Gerd-Jan Poortman

Gerd-Jan Poortman

Ocean sailor, Coach and entrepreneur

The strength of this speaker
  • Inspiring
  • Adventurous
  • Leadership

About Gerd-Jan Poortman

Gerd-Jan Poortman is one of the best sailors in the Netherlands. He participated three times in the toughest sailing race in the world, the Volvo Ocean Race. In his 20 years of top sports career he has won several European and World titles and Gerd-Jan is a successful coach and skipper at both international and Olympic level. In recent years Gerd-Jan has focused on making his lessons available to the business world. He does this by means of his own ‘We BY Me’ High performance Teamwork concept.

"Teamwork starts with you"

Why Gerd-Jan Poortman Book as a speaker ?

Gerd-Jan Poortman is a very enthusiastic speaker and can incorporate many themes in his presentation. Gerd-Jan likes to talk about his experiences in the Volvo Ocean Race, leadership, collaboration, communication, innovation and development, safety and risk management. Gerd-Jan's presentations are supported by the use of examples, anecdotes and impressive visual material. Gerd-Jan can also be booked for a sailing clinic or a teamwork kick-off workshop. Big Data is also one of the topics Gerd-Jan can talk about. He talks about how data input can be used to make decisions within a team and how it can eventually be used as a tool to win a race.


Gerd-Jan Poortman started sailing at the age of six. From the age of twelve he participated in sailing competitions. During that time he has participated in competitions all over the world in various boats. He managed to win several titles. His professional sailing career started in 1999 with a victory in the Admirals Cup. In March 2005 Gerd-Jan Poortman was selected as one of the high potentials for the white bank boat of Team ABN-AMRO. The foredeck became his domain. In the first stage he and his crew set the 24 hour speed record for monohulls. But on his way to Wellington (NZL) Poortman got injured and was forced to stay ashore for a few stages. The talent team eventually finished in fourth place overall. In 2008 Gerd-Jan competed again in the Volvo Ocean Race, this time with Team Delta Lloyd. In 2014/2015 Gerd-Jan was one of the initiators of Team Brunel and achieved a second place as a crew. After 2015 Gerd-Jan has developed enormously outside sailing as a High performance team coach where he helps companies to get even more out of their teams with his own concept and 20 years of experience. This principle is very popular with both companies and the sailing teams that Gerd-Jan coaches and skippers. Since 2015 Gerd-Jan has won many national and international titles as a skipper with his teams! In 2019 he is nominated Coach of the Year by the Dutch Sailing Federation.

An impression of this speaker


  • Five world titles, four European titles and more than ten titles
  • World speed record 24 hours, ABN Amro Two 2005
  • Participation Volvo Ocean Race 2005, 2008 and 2015

Book Gerd-Jan Poortman now as speaker

Are you interested in booking Gerd Jan Poortman as a speaker? SportsSpeakers has been the speakers agency of the Netherlands in sports for more than 15 years and gives tailored advice without obligation.