Sailor Profile: Chris Andert
Home Yacht Club: Minnetonka Yacht Club
How were you introduced to the sport of sailing? What age?
I first started sailing with my parents around the age of six. They would stick me on their Flying Scot for sails around Lake Minnetonka.
When did you start skippering?
My first boat was a blue wooden El Toro that I got at age ten and I sailed it out of WYC for two years before I started racing X boats.
When did you buy your first C Scow?
I started racing in the C fleet in 1993 with Chris Jewett. We raced together in that fleet for about ten years. Then I bought my own boat in 2005.
What motivates you most from year to year?
For sure the memories from summers past. Sailing is a sport that marries competition and a social outlet together well. The camaraderie between your fellow competitors just seems to build every year with the pinnacle of that being the Inland Championship. Every August we all get together for a week with our friends and family to race. That week is where lifelong memories are made. You definitely want to be sailing your fastest that week.
Aside from Lake Minnetonka, what is your favorite inland lake to race on? Why?
Green Lake, WI - Its a great piece of water set in small town that the ILYA easily can take over for a Big Inland.
What is your greatest sailing memory?
The 2005 Big Inland on Okoboji sailing with Chris & Tony Jewett and Katie Lynch. It's the only Inland Championship team that I've been fortunate to be part of. I still vividly remember each race of that regatta.
Who has had the most influence on your sailing success?
For me "success" is that I'm still racing in the ILYA after 25 years. My first Inland was the 1986 X Inland Championship on Pewaukee. After two years in the X and few in the M-16 I was close to slipping out of the sport. Then Chris Jewett told me he was getting a C-boat and wanted to know if I'd sail with him. I've been sailing with the Jewett family for almost two decades now in the C and E fleets, and more recently we've all been racing together with the Hughes family on their A-boat. I've picked up a few tricks along the way by being fortunate to race with such great sailors. But it's the relationships that are built where the lines of friends and family almost blur that influences me most.
What are you most looking forward to at the ILYA this summer?
If my family will allow, I'm going to try and go the "pro" route and race the entire Big Inland - C, A and E classes.
How do you spend your time when you're not sailing?
My wife Liz and I stay very busy raising our two future sailors - 2-year old twins Anna and Maija. They both can't wait to get back on the water in the family pontoon this spring, and I think they'll get their maiden voyage in a C-boat at some point this summer too.
For more information about the 2011 ILYA Championships, visit http://www.minnetonkayachtclub.org/Inland2011.