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Olympic PRO Pinar Coskuner Genç to be Chief Race Officer at Kiel Week

by Andreas Kling 19 Mar 14:10 GMT 18-26 June 2022
The anticipation of spectacular races on the Kiel Fjord, like the iQFoils here, is rising among the participants and the organization team © Sascha Klahn

Pinar Coskuner Genç from Istanbul is in charge of the races in Marseille 2024: Olympic PRO also engaged in Kiel.

Her CV shows a life dedicated to and with the sport of sailing to the core. International Race Officer Pinar Coskuner Genç (50) has officiated at Paralympic and two Olympic sailing competitions and will lead them at the Paris Games 2024. The organizers of Kiel Week have also recruited the turkish woman as chief race officer alongside Fabian Bach as local PRO.

When World Sailing appointed her as the Principal Race Officer of the 2024 Olympic Sailing Competitions at the beginning of February, the invitation from Kiel Week was not long in coming. Pinar Coskuner Genç immediately complied with the request of the organizing team headed by Dirk Ramhorst to also become the international PRO of the regattas on the Kiel Fjord out of full conviction: 'Bringing the plans for Marseille to the most important regatta in the world is a fantastic opportunity.'

The top-class official from Istanbul has the best memories of Kiel Week. In 2016, she was there as a judge and not only the flair and the great time on the fjord left a lasting impression. She was also impressed by the high level of racing, both in terms of sport and organization. 'Kiel always meets the highest standards and is open to new competition formats', says Coskuner Genç, who mentions the courses for iQ-Foiling with long lay lines as an example.

Being an active sailor since the age of five, the New Year's child came to offshore sailing via the Cadet class, the Pirate and national squad member in the 470. Currently the sail trimmer on a Farr 40, Pinar Coskuner Genç stays fit with Zumba, Pilates and yoga. The second recreational career started early and became responsible in 2005 as a referee on the water and a member of the Appeals Committee of the Turkish Sailing Federation. In 2016, she was the first woman to officiate as vice president of EUROSAF, and last year she became chair of the Development and Regions Committee at World Sailing.

Her career under the olympic rings also has only one direction. At the London 2012 Paralympics she was part of the race committee for the Sonar class, four years later in Rio for the 470s. She represented the olympic race course of the 470s in a leading role last year in Japan. Now she is the PRO for all sailing disciplines in Paris 2024 and also at Kiel Week at least until then. Genç: 'Both are an honor and challenges that I gladly accept.'

And the Kiel Week team is looking forward to the international race officer taking over the baton from Israeli Nino Shmueli, who is saying goodbye this year after his tenth Kiel Week. 'Pinar speaks very good German', Fabian Bach announced at the Kieler Yacht-Club's winter brunch at the Race Office in Schilksee, and he wasn't exaggerating. In addition to her mother tongue and perfect English, she is equally fluent in Italian. As an American high school graduate and economist from Istanbul University with a master's degree from the EU, the married mother of two has also turned her hobby into a profession. Her company represents J-Boats and Facnor headsail furling systems in Turkey.

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