Prince Andrea Baldini (Grand Narbonne, R-Techsolution AB, Challenger Sails, Patrik Windsurfing International, AL360, UFO Fins, Chinook Leucate, Chris Benz) over the years he is definitely one of the most iconic characters of Speed in windsurfing. His slogan "forever Speed" has now become the slogan of many pro riders.
Not only in the past he has been an athletic protagonist of speed but in recent years he has chosen to become a protagonist also from an organizational point of view designing and creating a real international speed tour on the now "his" Plage du Rouet in La Palme, in France, where in the past he moved to live. For all this commitment and for all these successes this year he received the Tag Heuer Performance Award offered by the Giornale Della Vela (www.riwmag.com/velista-dellanno-award-tag-heuer-perfomance-al-principe/). RIWmag reached him for an interview.
RIW: Prince we can say that you have invested almost your entire sporting life in favor of speed. Have you ever expected such recognition right in Italy?
Principle: Hi all, no I didn't expect it and I never dared to dream of it even though something good I did it On the first evening I voted Matteo's son, i didn't know i was on the list of 100. But I am and have always been convinced that I have done and that I have done something great for speed but from here to make it recognize it there is a long way to go. So endless thanks to the Giornale della Vela.
RIW: For years we have been overwhelmed by the emotions of your businesses and articles, but have you ever told us how you started windsurfing?
Principle: It was I think the 1978 and amedeo pacitto that I knew by sight because the family had the gas station under my house, had Winglider Oestermans with whom he taught Windsurfing. We went there my sister, my cousin Federico who was among the pioneers of American Football together with many of our friends, Federico's girlfriend, Joan (she had a wonderful shop where they made the best ice creams in Rome: Giolitti - Wikipedia), my Uncle Vittorio, great radiologist and today stated writer and I, that I was trying every day to try more and more extreme things, from jumping from the roof with the bags of the worldly to bodysurfing on the days that the rocks and hedgehogs left their signature all over your body. Then I started training windsurfing instructors when I was just 14 years (and today after all I am not even a windsurfing instructor because the old cards made with Tom del Monaco have been lost and I am not recognized by the IVF. Too bad, in France those papers would help me for administrative reasons for the association).
RIW: You were born and raised in Rome. The Latian coasts are full of commercials and great champions of various specialties of the sailing table. Why did you choose speed?
Principle: At the end 1980 I bought a Menini 3 speed tips and I realized That I was going very fast. The youth of those days brought me closer to the waves and with self-built planks I raised beautiful satisfactions. But then I slowed down until I stopped being caught up in boxing and so many other extra sports things that I don't know if I would do it going back ...
Resumed years later, with the wave I always went out to Banzai, at the Centrale, to the Paesello. The Paesello we discovered with poor Umberto who was the first, the Tellina and a few others. Raymond helped me a lot when I started windurfing again, Thank you Ray! In Banzai both surfing and windsurfing we were a nice group of friends: Piero, Renato, Michele, Zicus, Decio and many others and surfing Pietrangeli, Caponera - I'm not going to do, Enrico, the Spirit brothers, Fabrizio Rogano, Marched ... Then with the arrival of the internet I become’ getting busier and busier.
One day back from South Africa where I went to wave in the winter months with close friends including the Comerla, I got a phone call from him asking if I wanted to participate in the F2 Speed Challenge organized by Luis and Hannes. I also accepted because in wave, to have more control, I always had to find fins that would slow me down Result: I came first, then ale i pass’ in the last few minutes. A month later I won the second stage in Como and they rewarded us: I won the Missile made by Patrik, the first standard speed board, and Ale won a trip to Fuerte for free for the World Cup... So I started speed again and from that moment it was a continuous search that to date has not yet found peace.
RIW: In recent years you have given body and soul to be able to realize the Prince Of Speed that has now become a solid reality. Where does the vision of this event come from?
Principle: From ski races, from being able to leave one after the other focusing only on performance without thinking about others who from opponents become Knights from the same seal.
RIW: How did you react when you found out this year that you had been selected by the Giornale Della Vela among the 100 sailor of the year nominees?
Principle: And’ it was an emotion that grew little by little and that fed on the steady increase in votes I was receiving.
RIW: How did you get between the 11 Finalists?
Principle: Here from France many voted for me and then several of my friends in Italy shared the link and made me vote by a lot of people. Thank you Claudia, Thank you Luigi, Thank you Francesco, Thank you all!
RIW: What were your emotions when you found out you won the Tag Heuer Performance Award?
Principle: I was at the beach ready to enter the water When Alessandro del Giornale della Vela phoned me to ask for availability for an interview as winner of an award that did not spoiler me At that moment I had the feeling that so many hard things in my life had to be compensated for by something wonderful, as it was at Dungarvan in the 2009. When they then told me live that I had won the Tag Heuer Performance, pure joy has pervaded body and soul. "Then I don't tell myself like crazy", i said to myself!
An important satisfaction and a great opportunity to meet with the Giants of Luna Rossa Sibello, Brunettes and Mermaid, the creator of the most beautiful boats in the world Luca Bassani (Wally), very heavy characters such as Patrizio Bertelli and Tronchetti Provera, Extreme sailors like Pedote, the Legendary Cayard etc etc …
RIW: In all your interviews during this competition you have always clearly expressed your desire that your presence at the Sailor of the Year can not only be seen as your personal recognition but also as an acknowledgment of the world of sailing to the sport of windsurfing.
Principle: Certain, with light sail with funboard, we had never been able to get into the good living rooms of the World Sailing. This certainly represents an important first step. Unfortunately it comes at a time when the Rising Sun, taking advantage of the fact that from covid onwards our sport has rediscovered a second youth, began to pull the strap and many brands have found themselves with so many requests that they can not escape.
RIW: At this point what are your next steps and your next projects? What you see on the horizon?
Principle: I heard Paul Cayard say the Match race with the speed boats doesn't work very well. I'm sure Luna Rossa and the other wonders of the sea in a format like World Speed Tour – Prince of Speed would give a show you haven't seen since Roman times with Ben Hur!
My project is to bring speed to Vela to the glories of Formula 1 and the skiing of the golden days. And when I say Sail I mean from Luna Rossa to wing. A kind of Speed Olympics, ultra performance, emotion after emotion! The Public sees the maximum speed, the intertime, the best heat speed and world record in Open Ocean. Beauty, performance, the adrenaline. Have you ever seen that the relationships that can be established as a result of this Tag Heuer Awards experience do not really lead to synergies that will have beautiful children!
RIW: Thank you very much Prince, see you soon and forever speed!
Principle: Thank you Ezio, thank you my friend and i take this opportunity to thank again the many who have committed to vote for me and get me to vote, and I thank all the staff of the Giornale della Vela, they were gorgeous! Thank you Alessandro Gigli, thank you Eugenio Ruocco, thank you director Luca Orsi! Thank you very much to the Great Mino Taveri and the legendary Bacci del Buono, not even a family member treats you like that, it was exciting and with great professionals like them also a lot of fun!
photo: Prince Of Speed, The Giornale Della Vela
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