Stefano Peschiera – An Alumni Interview

Having won 2 Laser Performance Men’s Singlehanded Championships, sailing A-division for the 2017 winning Gill Coed National Championship team, being part of the 2017 and 2018 Laser Performance Team Racing Championship winning team, being named collegiate sailor of the year and helping the team win 3 Fowle Trophys, Stefano Peschiera was one of the most accomplished sailors to ever hit the water for the College of Charleston Cougars. Now he is off to his second Olympics representing Peru in Tokyo 2020. 

We were able to sit down with Stefano and ask him a few questions.

Who is your sailing inspiration and why?

My sailing inspiration is my grandfather. He had a 42ft John Alden wooden classic that he would race back at home in Peru and was a successful sailor. Him and my dad also started taking me for rides on this boat since I was 4 years old. Going back to those memories motivates me and helps me push on my day to day to become a better sailor/ olympic athlete.

Do you have a lucky item you carry or a superstitious ritual?

I don’t really have a lucky item. I do carry a picture of my grandfather thats has been plastified in my lifejacket. I have some bracelets made of sailing line that I always keep with me, I think they keep me tied to the sport. I also now write a nickname (Mucki) on the back of every boat I sail. I did really well the first time I wrote it so it stayed.

What is your pre race diet?

I work with a physical training company specialized only in sailors. They also give me a nutritionist that takes care of my diets during the different stages of the year. Before a regatta starts, we change our diet into a carbohydrate based diet. However, we have to include foods from 4 different groups (Protein, carbohydrates, fibre, fruits, vegetables, lactose) on every one of the 4 meals we do every day. We also have to take 3 snacks a day in order to keep my energy levels high. This type of diet will help me keep my weight consistent regardless of the physical effort made through the 5 days of the competition.

Have you applied the skills you learned in college to post grad life?

Being in the sailing team at CofC, and having a challenging major with a minor definitely required some organization and discipline. I had never been so busy like I was on my last two years of college. This taught me how to manage my time and my priorities. I also had to make some sacrifices, like seeing my family every 8 months, or limiting my social life. These have definitely prepared me for Olympic sailing, and for a job in the fields that I studied later on.

How do you plan on using your degree?

I am a Finance major with a Real Estate minor. I really enjoyed my four years in college studying these fields. I am planning on moving on from Olympic sailing after Tokyo, or maybe, after Paris 2024, and start working on what I studied. I want to work at least 2 years in the US to gain experience before I go back to Peru and help my dad in his consultancy business. I have been offered some part time jobs back at home in the Real Estate field, and we are looking how to make sailing together with the job work.

How did you balance academics and being a high performance student athlete?

I was not the most organized person when I arrived in Charleston. I used to have private lessons outside of high school hours to catch up on work that I would miss from traveling to sailing events. I created a few habits after my first semester in Charleston that turned into a routine. I adopted some more as my school life progressed, but always stuck to those simple habits. Again, I think if you are honest with yourself on the amount of time you are dedicating to things you can be a successful student athlete!

What advice would you give to those who wish to follow in your foot steps?

My advice to anyone trying to achieve a tough goal or be successful at anything would be to be honest with themselves. From personal experience, this is one of the toughest things to overcome when it comes to big sacrifices and obligations towards your goal. Once you are honest with your schoolwork, training, sleep hours, nutrition; in my case for example, you will start making big improvements and start focusing on the smaller details that will lead you towards excellence.