Alon Finkelstein is a Design Engineer and Shareholder at Farr Yacht Design. Alon joined our team in January 2003 and is responsible for research and design of appendages at FYD. Appendages for today’s hi-tech racing sailboats typically involve some combination of a canting keel, lifting keel (with a heavy bulb attached to a long and slender fin), movable canard, twin rudders that lift-up or kick-up. Alon’s job is to optimize each of these elements to be as ‘slippery’ and hydrodynamically efficient as possible, as light as possible, while still maintaining structural reliability and safety.
In 1998 Alon graduated with honors from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Motivated by his ambition to one-day be involved in the hi-tech yacht design industry, he headed to the USA to study Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan where he graduated with a Masters degree in 2000.
In October 2000, Alon joined the research and design team for the 2003 America’s Cup challenger Oracle BMW Racing. Alon was responsible for structural engineering research as well as appendage geometry and drawing production.
Alon is a former Optimist European champion. In 1998 he was voted Wits University Sportsman of the Year in sailing and elected as commodore of the University’s sailing club. Alon sails actively, competing in many local and national events on his Vanguard 15 or J-22 or various other keelboats.