When Gabriele Varrucciu (Naish/Naish) entered the European Freestyle Pro Tour for the last time in 2011, the season was struck by the economy crisis and a lack of wind on the few events there were. After being off tour for several years the Naish rider is now ready to fight his way back into the European top ten. We caught up with the Italian and asked him about the reasons for his break, his love for extreme sports and his expectations for the final EFPT stop in 2014 – the European Freestyle Expression.
EFPT: Gabriele you will enter the EFPT again at the last tour-stop in Six Fours les Plages. How long have you been off the tour and why?
Gabriele: My last competition on tour was in 2011 , the Lefkada event in Greece! So I’m off the competitions since three years and a half! There are some reasons for this time that I spent away from international windsurfing events: I had to study a lot to complete my university degree and I had several jobs, which would not let me have much free time. The main reason though was a series of injuries that I had in this time, like my broken knee that kept me out of the water for seven months! Now I feel better and I’m ready to hit the competitions again!
EFPT: What are you most looking forward to in France ?
Gabriele: For sure I’m super happy to meet all the guys of the tour again and my personal aspiration is absolutely to have fun and land my moves in the most smooth and radical way as possible! I know the level of all the guys now is super high! I actually consider myself as an ‘old-school’ rider haha!
EFPT: You are the number one freestyle windsurfer of Naish. What sails and boards do you use? What is your favorite set-up and why?
Gabriele: Starting this year we’ll concentrate a bit more on the development in the freestyle discipline and make a really aggressive Naish freestyle board which is perfect for the new power moves and for radical conditions! Also the new sails feel more comfortable during the moves thanks to the new kind of construction and the new materials!
I choose the boxer range (compact 4-batten sail) and the freestyle 99! I love this combo: Boxer 4,4 & freestyle 99 with a 18 lagoa fin! It is super fast and you can pop into a second rotation in every move!
EFPT: Your love for extreme sports seems to be very big, as you just recently released a clip from yourself windsurfing and on the motocross bike. How often do you take your toys for a spin? Do you prefer one or the other?
Gabriele: Absolutely! Extreme sports are in my DNA especially those where you have to ride a vehicle or something like that with or without an engine – the important thing is go fast as possible!
When the wind is blowing I go out on the water but on the weekends I hit the motocross-track to training in the dirt! So I choose windsurfing when there’s some good wind and motocross two days at week or on the weekend! It’s hard to prefer only one of this two crazy sports, because for me they complement one another!
EFPT: What do you expect from the European Freestyle Expression in France?
Gabriele: For sure I hope for strong wind and to have fun! And I am also looking forward to the awesome event organization of the EFPT! Fingers crossed for both!
EFPT: How are your plans for the future? Which events do you want to enter and where will you train?
Gabriele: I really want to come back 100% – so I want to enter all the 2015 events and train a lot in and off the water to do the best I possibly can!
EFPT: Is there anything you would like to add?
Gabriele: After the last years where I couldn’t windsurf as much, I understand now how crucial the way of life you choose is. I understand how important it is to enjoy every moment of freedom that you have to do what you love and to find a way to make the best out of the possibilities you get. This has been possible thanks to some people that I have in my life!
Lastly I want to thank my sponsors for supporting me also during this period! Thanks to NAISH (BOARDS&SAILS) – LAGOAFINS- PROLIMIT- NIXON and all the people who believed in me and in what I’m doing!
See you soon, on the water or at the track! 😉