Induction Class of 2020

Rolf Vrolijk

The Netherlands


Photo by R. Steven Tsuchiya

Rolf Vrolijk won two America’s Cup matches with Team Alinghi as the Chief Designer of SUI-64 (2003) and SUI-100 (2007). Vrolijk’s first significant foray into the America’s Cup was during 2000 match cycle when he designed BRAVO ESPANA (ESP-47) for the Spanish challenge. While the team did not progress to the Louis Vuitton semi-finals, the boat’s hull design was considered by many to be one of the fastest. After that match, Ernesto Bertarelli, the founder of Team Alinghi, didn’t hesitate to hire Vrolijk to be the team’s lead designer. Vrolijk’s SUI-64 helped lead the Swiss team to victory in the 2003 match, bringing the Cup to Europe for the first time since 1851. In 2007, his final America’s Cup Class yacht, SUI-100, regarded as the fastest ACC yacht ever built, successfully defended the Cup for the Société Nautique de Genève. Beyond his proven design skills, Vrolijk is a humble man who is deeply respected for his approach to the sport. Hall of Famer Brad Butterworth declares, “I am a big fan of Rolf Vrolijk, I have been in teams with Rolf, notably Alinghi where he was a true sportsman holding up all the high ideals of yacht racing.” In between Cup matches, Vrolijk designed multiple champions in the TP52, Maxi, and other elite classes. He is currently a member of the design team of INEOS Team UK, a challenger for the 36th Cup.