Alberto Menegatti spent the PWA Slalom Alaçati event battling with injury but eventually recovered from a slow start to claim a well-deserved second place on the podium. The Italian giant ended the week in the best possible fashion as he stormed to victory in the 5th elimination after showing a blistering top speed. But it's probably better to hear it from Alberto himself:
Forty-five days before the event, I injured myself and was diagnosed with acute tendinitises at both my wrists. I was forced to stop sailing and tried to speed up the healing process with a lot of therapy. During that time, I saw a lot of PWA riders coming to Lake Garda to train but there was nothing I could do! When I arrived to the Turkish event, I decided that even if I hadn't completely healed, I had to go for it, and this I did. In the first round, I tried as hard as I could to have the best possible result, but I could only finish 18. I didn't do any major mistakes, but I simply wasn't feeling comfortable nor fast on my equipment; it had been too much time without sailing.
Round 2 was the flipping of the page! I reorganized all my gear to make it as easy as I could for myself and tuned it for my injury. I had better speed on the water and was starting to climb into the final. I had a bad start in the final but managed to get at the first mark in second position, just behind Andrea Cucchi, my Point-7 "boss". This lasted very little, as Julien Quentel jumped out of nowhere, hooked into my boom and got me down to a 7th place at the same mark.
The start of the new day was with Elimination 3: I started to win most of my heats and even if I wasn't on top form and battling pain, I was prepared thanks t o the compressive socks and the ice... And I arrived all the way to the final! We ran the final a few times and I was leading in most of the attempts… When the valid one came, I was fighting for first place when Cyril (Moussilmani) came down on me, causing us to crash before the first mark, dropping from a 1-2 position to the back of the pack, even though I eventually made a good come back to finish third.
Entering the last day, I had been climbing up the ranking ladder, reaching 5th place. I made my way to the final of Elimination 4. In that final, I didn't have the best start but managed to get 2nd at the first mark, following Antoine (Albeau) until the last mark where I tried the impossible by going full force to the pin, and almost making it!
Round 4 was the last round of the event: I was 2nd with chances to win the event if I managed to get 3 spots ahead of Antoine (Albeau). I got into the lead after the start, passing Micah on the first leg and jibing in first. Unfortunately, after the first jibe Antoine was in second place and I ended up the event in 2nd overall.
This is for me an amazing result! After so much bad luck and health problems prior to the event, I'm glad I ended up with a great 2nd place. I'm thankful to all my sponsors. My iSonic 127 Carbon, my Point-7 AC-1 9.3m² and my Z-Fin 48 were just flying down the first reach, allowing me (most of the time!) to arrive at the first mark in first place and make the rest of the game a bit easier!
Now I'm in Torbole, in the north of Lake Garda, where I'm trying to finalize my recovery. As soon as I will be back on form I'll prepare for Sylt. Luckily for me, Torbole is one of the best place for slalom training and even if I know I'll only be able to sail right before Sylt due to my injury, I'm sure Lake Garda will give me the best possible conditions and allow me to be ready for the final event of the 2013 Tour!