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Barbara Kendall leaves big shoes to fill - new kiwi Natalia Kosinska aims to do that

NZ Herald: Even in Poland, Barbara Kendall was famous and now a young Polish boardsailor is keen for the name of Kosinska to rate up there with Kendall in New Zealand windsurfing. The Poles have some of the best sailors in the world; their men took gold and silver at the 2010 world championships. One of their former champions, Natalia Kosinska, now calls New Zealand home and aims to represent her adopted country at the London Olympics in 2012.
"Even in Poland Barbara Kendall was a guru when I was young," recalls Kosinska. "I don't know if I can be the next Barbara - but I certainly want to try."

"She has made a lot of progress in a short space of time," says coach Dave Robertson. "If she keeps improving at the same rate over the next eight months then anything is possible."

Kosinska, 29, was the youth world champion in 1999. She then narrowly missed selection for the Sydney Olympics, coming second in the trials. She enjoyed several top-five finishes at world cup regattas in the early 2000s but missed the cut for Athens. After finishing a disappointing 17th at the 2005 world championships, she packed the board away and went to Australia to study.

Kosinka moved to New Zealand in 2007 and immediately felt more comfortable on this side of the Tasman.

"It was so dry and hot there," she laughs. "I much prefer New Zealand. I also think the people in Australia are over confident - though sometimes I think that Kiwis are not confident enough."

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