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Perth 2010 Finn Me Some Wind

by Shauna McGee Kinney on 21 Nov 2010
The top 10 Finn athletes wait in the hot, still air - 2010 Perth International Regatta Shauna McGee Kinney
Perth 2010 - While the ten Finn medal contenders at the Perth International Regatta discussed the still wind conditions with the judges, a couple of the Finn competitors shared their stories with us.

Akif Muslubas (TUR) and Jan Kurfeld (GER) smiled as they reviewed their week of racing at the 2010 Perth International Regatta.

Akif is a 39 year old sailor from Turkey. He’s a tax accountant and fits his competitive sailing in between his professional career. His career funds his Finn and overseas events, starting with the Finn Worlds Melbourne in 1999. Akif had outstanding finishes and enjoyed his races in Athens Greece in March and Split Croatia in May of this year. He reflected fondly upon this years Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco and was grateful to have the time to make the trip to Perth.

Akif started racing the Optimist at the age of nine. He raced in the Turkish 380 class and raced Lasers in the years that followed. At 19 years old, Akif started racing the Finn. Akif has coached his younger brother and international Laser champion, Kemal Muslubas. And, likewise the brothers enjoy traveling together.

Akif pointed out that all of the Finn sailors were also like his family. At this regatta he gave a new sail to a fellow Finn sailor after a sail tore. Another friend, a Greek sailor provided a mast for Akif’s boat.

Akif will be taking a break from sailing during the Turkish winter and rejoining the competition in April 2011 at the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia MAPFRE to be held at Palma de Majorca Spain.

Jan Kurfeld is 22 years old and balances his studies with sailing. He is studying navigation and plans to be a commercial captain container and cruise ships. He’s the only German competing in the Finn class at the Perth International Regatta. Jan organizes his own sponsors and funds his own campaigns.

Jan started at six years old in the Optimist and at 13 years old moved into the Laser Radial. By the age of 15, he placed 17th out of a fleet of more than 300 Lasers competing at Lake Garda Italy. In 2007, Jan took the gold at the Finn Silver Cup, the Finn Youth championship, held in Moscow Russia. Jan won the gold at the Finn European Juniors in Scarlino, Italy in 2008.

This year, in August, he competed as an adult at the Finn Worlds in Weymouth Great Britain. He values the racing experience on the future 2012 London Summer Olympics qualifying course.

Jan pointed out that sailing the Perth International Regatta would allow him to get familiar with the local conditions before returning for the Olympic qualifiers at the Perth 2011 event. What couldn’t be planned was the local Perth wind conditions didn’t fill in.

As Jan Kurfeld transitions from the youth Finn into racing with the seasoned, international Finn competition, look for him to climb in fleet standings.

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