Why Ricardo Campello?
We are often seen as a slalom oriented brand due to the results we have obtained from the beggining of our brand. Ricardo has chosen us for our wave products, proving that our wave range is ready to prove the same as we did in slalom. We have 3, 4, 5 batten wave sails so there is a lot to choose from, for everyones different needs. We chose Ricardo as our top team rider as he is not only a multiple world PWA Champion, but also an icon in our sport. He fits with us, as he goes over the limits. If some are trying the double forward, he is already thinking and trying the tripple. If Ricardo needs to go to Canaries, Sylt, Maui,.. anywhere he is prepared and can fight to win the title in any conditions. He is know in the world and our product is distributed all around the world, so a great amabassador. Ricardo is a mature professional rider, who has experience not only for obtaining the winning results but also to start new projects with our brand.
Ricardo Campello is another big name joining your Black Team.
Our philosophy to sponsor riders has always been clear. One fact is to have young talents and help them find all the possible shortcuts to get them to improve as fast as possible. For this we have set up the Black Team project and organized a full structure in Tenerife for them to train in the winter together. The results of this project, were amazing last year. Our sport demands a lot of experience when competing, and often it takes a long time for young riders to understand whats needed. There are no real coaches, managers in our sport, so we as brand, decided to do this to our riders.
The second is to have names like Ricardo Campello and in the slalom for example Alberto Menegatti. The aim of this second project is to have them set the example to the rest of the young Black Team, and to give the best chance to Ricardo and Alberto to win the PWA title.
Ricardo went close few times in waves, and showed to be able to win more then once in the freestyle discipline, so lets see if we can be the right team for him to achieve this together. We are doing the same path with Alberto Menegatti in the slalom discipline. We brought him from top 15th to 2nd by working together the first year. Now the mission is to see if we can get these two world class talents get the top podium position. There are a lot of pro riders who want this, so it's a great adventure.
How did you meet Ricardo?
I'm one of the few owners of a brand who travels to all events, races, supports, caddies, and lives the life of the pro riders still. I spend a lot of time with them testing on the water. I have a great friendship with all the riders so I know what is happening, I know all of them from years. Ricardo I met over 10 years ago as we both worked for the development of the same brand that time. He was 14 and I had to drive him around. We had some nice funny stories of that time. He almost ended up washing dishes at the restaurant, if I did not run to save him from forgetting his wallet. He was calling me on the phone while I was cutting battens at the loft. He got a lot of water on his head once while he was sleeping..you can ask him why. At the time he was already having podium results, but I had never heard of him before that. So skinny he was, but so super talented! We had talked already few times before to do something together, but this summer in Sylt we had a more serius talk. Our products and structure are ready to support a rider needs like Ricardo. So we made it happen.
How is it for a brand to handle big names in the team? Is it a difficult task?
These big names are true professional athlete. They are champions who fight for winning. You need to support them technically, physically, mentally. They need to have our support to feel strong and prepared. So you have to help the best way possible to have them to win, to then reflect all the effort on the products and brand. It can get very difficult at times if you are not organized. So you need to plan projects and underline difficulities or problems which can arise, and have them already solved before starting.
How do you hope to have Ricardo involved in development, and what do you hope to develop over the coming years apart from development?
The Black Team develops all the gear. The riders choose what the products needs to be to, so that they can be winners in competition. The pro guys sail a lot and the gear, so they need to have perfect gear to be comfortable in extreme moments or for longer hours in the water. Ricardo will be part of the development, bringing even more to the development of products. I'm also sailing everyday with the team, so for us it's easy to transform their feedback as I'm understanding fully their needs, plus I'm in contact with all my clients understanding also their needs. It's all a good mixture as I know where the rider can get too selfish against the needs of the clients. Overall the needs are pretty similar so not many brakes are put on riders thoughts. Ricardo's ideas will be tried out and will be given what is needed for him to get to his goals.
Ricardo has also the perfect age to start taking care of more task in a brand. We have talked a lot of the possibilities of things which we will start focusing on through out the year. We set priorities to see how working together is. From there we start building up all the project we have in mind. There is a lot of work to do in the brand from just developing products and selling. In Point-7 we all love windsurfing and love to see more and more people getting into the sport, we love seeing young windsurfers getting into competition. So Ricardo will help us with all this.
Are you looking to make changes to equipment for Ricardo specifically? Or will you continue to make it for the consumer?
Wave equipment can be modified a lot according to the place you are sailing and according to how you like to ride. There is not the solution that everyone can like due to this facts. This is why we have 3 wave lines with very different characteristics. Everyone can find their style and with all the feedback we have, we are more then happy to keep going with improvements and keeping our mind open to newer projects. We came out with the Swag 3 batten wave sail 2 years ago in production. We were the first to use it in PWA and actually obtaining top 10 results. Now we are being followed...a lot brands are introducing a 3 batten after us.
Which are Ricardo's objectives?
Priority for him is to win. I think it's not a new objective he has. He knows he can do it and has reasons to go for it now.