The 2005 Catalunya Costa Brava PWA Super X World Cup - Interview A. Zabala
<PHOTO1>“I’ve been given a second chance and I’m grabbing it with both hands.”
Venezuelan boy wonder Alexis Zabala (V-41, Tabou/ Gaastra) talks about his trials and tribulations on the PWA tour, while conditions here on the sandy beaches of the Bay of Roses are still too calm for Super X competition.
How did you get into windsurfing?
I started sailing nine years ago on Isla Margarita. I took a job in a local windsurfing centre so I could borrow equipment to go out on the water after work. Five years later I started working for the Vela windsurfing school where I hooked up with Cheo, Gollito, Diony and guys like that.
How did you make the switch from recreational to professional windsurfer?
I met Beat Stefan on Isla Margarita, who set me up with equipment from Fanatic and North Sails. After that I signed a one year contract with Mistral and North and started competing on the PWA tour in 2002, but unfortunately it wasn’t extended after that.
Why do you think that was?
I was very young at the time. I didn’t stay in touch enough with my sponsors and my English wasn’t too good either back then. The whole thing was all very new to me, I didn’t really know how to deal with it and didn’t appreciate what I had going for me. After that first year on the tour, I came back to Margarita with nothing.
But now you’re back with a vengeance?
You could say that yes. After one year on Margarita, I was invited out of the blue by a friend to come to Mallorca to come and work as a windsurf- and kite instructor. I was very surprised and excited about it. This year I decided to come to the Leucate Super X just for fun. Once I got there, I was introduced to the Spanish importer from Tabou and Gaastra who provided me with the latest gear and I even competed in the contest!
How did that work out?
It was hard! It was extremely windy and I had never sailed on my new equipment before. Now I’ve had time to train with my gear, so I’m looking forward to getting some Super X done here on the Costa Brava. After this I’m going to Gran Canaria and Lanzarote. It’s great to be back on the tour. I’ve been given a second chance and I’m grabbing it with both hands.