The 2013 season for Point-7’s Black Team have been nothing but amazing.
The Point-7 Black Team was established to breed and mature young talent to reach their goals and become champions of their sport. Now the PWA slalom season has come to an end and on Sunday the 6th of October Alberto Menegatti could find himself to be crowned Slalom Vice World Champion.
Alberto have been working non-stop this past year since joining Andrea Cucchi and the rest of the Point-7 Black team. From his initial winter training in South Africa, to the time where he joined with the Black Team for their dedicated team training program in Tenerife in February earlier in the year his days have been filled with just one goal in mind: to improve his 12th position from last year.[image src=”http://d48291.u57.ttservers.it/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/k_p.jpg”]
The season has been one massive rollercoaster of a ride. First event stop of the year in Korea was kicked off with an impressive event win. Alberto secured a win in the first elimination, taking a second place in the second elimination and a 4th place in the third and final elimination securing him the event win and a massive start to the year. The result cemented the efforts Alberto had put into his training and the support given by all the Black team structure and riders as Pascal Toselli, Maciek Rutkowski, Enrico Marotti, Andrea Rosati, Oliver Tom Schliemann, Malte Reuscher and Bora Kazanoglu, who build and coordinated by Andrea Cucchi.[image src=”http://d48291.u57.ttservers.it/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/cb_a.jpg”]
Second event of the year was in Costa Brava, Spain. This event started out quite differently with Alberto going out early in the first elimination, coming back in the second winning a losers final, to then win the third elimination. The fourth and final elimination in Spain again went down as a upset but could be discarded. Alberto finished 8th in Costa Brava. The rest of the Black Team was though doing better results at the events thanks to the winter training. In Costa Brava you could see finals with even 4 black sails in them. The event where young 22 years old Maciek Rutkowski finished 12° and Andrea Cucchi 9th. Enrico Marotti has his first full year tour managed to win a looser final.[image src=”http://d48291.u57.ttservers.it/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/cb_a2.jpg”]
As Alberto got back from Spain, one could easily tell that he was not happy with his result and he started training harder than ever. Not giving himself any time to relax, but jumped straight onto the hardest program imaginable, he would not allow for a similar result again.[image src=”http://d48291.u57.ttservers.it/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/t_a.jpg”]
Unfortunately sometimes the body says stop and can go no further. For Alberto this happened in terms of a very serious tendonitis in both his lower arms. At some point with only 45 days to the upcoming event, his condition had worsened to a point where he could barely lift a bottle of water. Training had to be stopped. So from going 200kmh with his daily routine he went to zero. For those around it was easy to see the frustration and despair in the eyes of Alberto.
Between the event in Costa Brava and the later upcoming event in Turkey, there was a god 2 months of time so hopes were that with the training be put aside that he would recover sufficiently to be able to race.
Sports doctors were consulted almost daily with therapy in all kind of ways to get him back on track. With only 15 days to go, it was still very much up in the air if Alberto would be ready to compete or not, so from the sponsors it was left open to Alberto himself if he wanted to go or not. The decision was left in his own hands as it was his own body now calling the shots.[image src=”http://d48291.u57.ttservers.it/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/t_p.jpg”]
Alberto booked his flight the day before departure. Andrea Cucchi assisted Alberto with packing his gear as he could not lift the heavy bags himself. Everyone around was hoping for the best but accepted that the conditioned that Alberto was in had maybe stolen his chance to compete at his usual level.
The team went to Turkey a full 10 days before the event. Alberto tried several times to go sailing. First day went ok, without pushing too hard but already on the second day the pain was back and he decided to stop any training before the event. The hope was that he would be able to manage to get a decent result and then use it as a discard with the last event in Sylt still to come.
First elimination was hard; Alberto was not only fighting the 7 guys on the water with him but also the pain in his arms. Dedication and will took over and he received 18.5 points going out in the second round.
2nd elimination was different, something computed in Alberto’s head. The pain became manageable and he started to realize that he could still sail fast and improved his finish in every race to finish in 7th place. In the 3rd elimination another improvement with a third place in the winners final. The 4th elimination again stronger and more dedicated and finished in second.[image src=”http://d48291.u57.ttservers.it/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/de_a.jpg”]
The fifth and final elimination was really the game changer. Calculations were running wild. If Alberto could get sufficient ahead of Albeau he was actually in a position to win the event, a elimination win could see him advance to the podium.
The adrenalin was pumping and with several re-starts due to gusty wind conditions Alberto finally got of to a clean start and could win the last and final race. The result was amazing. Having gone to the event thinking it was more about damage control than doing any real impact Alberto had found himself again on the podium. Second time in the season, second time in his PWA career. Another higlight from the Black Team during the event was Andrea Cucchi winning his first PWA winners final on the second elimination. Pascal Toselli finishing 12th overall, as he then finishing 12th in Sylt.
Upon returning from Turkey, Alberto returned to relax his arms and therapy.
Sylt was coming up.
Alberto was placed 3rd overall and as the only contender for the world title. If he could finish 9 places ahead of Albeau and take the win, he would take the title. Quentel was sitting between them in second which was also a slot that was achievable.
Up to the event Alberto started training on Lake Garda where he lives. He was feeling good, better than he had in months and he was feeling confident that a good result could be had.
First elimination went so well, with a 7th in the winners final. Second elimination with difficult conditions put Alberto in 12th finishing 3th in the losers final. Third elimination saw the return of Alberto who fought his way up to 5th, taking the win in the fourth elimination and all to gamble for in the 5th and final elimination.
From the start to the first mark, Alberto got out clean in front of the pack rounding the first, second and third mark as first but on the exit of the jibe his foot slipped and Albeau who was just behind saw his chance and could overtake in the last 2 reaches.
- 2nd place in the final elimination,
- 2nd place for the year, Vice world Champion
- 3 times on the podium over 4 events
- 28 years old and a life of professional windsurfing in front of him.
Alberto Menegatti is the future of professional windsurfing together with a whole group of young upcoming stars who are also finding their way to the top of the game.
In one season Alberto managed to climb from a 12th to a 2nd position in the PWA world ranking.
Alberto is now travelling back to Italy, to be greeted by his girlfriend, family and friends who surely will celebrate him!
Soon the training will start for 2014. Next year to achieve his ultimate goal Alberto will need to improve one more position and the gold is his.
Point-7 wishes to put out a massive thank you and congratulations to everyone around who have supporting Alberto and rest of the Black Team. It has been an amazing year slalom season taking the sport to a new level!