Words by DinaRella

"A guy that could brighten any room, pick you up when you were down, and always had a smile on his face,” were the words written on social media by Reindl Powerboats owner Chris Reindl, in memory of a close friend, he lost a few months ago. It’s unimaginable to think the same can be echoed about the 47-year-old Cincinnati, Ohio-native, after spending the night at his sister Stephanie's house and not waking up to another day of his adrenaline-filled life in the fast lane on July 10, 2023.

1 Chris Reindl forever smiling.jpg
2 Checkered flag Chris and Kim.jpg
3 Chris poker time fun.jpg
4 2023 Sarasota Gran Prix.jpg
5 2021 Havasu.JPG
6 Rick Amos with Chris.jpg
7 Chris Neon Light Museum.JPG

Offshore Powerboating’s Caring, Charismatic Rock Star

There is however, a Reindl-esque modification, to the quote above. Those who were fortunate enough to have spent any amount of memorable, laugh-inducing moments with Chris can attest to the fact, that, if you were a girl the “picking you up when you were down” part was often literal and came with a slight spinning around. Honestly, since first meeting him with Terrah walking down a dirt road from the wet pits to the beach at a race in the Bahamas more than twenty years ago, I don’t recall a serious side to him. Chris was fun-loving to the core, with the persona of a rock star. He didn’t steal the spotlight. He was the spotlight!

Caring is another descriptor to add to his charismatic demeanor. I will be forever grateful to him for giving me my 15 minutes of fame and the opportunity to race the purple bat boat alongside “Glass Dave” Sikorski at the 2003 Key West Worlds. And of course, in more recent years, for his hospitality always welcoming me to stay at his Las Vegas compound which was never without big dogs, fastboats in the back garage, a shiny Corvette in the driveway, tons of food in the fridge, and tons of fun 24/7.

Reminiscing about the last trip to Sin City, we jetted straight from the airport to Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan for cocktails. Thinking I needed Cosmo-branded souvenirs because he knew how much I love the place, by the time we left, his girlfriend Kim and I had more complimentary water bottles, matches and pens, than we knew what to do with, thanks to my buddy Chris. Pan searing sea scallops for us at 2:30 a.m. was how the night ended, but not before the surprise news that he rented a pool cabana at one of the resorts for my birthday the next day. The point is, Chris Reindl was most happy when he was doing special things for others, and to know him was to adore him!

That’s why, just over a week ago when he called to send me on a mission running around the pits of the Sarasota Offshore Gran Prix asking the police, security and fire department crew if anyone turned in a lost wallet (which he was convinced fell out of his pocket when jumping out of the car), I was happy to do so. I was even happier seeing him radiantly grinning with wallet in hand, the next morning. That was Chris!

A month prior, we sat at the Cocoa Beach Radisson pool sipping frozen mudslides and eating coconut shrimp. As I listened to his plans for what the future holds, there was a heightened level of enthusiasm and energy, (if that’s even possible) permeating from his heart and soul. It was even more apparent when we spoke a week later (first discussing what he should wear to the white party in LOTO he was going to that night) followed by more serious stuff regarding sponsorship packages he was negotiating with his company Ultimate Boat Racing Experience, LCC.

8 2023 Cocoa Beach.JPEG
11 2003 SBI awards.JPG
10 2004 KW Worlds Dina and Tarah.JPG
12 Vegas garage.jpg
13 Vegas compound.JPG
14 Neon Museum Chris and Lee Ann.JPG
15 Chris Lake Mead.jpg
16 2014 Hoover Dam.jpg

Wings for the Win
For those not familiar with his business background, Chris purchased the fleet of canopied, 24-foot, “Bat Boats” (named after the patented wing design crafted not to create lift, but rather for balance, which in turn produces higher speeds) from naval architect Ocke Mannerfelt of Stockholm, Sweden. He then went on to establish the Reindl Powerboats One Design raceboat rental program that, for a reasonable fee puts newcomers in the driver’s seat for a firsthand sample of speedboat racing.

An endless promoter and the absolute ambassador of the single engine, Ilmor-powered bat boat, Chris turned many non-aquatic-minded people into pilots with his WANNA RACE leasing packages. The powerboater had an easiness about him and his encouraging savoir faire “we’re gonna win” attitude sucked you right into the cockpit. Seriously, the wings acted like magnets with their ability to attract people's attention... and then Chris took it from there, making dreams come true.

His talent for taking checkered flags in the boats – campaigning Vee and catamaran hulls, with wings and without – was as gallant as his character out of the boats. The six-time World Champion held sticks and steering wheels in the following classes: Extreme, Super Cat, Super Cat Light, Super Vee, SVL and the speed-capped Brackets.

Chris was also responsible for bringing action sports adventures into the corporate world at team building functions he would participate in with his winged flotilla. Powerboat racer Karen Benson and I volunteered to help him in the early 2000s at a huge event for Daimler Benz in Orlando, and it was impressive to watch him operate in this professional capacity as well.

Another of this generous man's most admirable qualities was his devotion to helping charities, most notably, delivering the Early Detection Breast Cancer Awareness message via the bat boat and beyond. And speaking of beyond, outside of the boat, he was equally passionate about playing poker and an avid sports fan with two of his favorite teams being the Cincinnati Bengals and Vegas Golden Knights.

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18 Go time.jpg
19 600 Class.jpg

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21 National Champs.jpg
22 Checkered flag with Lee Ann.jpg
2020 group shot.jpg
Chris and Kim award time.jpg

Wings in Heaven
Chris finished that online post about his friend, by saying, “He was certainly someone who made life more enjoyable.” For all who knew Chris, loved Chris and incessantly laughed thanks to Chris, we can agree… it was he, who made life more enjoyable for all of us!

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24 Chris in the fast lane.jpg
25 Fly free.jpg
Chris and Kim.jpg

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Just shy of two years since my big brother in boating Roy Schrader left us, heaven now gains my younger brother, and a good friend of his, Chris Reindl. Surely, Schrader has sorted out a Skater up there; now he has the perfect co-pilot! Chris, as you lift your wings to the sky – fly free and fast – with the same amount of fervor you did on the seas. Race with grace and rest in peace, my sweets!