Chris Gongriep, founder of Holland Jachtbouw, has passed away at the age of 70.
Gongriep was known as a very influential and successful entrepreneur, who was also a passionate yachtsman. He had previously owned the J-class yacht Rainbow, and originally founded the real estate company G&S Vastgoed.
The company released a statement saying, “With the sudden death of Chris, we lose a special man. In the yacht sector his vision had great influence – he stood firm and unorthodox in his way of working. He has delivered beautiful and high-profile projects as well as great sailing performance.”
Holland Jachtbouw was originally founded by Gongriep under the name De Hemmes, back in 1990. After changing its name, the yard went on to launch well-known yachts including 46m Windrose of Amsterdam, and its 62m flagship vessel, Athos.
A record-breaker, Gongriep twice broke the Transatlantic sailing record for classic schooner yachts in 2002 and 2005, on the Windrose of Amsterdam.
Gongriep’s most recent vessel was Rainbow, the first J-class yacht to feature a silent hybrid propulsion system. Louise Morton, Secretary of the J-Class Association commented, “We and the J-Class family are shocked and saddened by this tragic news. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”