PWA Slalom 2014 Report

The AC-1 brings another rider to the top! 

After last year second place of Alberto Menegatti at the PWA we were wondering what would have been the next step for the Black Team. The result of Alberto was an obvious result coming from a great team work, like in a race bike tour. Where the team is all pushing together, and out of the group one will perform the better result. This year as Alberto was out due to the injury, Pascal Toselli took over the situation immediately. Reaching podiums at the single events, leading the some events for a few days and finishing 4th overall! To have had in such a short time the AC-1 bringing two riders to the top5 of the final ranking  has been a dream we could not even had in the best night sleep. Our dream for next year will be to see both riders racing together in the Tour and pushing it even more.

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Pascal Toselli FRA 916

The 2014 surprise!

4th at the PWA SLALOM 2014. One place from the podium. A big jump from last year result to this year.

How do you feel? Happy or frustrated from being so close to be on the podium?

I am very happy with this result! early in the season if you had told me that I would be in that place at the end of the year, I would have signed immediately! although I have yet many things to learn this result shows me that the podium is accessible and even motivates me for the rest..!

This year you were often on the podium and in some events even leading the first days, but then loosing that position. What was difficult for you to keep the lead for the whole event?

There’s really been a lot of new things for me this year.. like winning a single race or a podium on a event. I think I missed a bit of experience and maybe to trust to be ahead of an event, but I hope it will come.
I learned a lot this year!

Now, let’s turn it the other way round. First time in top 10 PWA, actually first time in Top5, and first time on PWA podiums in the single events. What was the big difference between the years?

I think a lot of things going on in the head and I took a little confidence in me. as well as experience.
But we must to not forget that the material is very important! So thank you to point 7 and Starboard for trusting me and doing stuff so good.

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Alberto Menegatti finished second last year, and this year he had to quit due to body injuries. Did this give you some kind of responsibility to wanting to take over the result he did last year for Point-7? 

So I took matters in hand! 😉
No I would do the same things that Alberto was there or not. it does not change anything for me.

Alberto seems to be slowly getting back into shape, and he will be in Tenerife whole winter. Do you look forward to tune up with Alberto? Do you guys have the same style in trimming the sails?

It’s cool if Alberto returns to form, it is easier to progress being 2 in a team, although I think that we are two opposite in setting our equipment.. Alberto is very fast on water and we can bring us one another.

What’s your plan this winter?

One thing of certain is that I would be late January in St Barth to participate in the St Barth Fun Cup which takes place from February 29/1. I think also go to Tenerife to train me like last year but I still don’t know exactly when.

Will you integrate any different training to the other years?

Not my training will not be really different but I know a little more what I have to work so I’ll try to target a little more my training

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Maciek Rutkowski POL23

No motivation to take time off!

Maciek, you finally reached one first goal in the PWA overall ranking. 16th!

Why is this position so important? Is it only the free accommodation or is it something which actually gives you the feeling to be part of the exclusive riders who are on the game?

16th used to be the last prize money spot for many many years before it got extended to 24th on PWA, but in many other events it’s still top16 so if you were a top20 rider you’d always fight for that payed spot. It’s also the last spot to get free accommodation for the following year so again it’s something to fight for. But I think most of all it’s a statement. It’s like “I’m here. I arrived. I’m for real.” Top16 is elite and I’m really honoured to be a part of it. Of course now that I know what I actually was capable of this year it doesn’t satisfy me as much, but before the season I definitely wasn’t sure if I had enough to make it.

You had some great up and downs. Like Turkey down, and Fuerteventura up. What are the reasons for these jumps.

I believe it starts with the conditions. The 2 mentioned above are almost polar opposites. And that affects the racing a lot. It might sound arrogant, but in Turkey everybody can go fast and get around marks, whereas places like Fuerte or Sylt take a little bit of a more sophisticated skill set. Of course doing good in hard places isn’t an excuse for doing shit in the easy ones, but what I was trying to improve this year was my consistency. And in places like Fuerte or Noumea (if I didn’t do something stupid) I would constantly get 3rd or 4th in the majority of heats. But in Turkey I was constantly 5th so not exactly the consistency I was looking for haha. I like to see this year as a solid one, that I wanted to prove I’m for real – with the numbers, you know. Cause at the end of the day thats all people look at and nothing really matters unless you put the results down. So I did – apart from Turkey where I couldn’t find my grove and Turkmenistan where one tiny mistake cost me the whole event I made finals everywhere and got top20 everywhere. Got my first top10 which also proves something. And now that I relieved myself of proving people, next year I can really have a clear mind and attack.

You have 2 great riders in the PWA in the Black Team. Pascal and Alberto. Both top 5 PWA slalom rankers. Are they teaching you a lot?

I’ve knows Alberto for many years and Pascal since I joined Point-7 in 2013 so by now I can call both of them friends. For sure I learn a lot from their successes and mistakes and I know for a fact that I put a little grain into the sandbox of their success, too 🙂 So it’s a good synergy and I hope Black Team will have 3 top5 riders asap!

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Who do you feel closer too in style?

For sure Pascal. Alberto is 10cm taller than me and has a very specific style. Kind of a light wind one, but because his amazing physicality he’s fast in everything. His jibing is really weird, I would probably kill myself trying to do his rig flip, but he wins Vice-World Titles with that! Pascal is sorta the opposite. His bread and butter is high wind, but because of his great feeling for gear he manages to go fast in everything. I’m definitely closer to Pascal also in terms of what we want from the sails, how we trim them etc etc. For now I’m slower than both of them and have to make up in racing elements, which is a good experience for the future. Hopefully one day soon I can get up to their speed and keep my sneaky jibes – could be a nice combo.

Are you going to train with them this winter?

Yeah I talked to Alberto a few days ago he sounded fully motivated to train the whole winter for a strong 2015 comeback, and Pascal is also gonna come out to Tenerife so there should be some good training going on between us 3 and the rest of the team.

What’s the goal next year?

Of course the next benchmark is top10. But as I said many times before: I hate stiff goals and just wanna progress. As long as I progress I’m good.

Your winter will be only training or will you take some time off?

Fuck time off, you think I got time for that? Haha I’m gonna spend 5 days at home and leave to Cape Town to train wavesailing and develop the new Spy and in January when the AC-1s arrive I’m gonna move over to Tenerife to get on with the slalom. I’ll rest when I’m Andreas age, for now it’s time to go full throttle!

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Andrea Cucchi

I’m so happy for Pascal. He always kept himself in the shade, but the potential and speed has always been there. Something clicked in him this year, and it was important to make the big change in his racing results. Pascal has been with us from 2009. He is part of the Black Team and also for us it was a good lesson Pascal brought to the Black Team and Point-7. If the effort is there, the talent, it’s up to everyone to understand how to get this out from the rider to see him jump up in the ranking. Also happy to have seen Maciek Rutkowski entering the exclusive top 16 ranking. Still young and he is the guy that if he has to decide to invest his money he puts it all into getting his windsurfing to improve. The passion is there and this is what you need for success. Let’s keep working guys, the AC1zero15 is ready!’.

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