Dirk is the answer to the trivia question, “Who is the only Dutch athlete to have visited the White House?” Such are the spoils for winning the America’s Cup.
As the main trimmer aboard USA 17, “Cheese” was responsible for harnessing the power of the towering 223-foot wingsail during BMW ORACLE Racing’s successful campaign for the 33rd America’s Cup.
Dirk holds the same position for skipper James Spithill on the ORACLE TEAM USA – SPITHILL AC45 crew.
Dirk was one of the sailing team members who contributed design input to the AC45, the one-design catamaran developed for the ACWS, and also was part of the shakedown crew that put the prototype through its paces last winter.
“The AC45 came out of the box working pretty much instantly. Even with the wingsail, everything worked as it was designed,” said Dirk. “Huge credit goes to the design team, who were designing the boat as it was being built.”
Before developing into perhaps the foremost wingsail trimmer in the world, Cheese found remarkable success in the Volvo Ocean Race. He was aboard the 2001-02 race winner illbruck, skippered by his brother-in-law and fellow team member John Kostecki. He also has two second-place finishes, in 2001-02 and 2005-06, racing with Grant Dalton and Paul Cayard, now head of the Emirates Team New Zealand and Artemis Racing America’s Cup challengers. He also placed fourth in the Soling Class at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.
- America’s Cup World Series San Diego Match Racing Championship, winner
- America’s Cup World Series San Diego Fleet Racing Championship, winner
- America’s Cup World Series Plymouth Fleet Racing Championship, winner
- America’s Cup World Series Cascais Match Racing Championship, winner
- America’s Cup World Series Cascais Overall Championship, 3rd place
- 33rd America’s Cup, BMW ORACLE Racing, winner
- RC 44 Season Championship, BMW ORACLE Racing, winner
- RC 44 World Championship, BMW ORACLE Racing, 3rd place
- Volvo Ocean Race, Pirates of the Caribbean, 2nd place
- BMW ORACLE Racing
- BMW ORACLE Racing
- Volvo Ocean Race, illbruck, winner
- Sydney Olympic Regatta, Soling Class, 4th place
- Whitbread Round the World Race, Merit Cup, 2nd place