[2009-08-23 07:52:41 bg-sail.org] | :19303

 For the first time ever, the Finns will race a major championship on the Black Sea.
The Yacht Club Captain G. Georgev  in Varna, Bulgaria will host  the AGB Finance – 2009 Finn Open Championship in the Senior and Junior divisions from the 21st  to the 29th  of August.
Over  70  sailors  have  gathered  from  21  countries  with  strong  attendance  recorded  from  Eastern Europeans. Russia, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece  and  the host  country Bulgaria have  sent  full contingents in both juniors and seniors division.
There  is  a  strong  field  of  varied  talent  ready  to  fight  for  the  title.  2006 European  champion Ed Wright (GBR) and 2007 European champion Eduard Skornyakov (RUS) will try to regain the title won  last  year  by Ben Ainslie, who  has  taken  a  break  after  his Olympic  victory. World  ranking leader,  Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic  (CRO), Giles Scott  (GBR) or Pieter-Jan Postma  (NED)  are  among the  favourites.  However,  there  are many  other  sailors  that  could  reach  their  full  potential  after steadily  improving  throughout  the  year.  Rafal  Szukiel  (POL),  winner  of  Kiel Week  or  Deniss Karpak (EST) who has started in the Finn late last year after competing in the Laser in Beijing, will
be in contention for the title.
Over  20  juniors  will  contest  their  European  title,  only  three  weeks  after  disputing  their World Championship  in Balatonfured. Last year winner Jan Kurfeld will be racing his first Europeans  in the senior division. Junior World Silver and Bronze medallists, Egor Larionov  (RUS) and Andryi Gusenko (UKR) are among  the favourites. They will face  the strong Czech and Polish  teams both eager to produce a winner by the end of the week.  
The  youngest participant  is Dimitar Vangelov  from Bulgaria. At  the  age of 17, Vangelov  started racing in a Finn four months ago and participated in the Junior World last month finishing 32nd in a fleet of 50 boats.
Bulgarian  Finn  sailor,  Mihail  Kopanov  has  raced  on  the  Finn  circuit  for  many  years  and  is enthusiastic about  this major event on his home waters. “This  is very good  for Bulgarian Sailing.
For  once,  the  top world  sailors  are  coming  to  race  here  in  our  country! This  is  also  the  biggest Olympic  class  event  ever  organised  in  Bulgaria  and  I  think  it  will  bring  good  experience  and confidence for future events.”
The  Bulgarian  Federation  has  worked  hard  to  provide  the  event  with  the  best  organisation  and services and have secured the participation of main sponsor AGB Finance and the Municipality of  Varna. In a press conference held in the Palace of Culture and Sport, the President of the Bulgarian Sailing Federation, Mr. Chavdar Alexandrov Stoylov expressed his content that such an event as the Finn  European  Championship  was  held  in  the  Black  Sea  Region:  “The  ambition  of  the  new management of the Federation is to organise even bigger and prestigious events which would bring a positive  image not only  to sailing  in Bulgaria but also  to  the country as a  touristic destination.”
The  Director  of  “Junior  activities  and  sport  department”  of  Varna  municipality,  Mrs  Kalinka Popstefanova underlined  the  involvement and aim of  the municipality  to support  the development of water sports in Varna and wished fair winds and competition.”
Racing will start  from 12AM on Monday 24th with  two  races scheduled per day until Friday 28th
The medal  race  for  the  best  ten  sailors  and  a  final  race  for  the  rest  of  the  fleet  are  planned  on Saturday 29th, final day of the event.
Free  of  rights  pictures  and  videos  will  be  posted  daily  on  the  official  website:  

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