Student Spotlight: Ciara Rodriguez-Horan

Ciara Rodriguez-Horan 2022

Class: Freshman

Sport: Sailing

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

One of the many things about Tulane University that make it so special is the makeup of its student body. There are students from diverse backgrounds with different interests and passions. During freshmen orientation we introduced ourselves and discussed our interests and hobbies. Ciara Rodriguez-Horan shared how she was a member of the Tulane Sailing team. I was honored to speak with Ciara and discuss her passion and interest in sailing.


What made you want to join the sailing team?

"I’ve been sailing since I was 7 years old and I wanted to continue my passion."


How do you manage your time both as an athlete and a student?

"I played 4 sports in high school and was captain of three of them so I’ve always been a student-athlete. Being an athlete here really isn’t much different. It’s all about balancing your time between school, training and friends."


Why Tulane?

"I chose Tulane because it was my best option. I did not want to stay in Florida but I also didn’t want to move anywhere cold. Tulane had a new team, was in the south, great academics, and was just a perfect fit for me."


Would you like to become a professional one day?

"There’s been talk about the olympics but if that were to happen I would have to take off school and dedicate my full resources into my campaign which right now just isn’t plausible. I think an education is more important realistically."


What does your typical schedule consist of?

"Our schedule is pretty busy. We have no practice on Mondays but Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we have practice from 2:15pm to around 6pm. We also have morning workouts from 6:45am to 7:45am every Tuesday and Thursday. The weekends are when we travel. We have to make sure to fit all our classes in before 2 everyday."


Where are some of the places you’ll be flying to for competitions?

"We fly to Stanford, Austin, Texas, and a bunch of Northeastern schools."


What are competitions like?

"Competitions are called regattas in sailing. What happens is you fly to a venue you can sail on and there will be multiple other schools there as well. The boats are provided and there is an A team and B team from every school. When you get into the water a course will be set up with a starting line and a finish line. At 'go', A team will start and race around the course and your goal is to finish first. Then the B team will do the same. We do multiple of these races all day for 2 days and at the end the scores of the A and B teams are added up and whatever school has the lowest combined score wins."


Has your family ever visited for a competition?

"Yes my family has watched me compete although it’s not the easiest spectator sport haha."


How new is the Tulane team?

"The team is still developing but we’re doing really well so far and I’m excited for the next few years."


On which waterway do you practice?

"We practice on Lake Pontchartrain."


How many people are on the team, number of girls and boys?

"There’s about 20 of us and I believe there are more girls but not by much."


What’s your major?

"My major is Environmental Studies."


Do you sail for pleasure as well?

"Yes, sailing is something I’m always doing. I teach it as well every summer."


Who is the most influential person in your life and why?

"My mom. She’s like a best friend to me and she’s always there for me no matter what. She’s an amazing person and I hope to be like her."


There are so many different opportunities that allow us to pursue our passions in college. Tulane University has many different clubs teams and organizations that allow all students to be a part of something they truly care about.