ANDREA CUCCHI – OWNER AND FOUNDER POINT-7 FUNDING A TEAM
“A slalom team for a brand is divided into different levels. In most brands there is an elite rider for obtaining top 5 results in the PWA. Than a second elite rider who is normally ranked between 15th to 5th place in the PWA. A brand would then aim to have riders at a top national level to win national titles and do the smaller international events as well as youth, junior and of course women. Local fast slalom riders are also great windsurfers to have onboard in some locations. So when you put it all together a slalom team is big!
The official team would be mostly made up by 3-5 riders per main brand. Having results is like putting a stamp to the product saying that it’s working well. So when you win a PWA slalom world title, like we did in 2017 with Point-7, it’s like proving that there is nothing that can be said against your product. You are world champion, and nothing else to add. Not many sail brands can say they have won in the last 20 years. To win a world title you either pay a lot of money for the best rider, or you build champions and have them grow with the sail development and team. The costs of these 2 options are very similar, but the second option is by far more challenging and difficult, but this is what we always go for in Point-7. We did it with Alberto Menegatti who went from 14th to 2nd in one year!
Matteo Iachino was followed by us since his start in windsurfing. Even when he was on other sail brands he was always with us. We took him onboard when he was ready, and with us he won his first PWA world title. You need to pick a talented rider ready to work hard and give all their effort. Help them gain experience, support them, teach them, and it’s not always easy. So when a young rider comes on our Point-7 Black Team, they know that they have the chance to improve a lot, but they also know that we expect them to fully focus and follow the program. We are not a team that give the salary and gear, and wait for the rider to give us their race results at the end of the year. We are active and on it. We can risk that our young riders don’t bring results for a season, but we don’t care. We have our team philosophy to support new talents, and we will always work on this. Once the champion is built, we give them the chance to stay with us or go for the money, and if that is the case we start with the new talents again. We won our world titles, and it’s always time to prove our sails with different new talent. We know our product value, therefore we are not worried to go for new challenges.