‘Silver’ 470 sails into Dutch history
AMSTERDAM _ The Dutch Yachting Association has donated the 470 sailboat _ that Lobke Berkhout and Marcelien de Koning sailed to a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics _ to the National Maritime Museum here. Maurice Leeser, the head of the association, said he hoped the gift will draw a wider audience to competitive sailing in the Netherlands.
“This sport deserves an even bigger stage in the Netherlands,” said Leeser. Berkhout won the world championship 5 times in a 470. With de Koning she also won silver at the Beijing games and, with Lisa Westerhof , bronze at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The French-designed, double-handed 470 was launched in 1963. Its name refers to the boat’s overall length of 4.70m. Designed to plane easily, the fiberglass dinghy quickly appealed to sailors of different sizes and ages. By 1969, it became an international class. It was first used at the Olympics in 1976. In 1988, the first Olympic women’s sailing event used the 470.