Head Coach: Wil Van Bladel
Wil is the head coach of the Vyf Olympic and Talent team. He has been and remains the catalyst that keeps the team running smoothly. Wil started this project in 2009 when Evi Van Acker was looking for sparring partners in her Olympic campaign towards the London Olympics in 2012. In those years Wil coached me to some great results. The team's ultimate high being a bronze medal that Evi won at the London Games. He himself was a very succesfull sailor, competing at 2 Olympic Games (Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988) in the Tornado class. He also became European champion in this class.
Technical/Sailing Coach: Marc de Haas
Marc joined our team in 2014 as coach of the Laser Standard group. Since we started working together we have made big leaps forward and are starting to challenge the best sailors the class has to offer. He is responsible for my technical and tactical know-how in training and racing on the water. Marc was a very good Laser sailor himself with multiple successful results at World cup events, European and World championships.
Physical Training: Energy Lab – Ward Van De Capelle
Since 2014 Energy Lab is responsible for our building our physical programs. Sailing is a high intensity sport and requires many hours in the gym and on the bike. Together with our coaches they set out a program that allows us to perform at the highest level possible at the main events. Throughout the year we must do body-scans and physical testing to monitor our progress and tweak our training schedule. I have daily contact with our main physical coach Ward Van de Capelle.
Mental coach: Jef Brouwers
Jef joined the Vyf Olympic Team in 2013. He is responsible for our mental stability and character analysis. This allows us to adapt and keep focus in difficult racing and training situations. His favourite motto being: ‘When fun stops, stress starts.’
Core Stability: Grit – Maarten Thysen & Mathieu Gram
Grit Sports clinic also joined us in 2014. They are a team, based in Leuven, responsible for our core-stability and injury prevention programs. Maarten and Mathieu are both top physiotherapists and have constant contact with Energy Lab to assure us the best possible training.
physiotherapist (Ine Sleghers - Kjell De Hondt)
During events we almost always have a physiotherapist travelling with us to keep us in the best shape possible for racing. Ine Slegers who works at Kinecoach and Kjell D’Hondt who works at Sportpraktijk Heverlee take turns travelling with us.
Vyf Olympic Team
In sport you never win alone. Without the Vyf Olympic Team none of this would be possible. My team-mate in the Laser Standard is William de Smet. We train and spend most of the year working together on the water and in the gym. Bob Verhaagen is part of the Talent team but trains with us as much as possible throughout the year. The team set-up allows young sailors to grow through the ranks and eventually join the Vyf Olympic Team. The team consists of different classes: Laser radial (Evi Van Acker, Emma Plasschaert and Maite Carlier), 49er (Tom Pelsmaekers, Yannick Lefebvre, Joachim D’hondt and Levi Slap) and Nacra 17 (Isaura Maenhaut, Dominique Ampe, Alec Bague, Henri Demesmaeker and Kevin Bonnevie). When we’re abroad generally we all stay together. The strength and support we can give each other helps us perform and stay strong through both good and bad times.