Andrea Cucchi wins the Defi Wind 2014

Words from the Black Team

Quick facts:

Years event running - 14

No. of windy days - 4 (all Tramontana)

Minimum wind strength - 25 knots

Maximum wind strength - 45 knots

Number of competitors - 1,000

Entries capped at 1,000 - One month before the event

An incredible show to be seen and an event everyone should take part in once in a lifetime

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The fight was on from the first day, a total of 6 races, and everything was to be decided on the last race of the event between 3 very fast riders. At 11.30 am the final race (to decide the winner) kicked off. The first leg was eaten up in record time. At the first buoy Andrea Cucchi was in the lead followed by Bringdal, Belbeoch (who fell), Moretti, Standhart, Guadagnino, Brault and Warembourg. The stakes were high: victory for the overall ranking was being played out in this last confrontation. They had been up against each other all week with the same fighting spirit as if they were competing for a world cup. Fast and constant throughout the race, Andrea Cucchi let no one take this final duel away from him, as he held his lead throughout and came in ahead of Bringdal, who made a great recovery, and Gerald Pelleau and Patrice Belbeoch. Denis Standhart was also on good form and made a great comeback amongst the leaders by over taking Nicolas Warembourg. In the end Cucchi, the solid, cheerful Italian from team Point 7 managed to win the DEFI WIND 2014.

More on page 2...

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In the night I checked the ranking and I actually realised that if I could win the last race, and be 5 points ahead of Nicolas, who was leading, I could win overall

"I was excited to come back to the Defi Wind. Last year I had lost the race on the last day against Patrice. Patrice in this edition started strong, while I was not having good starts, and I was not fully tuned in to the speed that I needed to win. I almost gave up on the idea that I could even make the podium after the first 2 races. I raced safe to try to keep a constant position and found myself in second place on the second to last day. In the night I checked the ranking and I actually realised that if I could win the last race, and be 5 points ahead of Nicolas, who was leading, I could win overall - a kind of very low chance. Not so much for myself being first, but more for Nicolas to be 5 places behind me, there were a lot of factors to decide it. Patrice was also only 0.4 points behind me, and had also a great chance to win due to his hyper speed. I still badly wanted to win one race. I knew it was only a question of pushing hard on my fin for those 40km and a good start for this last race. I did not want to look at what the others were going to do. I went my way. I was top 5 right after the start, and I was higher upwind then the others. I reached the mark first by 1m from Anders, my legs were crying but I could not let go if I wanted to get a 0.7 score. In the middle of the course Patrice and Anders were coming back and almost overtaking me. I was cooked. I could not keep my board speed to fly fast over the water.

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Last year I lost it on last day, this year I got it on the last day

So I decided to go higher upwind to look for the flat water. Once I got upwind to the shallow water, Anders and Patrice were almost in front of me, but lower downwind. At that point, I went for the speed run to make sure I could be again first to the last jibe. The plan worked and I managed to keep hold of first all the way. Once I crossed the finish line, I started counting the number of riders dividing myself from Nicolas, and it was enough to win the event. Last year I lost it on last day, this year I got it on the last day. Defi is one of those events that gives you a great feeling to win. It’s hard for the mind and for the body and the 1000 people around make it unique. Thanks to the support to all my friends who were on the beach keeping me focused." - Andrea Cucchi

Video interview with Andrea on the last page...

Comments from Philippe Bru, creator of DEFI WIND and associate manager of Ilago Events, producer of this 14th edition:

“It was an exceptional edition: we closed ticket sales a month ago, we have beaten the record for the number of participants with 1,000 entries, ideal weather conditions that allowed us to launch six races, covering a total of 240 km at sea, progressive weather conditions with the wind peaking on Saturday and decreasing for Sunday, with still 780 contestants on the water for the last round. The combination of all these factors makes this 14th DEFI an extraordinary edition. People are delighted; we have never received so many thank you's. It means that something special happened here; it’s definitely one of the best editions of DEFI WIND".