Three Italian national archers in Maranello
In search of a tailor-made carbon-fibre grip
Maranello, 22 May – Ferrari is synonymous not simply with style and evolution but also technology, research and performance. The marque has also always been open to collaborations with other sporting disciplines and their athletes. It was thus that as part of a collaboration between Ferrari, the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) and the Italian Archery Federation, three Italian national archery team members visited Maranello: Mauro Nespoli, team Olympic champion at London 2012 and silver at Beijing 2008, Elena Tonetta and Sara Violi.
The devil is in the detail. This wasn’t Nespoli’s first time in Maranello but the girls had never been to Via Abetone before. All three were not simply there for a courtesy call, however, as they were preparing for the two main events of the season: the European Games at Baku in June, and, more importantly still, the Worlds at Copenhagen at the end of July. Sara Violi told us their goal for the day: “Because Ferrari has such a great technological and sporting tradition, it has enormous experience with composite materials. In archery competitions, the materials are standardised and so the work one can do to develop them are is quite restricted. However, one area is the grip which is carbon-fibre and has to be custom-made for the hand of each archer. Every archer will need on average one new bow a year and every bow needs a custom grip.”
Similarities. Carbon-fibre, a key material in Formula 1, is one of the common denominators between archery and top-class motorsport. But the Italian archers say that the similarities don’t end there: “Absolutely maniacal attention to detail is another thing we archers, Formula 1 and all Ferrari cars share. Ferrari has made perfection its signature, in fact. Which is why this collaboration with Maranello is so important to us”. The highly experienced Nespoli, on the other hand, had this to say drivers and archers: “I have always been a Ferrari tifoso and I adore Maranello’s cars – they’re so sporty and extreme. So I noticed that even though there are a thousand differences between us, one of things we have in common with drivers is concentration combined with responsiveness. A driver does an incredible number of laps at more or less the same time because he’s focused. We do the same with our arrows. In addition to that, drivers visualise a whole slew of potential situations in their minds so they can cope with them if they do arise. We do the same: when we’re shooting an arrow 70 or 90 metres target, we calculate wind speed and direction and the influence rain or other atmospheric agents might have”.