Three men, one team, 7,500 kilometers, all for a good cause. 50-year-old entrepreneur Sjoerd van der Zee is going for it with Dennis van der Bogt (47) and Pascal Grebien (34). They will ride the Baltic Sea Circle 2023 from February 18 to March 5 as the Ice Heroes and hope to raise as much money as possible for Make-A-Wish.
'We are going for a beautiful ride with a wow factor'
Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland. Through those nine countries Sjoerd van der Zee and his friends Dennis and Pascal will circle endlessly in an old Volvo in an undoubtedly white world full of ice and snow. The crazy nature as their best friend. A very best adventure; cold, pure, breathtaking. Start and finish in Hamburg and meanwhile sixteen days of driving 7500 kilometers of rally, partying, forming a mini-world with all the other teams full of adventurers. Extra nice: all those teams ride for a good cause, which is the philosophy of the organizing Superlative Adventure Club. Sjoerd: 'All three of us wanted to do something for a good cause with children and I happened to know volunteer manager Anneke Boek of Make-A-Wish. I approached her and explained our plans. Together we designed a blueprint on how to sponsor Make-A-Wish in the best and most playful way possible.'
The rules of the rally already make it quite exciting. No GPS, no navigation and the vehicle the toughs use to get around must be at least ten years old. Sjoerd: "Hence the old Volvo. We also take the Ice Puch Maxi, because the love for the Puch binds us. I am the owner of Puchshop.de BV and this is how Pascal from Austria got on our trail and we ended up from one thing to another and eventually into the world of rallies for charity. We think it's a wonderful combination: the thrill of adventure and doing something good for the world.'
The whole idea is that for sixteen days everyone can follow the Ice Heroes via a live stream. 'Pascal is a Twitch livestreamer named @onlyPasi, he has a huge number of followers, but Make-A-Wish and our company also have a huge reach on social media. The idea is that by taking on all the exciting, creative, challenging or just plain witty challenges, we will get as many sponsors to commit to us as possible to cover all the costs and raise as much money as possible for Make-A-Wish.'
For sponsors, the Ice Heroes have come up with all kinds of opportunities. You can be a Friend for 100 euros (name and logo on the website), but with bronze, silver and gold you can even become a main sponsor and more and more is possible, such as names on cars, clothing, video ads, etc. And anyone who comes up with a cool challenge, where exposure is the ultimate reward, can join the team, each challenge generates a thousand euros for charity!
Places no one goes
Aside from the fact that Sjoerd, Dennis and Pascal have their hearts in the right place, it is a zest for life that drives them. 'We have been doing this for years and really enjoy nature and everything we experience, because it is really very special. What binds us is that we don't want to be tourists, but look for the feeling of discovering something totally new. To come to places where nobody comes. People will also see that when they follow us via the livestream: we always make a fuss in the most positive sense of the word. If you ask me: when is it successful, I say: when we can look back on a wonderful ride with a huge wow factor. And it's not just about our good feeling, we're also going for the feeling that we can give others with an incredibly fat check. That's the challenge and we're going to take it full on.
Tip: follow Puchshop on Facebook, instagram or Youtube for more information about this insane rally