Adventurer Mark Slats thinks big and mainly in possibilities. “Nothing is impossible”. At a young age he swapped continents regularly as he moved from Darwin Australia (born in 1977) to Holland, back to Australia and when he was 8 years old back to Holland once again. Being the fanatic sportsboy he was he managed to join the top waterpolo team representing the province South-Holland at the age of 12. A year later he moved once again together with parents, this time to New Zealand where he chose to play underwater hockey as waterpolo was not a very popular sport in New Zealand at that time. Next to his sports Mark enjoyed nature and the endless possibilities to fish.
When he was 14 years old Mark moved back to Holland with his family, mainly because his parents foresaw a better future for their children in Europe. Back in Holland Mark started with intensive boxing trainings (next to his regular high school career), his physical state improved and he started to enter in thriathlons.
After high school Mark joined the Dutch Marine and decided to study general mechanical engineering. During his time with the Marine he wanted to explore the world. Unfortunately, his ship encountered many technical challenges which made his “planned” trips very uncertain. Mark decided to start working and to use the money he made for his dream to explore the world. With that goal in mind he quickly finished his studies and started his own construction company at the age of 19.
Blood is thicker than water and at the age of 23 Mark once again left Europe to go Down Under. During this trip, he became fascinated with sailing. He also started reading many books about adventurers and journeys around the globe. As a true ‘man on a mission’ Mark embarked on each challenge, even though risks where sometimes involved. ‘If you keep thinking about it, stop dreaming, do it!”
Bloed kruipt waar het niet gaan kan. Op zijn 23e vertrok Mark naar down under. Tijdens zijn trip door Australië raakte hij gefascineerd door de zeilsport. Ook las hij veel boeken over avonturiers en wereldreizen. Als een ‘man with a mission’ greep Mark iedere uitdaging aan, ook wanneer er risico’s aan verbonden waren. Waar een wil is, is een weg. ‘If you keep on thinking about it, stop dreaming, do it!’
With the prizemoney Mark won during the Australian Kickboxing Championship he came closer and closer to his goal. He invested the prizemoney in his first boat ‘Cornelia’ and decided to sail to Holland together with his dog Sammy. It was during this journey that Mark encountered what sailing entailed, purely by experiencing the sport. Days of no wind followed by days of storms, one day ‘Cornelia’ was joined by a group of dolphins followed by a whale accompanying Mark and Sammy at night. After 18 months Mark arrived in Holland and picked up the work at his construction company and invested his money in refitting the ‘Cornelia’ and preparing her for his next adventure; Mark’s first race: Oceans2Cross.
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