“I need to find a moment to answer. We are producing masks for the hospital at the moment,” Claudio Badiali answered via WhatsApp a few days ago. Claudio is the sail designer of Challenger Sails, which is located in Senigallia in Italy. Italy is the country, where the coronavirus outbreak continues to spiral out of control. Everything is pretty much closed and tourism has vanished. Life changed completely.

This week we managed to catch up with Claudio to speak about the impact of the coronavirus. Because of the big increase of infections in their area Challenger Sails have decided to stop working for the upcoming week and close the sail loft.

Challenger Sails - Pic: Continentseven

Challenger Sails – Pic: Continentseven

Continentseven:  Claudio, how are you doing? 

Claudio Badiali: In 42 years of working in this sector, I have never faced a crisis like this before. The season had started very well, especially with the Slalom and Foil sails. In the training sessions in Tenerife everyone had the opportunity to compare the performance of the our sails and our team riders were really happy about the performance.

Italy is the European country hardest hit by coronavirus. What are the difficulties you are dealing with right now?

In Italy the coronavirus hit hard and we work with the fear and anxiety of the disease. You don’t know if you have to close tomorrow or not and for how long. Luckily we’re all still okay. We’ve equipped ourselves with masks and cleaning gels and customers can’t get into the loft.

Masks

Masks

You produced masks for the hospital?

Yes, it was an emergency because they ran out of masks. We got the fabric from the hospital, but I I hope they will get the patented ones. 

Italy is a big windsurfing market. What happens next?

Now fear has slowed down the sales and you can’t go on the water. But I’m sure, the passion and the will to windsurf will explode when we all defeat this epidemic together. We’ll be back stronger than ever.

How will you make it through the crisis?

Strategies haven’t changed, but we’re moving forward with tomorrow’s uncertainty. It will end in one month, two, three, one year… who knows. I’m confident that by the end of April the windsurfing sails will be back in the sea!

Can we learn something from this crisis? 

True, this crisis has taught us to appreciate the gifts of nature more. I couldn’t live without the sea, the sun and the wind. What’s the use of working to accumulate wealth if you don’t notice the melody of the waves on a beach or you’ll never appreciate a perfect gybe or an endless glide? Who comes back home more happy? The one behind a desk, who made good business or the one with on an old van, who has just had a wonderful windsurfing session, a day on his board with good friends full of passion and full of happiness?

True words. Thank you for your time and we wish you the best for the upcoming months!

Thanks, good evening, I’m going shopping, otherwise the supermarket closes. I have nothing left to eat.

©Continentseven 2020