Described by Nicolo di San Germano as
"the only man I know who has made money out of powerboat racing... and
managed to hang onto it".
In a racing career spanning 24 years he
has won no less than seven World Championship titles and only an accident
during the 1976 season denied Cees his eighth world crown.
The original "Flying
Dutchman" was born in Nistelrode, Holland in 1941 and at the age of 23 he
started his distinguished racing career in the vee hull 70 class. After two
years he moved up to the IU 100 class, once again using a vee hull, though this
time fitted with a 100 hp engine.
In 1970 Cees turned his attention to
the OI catamaran class and after just two seasons he won his first OI World
Championship. Using a works Mercury powered Molinari hull, he beat his arch
rival and teammate Renato Molinari into second place. During the winter of 1974
Cees was offered a deal to become the works driver for the OMC factory team,
this also gave him the perfect opportunity to design and build his own raceboats.
The following season using a Velden he clinched the OI World Championship title
for OMC. Cees later returned to the Mercury works team and went on to secure
them yet another world title, once again using a Velden hull. In the summer of '74 he and his American teammate Bill Seebold
of St. Louis, Missouri teamed up to win the famous Paris 6-hour and Parker (Arizona) Enduro
Van der Velden was in his prime in the
1970s winning the ON class titles in 1974, 1975 and 1979, while winning the Continental
ON titles in 1974, 1976, 1978 and 1979. He also captured the Continental OZ
title in 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1981.
Prior to the 1983 WorId Championship,
OMC persuaded Cees to rejoin them in their works team and this paid off, as
Cees duly delivered them the World Championship title.
In 1989 he decided to hang up his
helmet and dedicate more time to designing and building Velden boats. One year
later he joined the UIM as a Commissioner to the Formula One Series, and has
since introduced many radical conceptions that has elevated both Formula One
and Formula Three to a level of professionalism that was lacking prior to his
He died on 28th of December, 2006 –
when he lost his battle to cancer.
The above article from f1boat.com