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10 questions for senior sailor Jack Indritz

Senior+Jack+Indritz+sails+at+a+regatta+in+a+two-person+boat.+%22Once+you+race+for+a+while+with+your+crew%2C+you+don%E2%80%99t+really+need+to+communicate+anymore+because+you%E2%80%99ve+practiced+so+much+that+you+know+what+the+other+person+is+gonna+do+and+when%2C%22+Indritz+said.
Senior Jack Indritz sails at a regatta in a two-person boat.

Senior Jack Indritz sails at a regatta in a two-person boat. "Once you race for a while with your crew, you don’t really need to communicate anymore because you’ve practiced so much that you know what the other person is gonna do and when," Indritz said.

Submitted by Jack Indritz.

Submitted by Jack Indritz.

Senior Jack Indritz sails at a regatta in a two-person boat. "Once you race for a while with your crew, you don’t really need to communicate anymore because you’ve practiced so much that you know what the other person is gonna do and when," Indritz said.

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Jack Indritz, a senior at SPA, has been an avid sailor since he was 8. He has participated in my regattas and won many awards.

1. What does sailing involve/entail?

Sailing is a really interesting sport because it is a combination of a lot of physical work that requires great strength, especially in heavy winds, [and] also strategy. [Each time I sail] I experience something different, and it’s constantly changing and evolving. In order to do well, you have to learn how to handle different changes and adapt on your feet.

2. How long have you sailed? When did you start and why did you continue?

I started sailing when I was 8. I continued because I thought that it was fun, and I was interested in it. I initially got involved because a family friend had recommended I try sailing, and I really enjoyed it.

3. What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

I once placed in the top 10 nationally for high school individuals. Right now I am ranked 12th individually. I was also the Minnesota high school state champion in 8th and 10th grade.

4. Where do you learn? What is that like? Do you teach/help others?

The home lake that I sail on is White Bear Lake, which is where I started sailing. I learnt through the White Bear Sailing School. Sometimes I travel to go to different clinics on different coasts out of state. I have coached some race teams before. Also, I usually sail a two-person boat for high school sailing, and you have to train the other person in your boat, your crew, and make sure that you two are on the same page. Once you race for a while with your crew, you don’t really need to communicate anymore because you’ve practiced so much that you know what the other person is gonna do and when.

5. What’s your favorite thing about sailing?

I think [sailing] is really freeing. You can travel wherever you want. When you’re racing the goal is to get to a certain place, but you have so much freedom to choose how you want to get there. It’s also really peaceful if you’re out alone sailing. It’s really cool because you sort of feel more connected with the water and wind and nature than you would with other sports.

6. What’s the hardest thing about sailing?

Physically it can be really demanding, especially in heavy winds. You are straining your muscles a lot. I sail from March through the end of November, so it can get really cold, especially if you fall in or tip over. When you’re racing there is also the difficulty of making decisions, and you have to be constantly thinking.

7. Does sailing involve team work? If so, what is that like? If it’s mainly individual work, what has that taught you?

The main boat we have in high school sailing is a 420, which is a 2-person boat, and each person has a specific role. I am what is called the skipper, so I steer the boat and control one of the sails. I have the overarching power to make decisions, and sorta decide what the whole boat does. The skipper, in some ways, gets credit for everything because they’re the ones who make the decisions and come up with tactics and strategies. But the crew is equally important, because they’re the ones who control another sail, they do a lot of adjustments, they control the balance of the boat, and they help me with situational awareness, because I might be busy with my own stuff and miss something that is coming up. There’s a lot of communication that has to go on between these two people. There’s one crew that I take with me to most of my regattas, and we’ve sailed so much together that sometimes I don’t even need to talk with her or I’ll just say one word and she’ll be able to extrapolate on that. Movements have to be synchronized as well. Sometimes, there’s a type of racing where you have three boats versus three boats, and so that involves teamwork between boats. I think it’s unique in sports where you have to look after all your other teammates as well. Sometimes I have to deliberately hinder my opponents, and while I might drop a few places it allows my teammates to move ahead. In all sailing, there’s a strong emphasis on camaraderie and a lot of respect towards your opponents. There’s a lot of rules where even if someone might be moving in front of you or taking your spot you have to give people certain right of ways. Sailing by myself gives me a lot of freedom. It can be really calm. It also helps me to gain self-discipline and self-motivation.

8. What are some things people assume about sailing/people who sail?

Sometimes when I tell people I sail they tell me, “oh, I went sailing once and it was a horrible experience”. For me, that’s like saying “oh, I was in a car once and I got into a car crash” or something like that. I think a lot of people also assume that sailing is a rich person’s sport. Obviously, people who are wealthy are more likely able to afford their own boats, but especially with youth sailing programs people who aren’t necessarily wealthy sail too. In some ways, I think that, from what I know, Minnesota is one the best states for giving a lot of opportunities.

9. What is something most people don’t know about sailing?

Sailing has its own language. I can say a string of words that would be gibberish to others but make sense to crew, and they would be able to sail a race course on their own with five words. It’s interesting when you’re able to communicate in such a specific way. And that’s not just within my boat, but I can communicate that way with other boats too.

10. What is your favorite sailing memory?

For me, the fondest memories I have come from the people I’ve sailed with. I guess that might be true for a lot of sports, but I’ve been sailing for 11 years and there are so many great people I’ve met, funny things they’ve done, and games we’ve played. A moment that has always been surreal for me was when I was doing a practice and it started to rain so hard that you couldn’t even see 1o feet in front of you. And it was a weird rain, where the rain was warmer than the air and it was really pleasant to be in. So I just sat there and let my boat fill with water and everything was so still. For some reason, I remember that really vividly.

 

 

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10 questions for senior sailor Jack Indritz