Our congratulations Esther on your recent appointment as a member of the World Rowing Athletes Commission. How do you think you can contribute to the promotion of Coastal rowing?
I believe I can use my experience as a coastal rower to provide the best accommodation system to the coastal rowing community.
Do you have any inclination that Beach Sprints will find its way onto the Olympic program soon?
Yes, I'm quietly optimistic about watching beach sprints at the 2028 Olympics and I believe it is already attracting huge interest.
You recently graduated from Stanford University yet coastal rowing doesn’t seem to be as popular across the Atlantic. What more could be done to improve that?
I see university programs increasingly including coastal rowing on their teams and that is likely to accelerate if it is announced officially on the Olympic roster.
Let’s talk about you as an athlete. You and Ander have been unbeatable in mixed doubles for two years. What is your secret?
We are good at communicating with each other. We trust each other a lot and are confident in our abilities.
In Saundersfoot, in the beach sprint with those waves, what had a greater impact – your technique or the design of the hull?
The design of the boat definitely has a tremendous impact, but it is crucial to find your way around the waves.
San Sebastian is preparing a great European event at the end of the month. Do you feel responsibility as a Spanish ambassador for Coastal rowing?
More than responsibility, I feel pride for the opportunity to represent Spain again. To be honest, I don’t feel any pressure – it's coastal rowing and we are aware that unexpected issues can come up. We just try our best and never lose hope.
To what extent do you think it is important to improve safety inside and outside the boat considering the open sea setting and the clashes around buoys?
The thing is, nothing is entirely "safe" in coastal rowing, so expect the worse and try to keep things under control as best you can.
What is the best thing about rowing with Ander?
He is extremely optimistic and creates a relaxed environment. We have lots of fun rowing together and hanging out.
Who are your most qualified competitors for the Europeans next week ?
All of them! You never know what's about to happen in coastal rowing and that is what makes it so exciting.
In Wales you won your fifth world coastal or beach championship. Which is the victory you remember with the most pleasure?
They were all huge highs, but if I had to pick one, it would be the first gold medal in Hong Kong, 2019. It was the turning point where we realized we could achieve any goal.
Given the poor weather conditions in Wales, how much of a role did the Filippi shell play in securing victory?
Conditions were very adverse and sometimes extreme. The performance of the boat over the long distance was really good. In the Beach Sprints it was different; when the water got worse, the feeling changed a lot. I believe that in both models things can be improved, although I think that in the future of coastal rowing it could be necessary to have two models of boats (for flat-water and for choppy waters).
Do you prefer singles or doubles?
The double is my favorite boat since childhood. I have spent a lot of time alone though and I would like to row a few seasons solo to know how far I am able to go.
You have won two gold medals in endurance and beach sprints with Esther so what does rowing with the opposite sex entail? And what is special about Esther as a crewmate?
I have rowed with several girls and sometimes it can actually be better for me than rowing with a boy. I think rowing in mixed boats is very good. The main thing for me is that I am lucky enough to row with my best friend and that always helps. We have a lot of trust in each other and a great complicity. This has been crucial to our successes.
Why do you think Spain is so strong in coastal competitions?
Spain is a pioneer of coastal rowing due to the offerings right along the coast. This is then added to the secrets and specialization that both trainers and rowers acquire.
Do you consider yourself the favorite for the European Championships in San Sebastian in your specialty?
I think without a doubt that we are one of the boats that will be in the spotlight. But for this championship the priority is to enjoy the event as much as possible.
Would you suggest coastal or traditional rowing to a child who is beginning in the sport?
It depends where you are. I would give the opportunity to try the two modes and choose the one you like best.