The first few days we had light winds, giving perfect foiling conditions in the town of Castiglione Della Pescia, where our kite designer Werther Castelletti is based with our development center. So much goes work into the development of our products, and it all starts here in Castiglione where our kites are finely tuned to the last detail. I had some amazing foil sessions there along with the legend, Roberto Ricci, who was flying around on a wingfoil. The wind then started to increase throughout the days, giving us the perfect opportunity to work on the development of our Big Air kite, the Obsession. It has come a long way since the beginning, with the current aim to make the Obsession more Big Air focused for the future. Coming from Cape Town where the winds get up to 40 knots in the summer, I know what a Big Air kite entails, and when the winds get to that strength, the Obsession delivers.
After spending some quality time with the team at HQ, I headed up to Lake Garda with my team manager, Matteo Gauzzoni. Lake Garda is one of the most scenic places I’ve ever been to. It is also a mecca for watersports users from kiters to windsurfers to sailors. I visited the Pier Watersports which is a windsurf and wingfoil school located on the lake. The guys from Kite Segnana then fetched me on their boat and we headed out to the middle of the lake to kite. After an epic freestyle session, my left knee was feeling very unstable. At that moment I should have decided to take it easy… but I was too eager to ride, so I headed out for another session, during which my left knee buckled as I came down from a heavy landing… I instantly felt a sharp pain run through my leg; I knew it was over for me. In 2019 I tore my meniscus in my left knee, and ever since then it had been giving me issues… It felt like a relapse of the incident.
After being pulled out of the water with the boat, we headed to the local Italian Hospital. Not being able to speak much Italian made it challenging. The orthopedic surgeon decided to try and click my knee back into place, which was excruciating painful! I was screaming Italian words that I never thought I knew! After all the drama subsided, I headed to Germany for an MRI, with the results showing a severely torn meniscus. The decision was made for me to head back home to Cape Town for surgery.
After a disappointing ending to the trip I am looking at around five months of recovery until I am back on the water. The surgery went very well, and I have already started with my rehabilitation. I’d like to give a special mention to RRD and my family for their continued support. I should be ready to go full power into the upcoming season in Cape Town…■