During the 2017 Fuerteventura PWA World Cup Ethan Westera (Tabou / GA Sails) suffered a potentially career threatening injury after a racing incident which required the Aruban to undergo surgery, followed by a lengthy rehabilitation.
However, after a long road to recovery the 21-year-old was still able to bounce back to record 3 top 20 results from the 6 events completed in 2018, while ranking also recording his best overall result - 24th for the year - despite such a massive setback. And as a former PWA Youth World Champion he obviously has the skills and aspirations to challenge for top honours - especially after another season under his belt, and more crucially an injury free one. We recently caught up with Ethan to become the latest sailor to feature in our 20 Questions feature…
1. Why are you so passionate about windsurfing?
Well this started a long time ago. In the past I liked so many sports that I did like 8 sports in a week and that was basically my life besides school, but once I started windsurfing all my other sports slowly decreased and windsurfing increased and I guess it’s because of the amazing wind conditions we have in Aruba and the freedom you have on a windsurfing board. I can’t imagine my life without windsurfing every week.
2. What quality do you like most in other people?
I always look to positive, respect and being yourself. I don’t have really one that I like the most…. Well maybe I do, but let’s just keep that a secret! haha.
3. What annoys or frustrates you the most?
Well one of the things is waiting… All windsurfers know about this. Travelling, waiting for gear etc, always get a toll on you.
Another one is probably when people can’t do there job right and they act/do like they can.
Last but not least getting lied to. I think many people can relate with this.
4. What do you most like in yourself?
Haha well I don’t like to talk about myself. I always prefer that people get to know me and they tell me what they like. I like my all! I feel good in my body.. ahaha. Does that count?
5. What do you dislike in yourself?
Well this I can answer. Sometimes I can block myself and nothing matters anymore.
6. What has been your best moment on tour?
I have had many great moments on tour, but if I should choose one moment in 2018 that would be PWA Fuerteventura winning the losers’ final for the first time! It felt so special, because exactly one year after my injury at the same location I could succeed and just give it my all. I will never forget that feeling. First time in my windsurfing career that I screamed so loud after the finish line. Love it!
7. What has been your worst moment on tour?
Many people would think that it’s my injury moment (Fuerteventura July 2017, but I don’t feel like that’s my worst one.
One of the worst ones would be PWA Costa Brava 2017 and PWA Korea 2018 I just really hate it when I try everything possible to race good and just nothing works. You keep losing and losing. I really don’t like losing haha.
8. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself when your career started?
Waw this is a good question… I would have given myself a bit more space to breath and enjoy a bit more. I was always so serious and making small things, big things. That would be the only advice I can say. As I’m growing older I’m finding my way and what works for me and this was difficult for me to see when I was younger. I always thought there was one way and that was it.
9. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice is always given by my dad. I don’t know which one is the best, because all of them are the best ones! hahaha.
10. What would be your perfect day?
A perfect day would be around the 30 knots some waves, sunny, warm waters, friends sailing, good food and to finish the day with an amazing sunset! I like it simple… hahaha
11. Do you have any superstitions?
Knocking on wood will bring good luck.
12. Which living person do you most admire?
My mom by far!
13. What is your greatest fear?
Not being able to give it my all.
14. What is your most treasured possession?
Gifts from my mom and of course all my special fins that I collect during all these years from F-hot!
15. Where is the best place you’ve been?
Every place has it’s thing. I just came back from my Peru trip and I loved it! Amazing place to be with good people and good food. I will also never let Turkey, Alacati go. I really loved competing there and it just feels like my second home.
16. Where would you most like to go to that you haven’t been to yet?
I have many places! Western Australia, Dahab (Egypt), South Africa (Cape town), Brazil (Jeri), Rhodos Greece and many more! hahaha
17. Who would you most like to have as a dinner guest, dead or alive?
Would be nice to have a dinner with Alberto.M and Peter.V for the last time.
18. First App you open in the morning?
This depends a lot on what messages I get on my phone. It could be my mails, WhatsApp or instagram. One of those three.
19. Most visited website?
Probably my gmail or Facebook!
20. A phrase you live by?
Thanks, Ethan. Enjoy the rest of the winter and see you back on the tour next season.
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