Piet Vroon I 4th June 1930 - 15th June 2023

Piet Vroon became a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club in 1959 and for six decades was one of the most influential, adoring, and considerate sailors for generations. 

Hundreds of sailors have been mentored by the great man, racing with him on his series of boats called Tonnerre de Breskens. Thousands of sailors have been empowered by his lust for yacht racing. Behind the scenes, Piet Vroon also assisted a vast number of rising stars of the sailing world. Offering guidance and financial support for their racing campaigns.

Piet inspired a total commitment to competition, fair sailing, and a passion for the sport of yacht racing. His RORC racing record is more than impressive, winning the Fastnet Race overall, RORC Yacht of the Year, Overall RORC Season’s Points Champion on two occasions, Class winner for the RORC Caribbean 600 and Round Ireland Race winner.

Piet Vroon’s Tonnerre de Breskens won Yacht of the Year in 2001, but the Somerset Memorial Trophy was presented jointly to Piet and Denis Doyle’s Moonduster. The two were great friends, as well as competitors, and shared happily! 

Since the 1950s, Piet Vroon skippered his crew to victory in scores of RORC Races amassing a huge haul of RORC Medallions. A staunch supporter of East Coast racing, Piet Vroon raced, and won, countless North Sea Races. Piet Vroon’s Tonnerres didn’t just race offshore, winning the RORC IRC National Championships, The Lord Nelson Trophy at Antigua Sailing Week, and the Kinsale Kettle at Cork Week.

Piet will always be remembered for his love of the Fastnet Race, hardly missing a milestone race for over 60 years. Piet proudly claimed that he only failed to go around the Fastnet Rock on two occasions: “Once when the yacht was dismasted, I don’t count that one, and secondly to attend my mother's funeral”. Commented Piet.

Piet finally won the Fastnet Challenge Cup on his 20th attempt in 2001 and continued to race until 2015 when he was 85 years young. Piet Vroon is a true legend of the sport of yacht racing. He is sadly missed by the whole yacht racing community but will be loved for eternity. 

Click this link to access the Book of Condolence created by the Vroon Family.

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