INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA ROSATI - IFCA WORLDS MASTER CHAMPION
AFTER HAVING BEEN TRAINING IN SOUTH AFRICA AND TARIFA DURING THE WINTER PERIOD, ANDREA ROSATI WAS READY TO ATTEND THE FIRST IMPORTANT COMPETITION OF THE YEAR, THE IFCA JYM SLALOM WORLDS, WITH NO EXPECTATIONS AT ALL … THE OUTCOME COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER.
Q: First of all, we would like to congratulate you on your IFCA Master Slalom World Champion title, how do you feel about your victory?
A: Thanks!! It is just as amazing as you could think. Each title has its very own meaning to me, I went to the IFCA JYM Worlds really with no expectations, and I ended up at the top of the podium. Not bad considering I nearly missed the event due to a van breakage ¡¡¡
Andrea – IFCA Master Slalom World Champion
Q: The racing between the top three was really tight, meaning one single mistake could shake the ranking up. How did you manage the pressure?
A: Well, pressure was on right from the very beginning as I registered very different boards and sails sizes from the rest of the fleet. I was expecting to compete in strong winds before I realized there is a 25 knots top limit at IFCA competitions.
After 3 races the battle was just between Ludo and me, as Marco had already done some mistakes. I am generally very good managing pressure, I tend to isolate and concentrate on the course but this time it was different, as I am used to fight my way up from behind and not to defend the lead. So I exactly knew how Ludo could be feeling on the last elimination, and my goal was set just to arrive one position in front of him.
Q: In the first final you finished third, and from that moment on you had to climb back the ranking, what was your strategy?
A: Due to my board registration issue I nearly missed that first final, I was on my 129l board and 8.6m2 sail as the wind really picked up, while rest of the fleet were on medium boards and 7.8 sails. I had to go to the beach to change to my 98l, change fin and sail, loosing so much time as to arrive to the departure boat just 40 seconds before the start and without time reference on my watch, so I had to follow the rest of the fleet. So I started last and had to sail really aggressively to overtake most of the fleet to finish third, I had the feeling I was flying.
Andrea Rosati slalom training in South Africa
Q: You have been training during winter in South Africa and Tarifa, which are rather high wind locations, whereas the competition was held in low to medium conditions, how did you adapt to them?
A: Actually South Africa is a great place for testing any kind of gear; you just have to know when and where to go, so I managed to test the light and medium wind equipment almost every day. I am really used to light wind conditions at home in Rome where I was able to test the big board and big sails during my only two weeks stay. Tarifa was more a pleasure trip to meet Monty, share my feelings about the Racingblade and try out some new prototype sails. Obviously I also trained there but had to escape from the strong levante…mama mia ¡¡¡ I thought Cape Town was a windy place until I got to Tarifa!!!
Q: What was your strategy when registering the 4 sail sizes allowed in IFCA competitions confronted to the 6 sails you can register at PWA events?
A: Nice point…forecast was on the two extremes, more than 30knots on the first day and very light for the rest of the days, so my choice was to register my small and big board and 8.6 as my biggest sail and additionally 7.8 7.0 and 5.6 (I still remember PBA ’97 event slalom sailing on 4.7 totally out of control). I did not really think that I was competing at an IFCA event and that they do not race when the wind is stronger than 25 knots. I was actually pretty angry and depressed after the first day as they stopped racing once the wind picked up and we stayed 2 hours at the beach just waiting for the wind to drop … I was ready to pack and go back home!!! I swear….
Andrea Rosati in a traffic jam
Q: What are your feelings on the new Racingblade? Did you have to adapt your sailing style at all?
A: Love at the first “touch”!! First time I tried them it was the 7.8, and I was really impressed about its performance. Then decided to try them at a local competition using also the 7.0 and 6.3 and felt I was really competitive, lots of power, acceleration, easy handling wind range … felt I was flying out of the jibes. It was “plug and play”, no adaptation at all.
Q: Any trimming tips for all of our Racingblade users?
A: Yes of course. I recommend always rigging with 2 cm of additional downhaul and 2cm less outhaul. If you do not have enough shape in front, place one spacer on batten #6, 2 spacers on batten #5 and 1 on batten #4. Do not be worry about tensioning the downhaul …always to the max!!!!
Q: What are your next plans?
A: I will do the PWA tour, some Italian local races and the IFCA World Championship in Texel
Q: Thanks and good luck
A: Thank you, and let’s hope I can score some good results again.
Andrea at the top of the Podium
NOTE: Andrea Rosati is fully supported by Loftsails Italian Distributor ZZ Surf
Pics by IFCA / Jeremy Lacave