POL 1)

Peter van Koppen

My name is Peter van Koppen. I’m residing in Hilversum Netherlands close to the Loosdrecht  Lake, the  birth place of the FD. My very first contact with the FD was in 1966 on the Bodensee. We went sailing with 3 persons  on the boat.  I was only 8 years old. I was asked to hold the tiller for a short while…what a sensational feeling that was. Then four years later on a beautiful sunny day and a light wind I went on the trapeze on the Alpsee in a beautiful mahogany Bob Hoare. By then I was totally hooked to the FD. 

I bought a very old FD the original NED 16 and after having crewed here and there I got in touch with Guus Bierman ( owner of Contender sailcloth). I learned a lot from him especially trimming the boat. In 1979 we won the Dutch championship. My first…several were to follow. I campaigned for the Olympics in 1984 but we just missed the qualification. 

In 1993 I started to sail with W.Langeslag for six consecutive years. Several more national titles were won. I was very lucky also to crew for Szabolcs Majthenyi, Hans-Peter Schwarz and even J.Bojsen-Møller. All very impressive helmsman. In 2006 I started to sail with K.Schäfers and we bought the famous Mol boat from the Hungarians. We sailed very much and became a good team. Then bad luck struck me as I got lots of pain in my hands from the sailing. Only years later it turned out to be a blood disease(hemochromatosis-suppletion of iron).

We sold the boat and my amount of sailing regretfully minimised.  I had a few more nice moment though: became German champion in 2014 with Kai (nice surprise) sailed a beautiful Worlds in Sydney and also in Scarlino. During these years I was commodore for about five years and since January 2015 am the Treasurer of the FD class.

I think from history and experience that I can say that I know the spirit of the class and what FD sailors want. I believe very much that sailing an FD is still a great experience and will empower the class. I will do anything to support this in benefit of the class.  

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