In October I left Honolulu and flew to Maui for the upcoming legendary events, the Maui Grand Prix and Aloha Classic. During the O’Neill Maui Grand Prix, I won the qualifiers and lost against Alain Cadiz in both the winner and loser rounds. As we all know how subjective judging can be…all you need is everyone on the beach to tell you that you did better to consider the possibility of unfair judging.
The Aloha Classic was one week away so at the start of the event I decided that I had to try out my new move again and make it work somehow. In those days my brother Sergio and photographer Gianni Squitieri arrived from Italy to attend the events with me. On the island I had established a close friendship with Mike Eskimo, whom I met at Lake Garda in Italy a few years back. He took me to a secret spot called Little Bay (Baby Beach) to take action pictures with some French photographers and to get away from the crowd. I decided that this was the ideal place to try again to develop the forward rotating technique and fine-tune the jump making sure no one could see it before the event … and so it was to be.
Following the negative experience form Diamond Head I decided to go for a safer solution by helping to ensure the rotation of the sail with the wind pressure. I therefore decided to rotate downwind anticipating with my body right on the peak of the wave impact during take-off and taking advantage of the wind to then rotate the sail.
The first attempt worked and got me around the rotation even though I had to refine the landing technique. Miki was right there that day and was the first one to see the move. I remember the enthusiasm when I came back to the shore… “this is KILLER LOOP !!!” he exclaimed… and so that is what we called it right there.
In the evenings, together with my brother Sergio and Gianni, we would try to perfect the rotational technique and how to refine the landing.
Fast forward to the Aloha and I started my first heats and performed the Cheeseroll for the first time in public. When I returned to shore, Mike Waltze and Matt Schweitzer both came to me with so much enthusiasm and congratulated saying: “this is the most radical and amazing move ever invented in the history of windsufing … you did it !! “… Wow! For me it was a miracle to hear this from my heroes…
But from there followed an intense time with an increase of enthusiasm and energy as I continued to climb up the ladder against legendary names such as Alex Aguera (current World Champion), Ian Boyd (the new generation) … until I lost in a close heat with Mark Angulo, who at the time was the most creative young talented wave-rider in windsurfing. My 9th place was a very successful result for me coming from no where with very little experience. But the result itself came in second place. I had already marked an important chapter in the history of windsurfing and from there I began my professional career filled with success and great satisfaction for me and my parents, who received their part of the reward for letting me live my dream!