We hooked up with Italian top racer Alberto Menegatti (ITA – 4) and interviewed him about his change to Gaastra. Alberto is actually probably the best Italian racer and has a lot of potential in the near future. He is one of the youngest Slalom riders, who can make it into winner finals and has also the physical constitution to make it on the podium. Alberto, who is based at Torbolo, Lake Garda, is at the moment in South Africa, to train hard, to improve again his PWA Slalom ranking next year. At 7 PWA Slalom races he will have a lot of chances for it.

Alberto Menegatti and Arnon Dagan at Alacati 2010, who are both sailing now are under the flag of Gaastra (Pic: PWA/ John Carter).

C7: You had an awesome season in 2010. Fastest racer on Lake Garda, 7th in Alacati, 12 th overall on the PWA tour, 2nd best Simmersails rider! Why did you decide to change from Simmer – you were extremely succesful on Simmer?

Alberto Menegatti: I believe in life you have opportunities and you need to know the moment to take them. Simmer was a very good brand that supported me and gave me all I needed. It was a hard choice, but the possibility to run for Gaastra and be very close to the new sail designer Peter Munzlinger made it clear…Racing for Gaastra,one of the most successful brand on the market, is a pleasure and a honor for me!

Alberto Menegatti testing the new Gaastra prototypes at Porto Pollo (Pic: Gaastra).

C7: How was the reaction of the Simmer management or did your contract end anyway?

Alberto Menegatti: My contract was finished, but I would have kept racing for them if it wouldn’t be for this situation. Tomas was as always very supporting and understanding and for that I really want to thank him. He was always super professional and the best sponsor someone can wish.

C7: Did you get asked by Gaastra or did you approach the brand?

Alberto Menegatti: I got approached and asked if I was interested on joining the brand, and there is where all started…

C7: Did you test the sail before you made a decision?

Alberto Menegatti: I know the sail designer and knew what he was capable of at the moment I got asked to join Gaastra. I started windsurfing and my first sails were from Peter, and I was stoked to have the possibility to work with him on a much higher level.

C7: How much was your decision influenced by the fact, that Peter Munzlinger got the new saildesigner of Gaastra?

Alberto Menegatti: Well, as I said before it made it much easier for my decision. I know him, and I know the way he works. He lives in Italy and I have with him a very good contact… If you add the fact that the brand we are talking about it’s Gaastra…

Alberto riggs the new 2011 Vapor proto, designed by Peter Munzlinger (Pic: Gaastra).

C7: The Gaastra racing team is perhaps the toughest one of all teams with famous names. Is that an advantage for you as a rising star on the PWA racing circuit?

Alberto Menegatti: Well, being young in the middle of all this big names for sure is not easy. But I have a very competitive character and I’m sure this will actually give me an extra input to push my limits even harder…

C7: Will you have a special function in the Gaastra team? You definitely live close to Sardinia, where the sails get tested!

Alberto Menegatti: I directly started being full involved with the all Gaastra team, and specially with Peter on the testing program for the Racing sails… I’ll be available on the needs of Peter for the R&D and more then happy to help when needed in every way possible. It’s for me a new adventure and i’m very excited about it…

C7: What does it mean to sail for one of the biggest sailbrands on the market from now on?

Alberto Menegatti: It’s a big feeling, and knowing that they are supporting me in every way possible gives me the confidence to look on the upcoming years with a lot of expectation…

C7: You could improve year by year in the PWA Slalom ranking: 32th in 2008, 21st in 2009, 12th in 2010, 3th in….? What are your goals for the 2011 tour?

Alberto Menegatti: Looking back I can see I did every year a good jump, and i’m right now working to keep on this path…I can’t say what will happen in 2011, but I’m pushing hard for climbing the ladder for the next 5 years and get closer and closer to the top!!

Alberto on the way out in the Mediterranean sea (Pic: Gaastra)

C7: What was the main reason out of your view that you could improve that much from 2009 to 2010?

Alberto Menegatti: At the end of every year I analyze what went wrong through out the season and plan my work for the upcoming season in order to prevent it to happen again. So far it has been working good!

C7: What will you improve even more to be a bit more competitive in terms of racing?

Alberto Menegatti: I’m training much harder then I ever did in and out of the water, year after year… On top of that I’m looking into every small detail of my gear, from the boards/sails/fins/masts to have everything perfect…

C7: Is Formula Windsufing still a discipline you will go for in 2011? And what´s about Speed?

Alberto Menegatti: Formula was for years the discipline, where I did my best results, been able to finish 4th in the Worlds in 2009 and to get on the podium in some Gran Prix events. I’ll definitely take part at all major events that are going to happen in 2011, looking forward for some exciting racing. Yes, I won the 2010 GPS at Lake Garda/Torbole, but I actually went for it with only one attempt. I am not planning to put lots of focus on speed. My interests right now are on the Slalom discipline mainly, with Formula right after. My actually goal is to improve in Slalom and only after I achieved this, I want to move my interests into speed as well.

C7: Will you keep on going with Starboard in 2011?

Alberto Menegatti: Definitely YES! Starboard is the brand to be, and this year more then ever I got involved directly with them. I believe, that it will be a long journey together!!

© continentseven.com 2011