Not long to wait before you can find out. It is the ultimate sailing race for anyone who wants to make real estate more sustainable, and it’s been hotly anticipated almost two years now: the Green Buildings Regatta. We spoke to two participants who are both out to win the coveted trophy on the next edition. Why are they so keen on winning? Ian van der Pool and Wietse Walinga tell us about it in this interview.
For five years now, Ian van der Pool has had the ambition to bring a team from the Ministry of Defence to take part in the Green Buildings Regatta. This year, the time has finally come. “It might surprise you, but the Ministry’s Defence Support Command (DOSCO) is one of the largest facilities service providers in the Netherlands. The regatta is a unique way for our professionals to connect with colleagues outside our setting, so we couldn’t let this opportunity pass us by.” Wietse Walinga, director of Smart Workplace, is also looking forward to the regatta. “It’s really a mix between fun and teamwork. The atmosphere is unique, because people in facility management are actually really nice people! On top of that, there is also a connection with good causes, and you can be sure that the people you bring along will have a great experience.”
“It all comes down to the sporting performance, but networking is also an important part of the regatta. And the atmosphere is pure gold, so it’s an event you just can’t miss, as far as I’m concerned.“– Wietse Walinga, director of Smart Workplace
So, both men have clearly been looking forward to this unique sailing race for a long time. And they’ve have had plenty of time to put together their ideal team. But what does that team look like? “Well, that’s very simple,” says Wietse. “Neither my business partner nor I have any sailing experience at all, so we start by selecting our business associates with the biggest passion for sailing. The thing is, I’m extremely competitive and I want to win. So we want a team that’s fun, but we’re definitely out for the cup. We have no chance, of course, but we go out there like we mean it.” [laughs] For Ian, the cup is not the most important thing. “To do our job well, cooperation is crucial. Not only between each other, but also with the various clients, training officers and suppliers. That’s why our own operational managers come along, as well as commanders and other partners with whom we work a lot. We are competing with two boats and they are very evenly matched. So that competitive spirit between the two just comes naturally. But we are also facing off against sailing teams that have been competing together for much longer, so the competition is stiff. For me, the real gain is therefore in the cooperation: at the moment of the race, but also of course in the future.
Whether it’s about the win or the perfect team, preparations have already begun. For Ian, the preparation is all about the anticipation. “I have participated in the Green Buildings Regatta a few times before, but never with the Ministry of Defence,” he says. So I’m already getting my colleagues excited about what’s to come. They are really looking forward to it, so the fun has already begun.” Wietse goes a step further in his preparations, and he already has the first meeting between his team and the skipper on the schedule. “I always want to win, but it will take a few years before you can win a regatta,” he says. We are participating this year with the same skipper as last year, so we are now building our team. Last year we were in the top 10, but this year we are going for the top 5. Or at least going to beat Phi Factory.” [laughs]
“If you want to win a match, you have to work together. Everyone on board has to know what they need from each other in order to perform together.”– Ian van der Pool, Defence Support Command (DOSCO)
Both gentlemen have given us a nice insight into their preparations for the Green Buildings Regatta. Any last tips for the competition? “It really is a team game, you have to do it together,” says Wietse. “So I’d say: You have to get everyone working for it, but above all make sure to enjoy yourselves. My biggest challenge last time was accepting my loss, but at least I was the winner at the cocktail reception after.” [laughs] Ian concludes with a tip in the form of a challenge: “If your focus is on winning, then I challenge you to have more fun than us. Because that’s a competition we are definitely going to win!” With that, there’s nothing left to say but let’s make it another great edition of the Green Buildings Regatta.
We look back on an exciting and beautiful race and are already looking forward to the next edition on September 9, 2022. Registration is open again!