Sailor in Focus
She loves the adrenaline of racing, if she wasn’t windsurfing she would be an artist and she lives in Tenerife. This week we catch up with Italian slalom star Greta Benvenuti.
Super consistent Greta Benvenuti (Patrik / Point-7/ AL-360) has been windsurfing for 15 years. She made her debut on the PWA in Guincho in 2007, and since then she has been charging her way around the racecourse and in the waves. In 2011 she finished the slalom tour in the super-tough top ten. This winter she has been training hard, so we expect big things from Benvenuti in 2012. We caught up with her to find out a little more.
PWA: Firstly, what are your thoughts on the 2011 season and how would you rate your result?
Benvenuti: “I enjoyed the 2011 season a lot. It was really nice competing with the girls in the slalom. I am a little bit disappointed that there was no women’s competition in Costa Brava but the rest of the competitions were really good. My goal for 2011 was to be in the top five positions but I reached only 10th”.
PWA: How long have you been windsurfing?
Benvenuti: “For a long time, around 15 years”.
PWA: Who has been you biggest influence on your sailing?
Benvenuti: “I think several friends have had big influence on me and they have helped to push my windsurfing forward. At the beginning it was my great friend that everybody called “Attila”, and after him another good friend, Faustinho, who has improved my wave riding and then Andrea Cucchi helped me a lot with slalom. And of course I have an unforgettable big friend in my heart pushing me on to compete and riding with me from the sky every single day”.
PWA: What would you be doing if you weren’t windsurfing?
Benvenuti: “Before throwing myself fully into the windsurfing world I studied arts. I think if I wasn’t windsurfing, I would make sure I would be doing something like painting. Maybe when I get older I will do something like that”.
PWA: Where is your favorite place to windsurf and why?
Benvenuti: “There are a lot places where I have windsurfed, but now my favorite spot is Tenerife where I live in the winter time and I can ride slalom, in the waves and surf...it's a really amazing place where you can do every sport!”
PWA: What is your favorite move and why?
Benvenuti: “I really like wave riding and loops like backloop and forward. Why? Simple because I love waves!”
PWA: What move did you find the hardest to learn and why?
Benvenuti: “I think the hardest moves are the freestyle moves. I remember I spent a long time learning the spock, I still struggle with it!”
PWA: What new moves are you currently learning?
Benvenuti: “I’m learning the perfect power jibe for slalom and port tack forwards for waves.”
PWA: How do you learn your moves? Videos? Watching others?
Benvenuti: “Both...I spend a lot time watching good wave video and when I’m in the water I try to stay close to windsurfers that are able to do the good moves, like Adam Lewis here in El Medano. I really like his style so I always ask him for advice, how to rig my wave board and how to land new moves. And also is really important to have someone that’s filming when I'm sailing, like my boyfriend has been doing for me”.
PWA: Where is your favorite spot on the PWA slalom tour and why?
Benvenuti: “I don’t have a favorite spot...I like strong wind so every place that it is really windy, I really like! For the atmosphere and the hot temperature I love Aruba and Alacati.”
PWA: How does competition make you feel? And how to do prepare for your heats?
Benvenuti: “I'm usually really nervous during competitions, but after the starting horn has sounded and we have started everything you get a rush of adrenaline and I absolutely need this.
To get ready for competition I do some yoga exercises and I listen to music to concentrate.”
PWA: What do you do when you’re not windsurfing?
Benvenuti: “Well, usually I am working and the rest of the time I do other sports, I surf if it is possible, yoga, running, swimming, of course I cannot stay a long time without adrenaline!”
PWA: What are your goals for 2012?
Benvenuti: “I want to get 5th in slalom.”
PWA: Thank you for your time Greta, we look forward to seeing you on the water soon.