Izzy (Hamilton) Baier (STM ’13): STM Alumna Thrives in Milwaukee Sailing Community

“I love how sailing gives us the opportunity to spend time with each other without the many distractions of life.”

by Katlyn Putney (STM ’10)

The oldest of four Hamilton sisters to attend STM, Izzy (Hamilton) Baier (STM ’13) has always been able to find her sea legs. Of all the sports Izzy has participated and excelled in – including basketball, soccer, cross country, and swimming – sailing has always been number one.

Starting when she was a youth sailor in the South Shore Yacht Club junior sailing program, Izzy has been hooked on the physically and mentally demanding sport of sailboat racing. “I think part of the reason that I stuck with sailing in my adult life versus other sports is that sailing is something you can do for a lifetime,” she said. “There are only a handful of sports in the world where you can have two, even three generations all competing together. I think it’s really special to share this sport with my family and look forward to passing the love of sailing on to the next generation.”

Left: Izzy with her dad, Right: Izzy with her dad and grandpa


Izzy attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she studied entrepreneurial management and marketing. While she was there, she participated in club sailing for the Gophers. During the sailing season, Izzy and her teammates would travel to sailing competitions, called regattas, all over the Midwest. Izzy’s results as a skipper, a boat’s “captain,” earned her the Honorable Mention Female Skipper and All-Conference Female Skipper awards from the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association in 2017. “We traveled all over the country to compete against schools where sailing was a varsity program,” she explained. “We were very competitive, and I learned so much about the sport.”

Izzy (on the left) skippering during a collegiate sailing regatta.

Since then, Izzy has returned to Milwaukee harbor for her sailing fix. If you have ever looked out at Lake Michigan on a Wednesday evening or Saturday  afternoon in the summer, you probably have seen Izzy and her family, including her sisters when they are in town, on their sailboat, a Beneteau 36.7 called Neverland. “During most races, my dad skippers (drives) the boat, then myself and the rest of our crew are working hard to make the boat sail as fast as possible. I have so many fun memories racing with my dad and our crew, which is now practically family,” she said, “I love how sailing gives us the opportunity to spend time with each other without the many distractions of life. We have a general rule of thumb that any phones should be left below deck. I have many fond memories of my family “unplugging” and going out for a lunch-time sail, cruising to Sheboygan and Racine, and even halyard-swinging off the boat and into the water.” 

Although the Milwaukee sailing season is limited due to unpredictable weather in the spring and fall, the sailing community is anything but. “I always tell people who are interested in learning how to sail that if they just come down to the marina and mention that they want to learn to sail, someone will be more than happy to teach them!” Izzy exclaimed. “My experience at STM was a lot like that. There is so much opportunity at STM to learn new things, whether that be the arts, sports, or science. It was something that I enjoyed about my time in high school; if I wanted to try something new, there were others very willing to welcome me and teach me.”


At STM, Izzy set the stage with strong academics and extracurricular involvement for her sisters who attended after her: Gabby (STM ’14), Franny (STM ’17), and Dominique (STM ’18). Izzy was active in music, sports, clubs, and service throughout her time in high school.

Izzy pictured playing basketball and with her Tri-M Music Honor Society colleagues (Izzy is first row, far right)

“Beyond being an excellent academic school, STM afforded me the opportunity to explore my passions like sports, engineering, and music. It gave me the opportunity to turn myself from an awkward teenager to a confident adult who was ready to tackle life’s next challenges.”

Izzy currently works as a Client Success Specialist, helping local small- and medium-sized businesses optimize their IT infrastructure. She learned to play hockey in college and plays almost every weekend in the Waukesha Rec League with her husband, Jeff Baier (STM ’13), who also joins her sailing in the summer.

Izzy with her hockey friends, including her husband Jeff Baier (STM ’13) on the far right and his twin brother Jon Baier (STM ’13) second from the left.


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