Blast From The Past
We kick the week off with another installment of ‘Blast From The Past’ - this time featuring Greta Benvenuti (I-99 / Challenger Sails / AL360), who has been a regular face on the Women’s PWA Wave World Tour for many years having made her debut in 2007.
Hi Greta, take us back to the memory of your very first windsurf experience - Where were you?
I was at my home spot Igea Marina, Italy.
When was it?
In the 1996
Who were you with?
I started in a windsurfing school with a teacher that explained to me how to take the sail from the water and to start, but the first day was only how to take the sail because with the older boards and no shoes I was slipping all over the place.
What do you remember from that very first ‘session’?
Just at the end of the day I was very frustrated and tired, but happy, so I decided to have more lessons.
Who was your local hero? And why?
For sure my local hero was Fabio, but everybody knows by his nickname ‘Attila’ because he has long hair and he is a bit primitive. He was one of the best sailors at that time and he takes care of me, because he still has a lot of passion and he could communicate that to me like an obsession. The most that I've learned in the beginning was from him, how to get planing, how to waterstart, how to jump, how to jibe and he was always motivating me even when there was no wind. I'm really grateful to him for the patience, the persistence, the good vibes and even to rescue me sometimes.
What gear were you using?
My first board was a Mistral Shredder and the sail Wild Wind - over 5.3m I think, I don't remember perfectly the size. I only remember that it takes a long time to understand how to rig just because I was slow and I spent more time rigging than sailing.
Describe your feeling when you were planing for the first time…
Mmm that was the best experience I've ever felt in my life, it was like a big smile on my chest, and I couldn’t forget how happy I was, I kept that feeling that sensation of flying on the water for days.
How did you realise you were becoming a professional windsurfer?
I've never realised, because I think I'm not a true professional windsurfer. I just try to live my dream and have a normal life at the same time. I mean windsurfing is a big part of my life, but I've never done it seriously or 100%, I've always focused first on my life and after all if I had time or money to travel I tried to do some competitions. Perhaps the regret I have is not having fully believed in it immediately and having thrown myself at it 100% immediately, but that's okay.
Give a tip for the next generation…
Do what you like, but always with a smile and good company!