Feature Story on Sophomore Skipper - Esteban Forrer
Being out on crystal clear waters on board a beautiful ship is the ideal getaway for many. As the ship floats across the ocean, the nice breeze grazes the passenger’s skin and it is nothing short of serene. The bright sun shines above while the travelers enjoy the festivities in their bikinis and swim trunks.
As the season transitions into spring and summer slowly approaches, many families and individuals look forward to boarding cruise ships to explore the world. Sophomore Esteban Forrer, a skipper for the Old Dominion sailing team, will be out on the water as well. However, his motive for being there is not a relaxing vacation and he certainly won’t be aboard any extravagant multi-leveled ships.
Sailing World’s College Rankings currently has the Old Dominion sailing team at number 11 in the nation. Esteban grew up with sailing being a mere hobby at the age of seven.
“Going back to my summer home in California with my parents— it was sort of a camp thing that they started me in every summer and it was something I really enjoyed when I was very young,” Forrer said.
Esteban grew up in Tucson, Ariz., but always visited his California beach home with his family. His parents introduced him and his brother to sailing at young ages and it quickly grew on them. Both Esteban and his brother enjoyed playing enough to compete in college.
Forrer’s brother sailed at Cornell University. He has always looked up to him and currently strives to be just as successful as he was. He pointed out that he was always able to balance school and sailing.
When asked if he admired anyone in particular Esteban said, “My brother is just someone that I have always looked up to and admired. He is very dedicated in his athletics and his academics. It just seems like he is always doing such a good job with his whole life and career and it’s something that I want to work towards too.”
Sailing is a very technical sport with more aspects than many may think. It is about sailing a boat obviously, but there is more to it. The members of the sailing team work hard to build their strength and agility. Esteban spoke about how many people think it’s just pulling ropes and sitting on a boat. However, when he is actually on the boat there are many things to consider (i.e., managing the race course awareness, maintaining the position, determining how fast the boat is going, the direction of the wind, where other boats are, etc). One difference sailing has from most sports is the competitions usually last all day and there aren’t many breaks in between.
“In a sense, yeah, we pull ropes and we sit there but a lot of people don’t understand how physically demanding it can be, especially when it gets breezy. We have to be in shape especially when you’re sailing from 9-6 or 9-5,” Esteban said.
The team is not just a team— it is a family. Forrer stated that everyone looks out for each other and makes sure that grades are good and relationships are healthy. Although he got looks from other colleges, Forrer chose ODU mainly because he liked the team dynamic and how close everyone was. He also stated that he really liked the coaches and the school in general as well.
As far as motivation, Esteban stays strong through the respect and support of his family and friends. He makes sure to always stay humble and works toward getting better at what he does in order to make everyone around him proud.
“I really take pride in the fact that my family is really proud of me for where I am. My motivation is to keep them and my friends proud,” Esteban said.