Florian Wilken, Founder and Technical Director of the WildlifeSAIL Project
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Sailing and the outdoors have always played a major role in Flo's life. As a youth in northern Germany, Flo's sailing career began racing Optimists, and later graduated to a number of high-profile regattas in the Baltic. Flo and JF share a long history of adventuresome partnerships, including racing against each other in competitive New England Laser-sailing events; training together for the German Open Snowboard Championships; rebuilding an old 20-foot catamaran; and countless double-handed sailing ventures in the Elizabeth Islands.
Flo's active sailing resume includes a trans-Atlantic crossing from Salvador, Brazil, to Capetown, South Africa for which he crewed as bowman and second helmsman for RED MAX, an Open 60 Maxi. During this South Atlantic ocean passage, Flo teamed up with two Whitbread sailors to prepare the Maxi for its upcoming Cape to Rio 2000 Ocean Race. The owner imposed racing conditions on the crew in order to test equipment and refine race tactics. Flo is certified by the German Yachting Commission for general boating.
Flo has finished a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business Management at the University of Berlin, Germany. He is fluent in German, English, Spanish, and Portuguese and has spent extended periods of time studying and working in South America. In addition to being an accomplished violinist and having played with the Berlin Classical Orchestra, Flo recently sold his Internet Company OMANDU GmbH which was co-founded by him during his university time in Berlin and which had grown to become one of Germany's top community destinations.