3weeks before the first PWA: Menegatti’s thoughts.
In our series of slalom rider interviews from Tenerife we have one last rider to question. Alberto Menegatti, the young buck who without a doubt is a bit of a king on his home spot on Lake Garda. What many maybe don’t know is that back in the day when Point-7 was just starting up Alberto was also on the team. A lot of have happened since for both parties, but now Alberto is “home” again with Point-7 and we are anxious to hear about his winter preparation, why he decided to join the black team and how he sees his chances for this year’s PWA Slalom Tour.
First question up that I am sure most people would like to know, what made you join P7 in 2013?
At the end of 2012 I just wanted to find the best possible way to climb the PWA ranking as much as possible. The choice came down to the performance factor as well as the R and D developing possibility for the upcoming years. Point7 was straight away there, having probably the fastest sail in the market and the possibility of amazingly quick development with a facility in Italy that everyone would dream of. The choice was then preatty simple!
You have just returned from almost 2 months in Tenerife with Andrea Cucchi and the rest of the Team. Before that you also were a couple of months in Cape Town, South Africa together with Andrea Rosati. How is slalom training in SA?
SA gives you an amazingly high number of sailing days, with wind for 5.6 to 9.3 and multiple conditions. I know the place very well new and I know where to find the conditions that I need in the day that I want. I believe Cape Town is simply one of the best places for training worldwide during winter. I believe Cape Town and Tenerife are both very good choices for winter training. When the wind starts dropping in SA, you can easily switch to Tenerife and find the wind there giving an extra full 3 months of wind before the European summer kicks back.
Rosati has been on the circuit for long time how is he as a training partner?
I have known Andrea for many years, and he has been in S.A. much longer than I have. He knows the place just as good as any local. When Rosati is in South Africa he also trains for his wave sailing as well, as you might know then he is also a very good wave sailor, but once he is on the slalom board it’s always very nice training and it pushes the both of us to reach a new level!! I’m glad to have the chance to train with him in SA, as well as another new P7 rider Peter Lumely who originates from Cape Town. These training partners ensures that I never need to sail alone. I feel extremely lucky to be able to sail with both of them when I’m down there!
How was training in Tenerife compared to the training in SA?
Training in Cape Town was for me, more speed orientated and the training in Tenerife was more race/slalom oriented. I tried to tune myself to go to top speed down in South Africa, arriving then in Tenerife been able to concentrate on the racing part. That is why I said before, that the 2 locations complement each other very well. The places are very different to one another and the tuning is a bit different in the 2 spots as well which gives me more variables to think of.
How did you find the race simulations?
This was the first time for me to be in a position where we could simulate a actual slalom competition environment so well and I do believe it is extremely important. It’s only a shame that we couldn’t keep going up until the first PWA competition in Korea, but I’m already feeling much more confident and ready for it!
Do you see a future for this kind of team training?
I believe team training could be a very good key to step it up to the next level! Just need to find the way to keep it up in summer!
You have now had a good 5-6 months on the Point-7 AC-1 sails, are you happy with your new kit?
I’m more then stoked to be sailing on the gear that I have in my hands, it’s still a bit early to talk or think about it, but I do believe that with the equipment that I have in my hands, I really have all it takes to aim for a very very good season. All the rest will be about the actual racing, for sure the gear won’t be a problem!
Every brand of sails has its set of strengths, where do you see the AC-1 excel for slalom competitions conditions?
The AC-1 has its strongest force in terms of a top speed that many will find difficult to match and the very big wind range ranges of the sails. I can easy jump down to 8.6 or 7.9 in so little wind that it feels funny even to think about it. This gives you the feeling that no matter what happens you’ll be fine when you choose your sail. Even if the wind drops 5knots or pick up 5 knots I know I’m going to be fine and I believe most of the other guys might have bigger issues in this regard than me! The sail has a front pushing power that allows you to pass any gusts, or holes without even feeling them.
Many users of race sails of course don’t compete, but still enjoy the qualities of a race sail. For a non competitive sailor how would you describe him the AC-1?
As said before I believe the sail is probably one of the fastest on the market, and this for someone that is buying a race sail is something very important. The fact then that the sail is super easy and has a very big range makes it even more important for a non Pro, knowing that he will not need to rig 2-3 sails in one day. I can rig 6 sails in 1hour, it is my job, but I believe if someone wants to have fun, they want to rig one sail and go with it without having any problem!
This season you have more than PWA slalom on your plate. We know that together with Andrea Cucchi, you have been working on the new Formula sails. What is the plan for you this season?
I’ve been working with Andrea on the FW project and I do believe we will be very ready for the 2013 FW Worlds. I’m going to take part at the Italian championship to see how the status of my preparation will be, in order to get ready for the FW Worlds. We did a lot of work on the FW sails and I do believe you guys will see the big improvement in these new sails!
What changes did you implement on the new series of Formula sails, compared to the 2012 series?
The new 2013 sails are a lot changed from the previous model; we worked a lot on the profile, the leech of the sails, the battens, basically every section of the sail was reworked… We try to get a faster planning sail, with a bigger acceleration when the gusts hits, that at the same time will allow you to have an easier way of ride on your board. We are still working on the sails and we will continue to develop nonstop to try and deliver the best possible sail also for the future!
How do you rate your own changes this year for Slalom and Formula, do you have some personal goals you want to achieve?
I’m aiming for the highest possible place, and as far as I know I have done everything possible to prepare and I am happy with it. No point in putting a number to my goals, you just need to know that I’ll try my best to be up there!
You are now 28 years old, you have a beautiful girlfriend, and you’re a professional windsurfer. You have the support of your sponsors, family and friends. Are you now living the dream you had as a kid and how do you see your own future as a person, athlete and family man?
Well I am living the dream I had when I was younger, even if I have to say I didn’t think I had to work so hard for it. Everyone thinks Pro Windsurfer is just fun, the truth is that if you want be here, you need to step up the game. Everyone wants to do this and everyone wants to win, so I’m trying to give more than the others to reach my goal and to do that you need to work hard… Regarding my future I can only say I’ll always have as much passion as I have for Windsurfing now and I’m sure I’ll be always with my girlfriend and friends…Everything else will come with it!
Many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Your first event is in Korea with most of the black team, so we will be looking forward to watch the racing!