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Summer Reading

By Joe Cooper

July_17_web_page56_image1.pngEarly June: Summer is here, pretty much, for sure, I’m certain, I think. If it is here, it is a great time to stretch out on the cockpit seats and catch up on all the bestsellers you’ve been missing out on. Or if you’re like me (and yes, that phrase did give me pause), you might dig back into some of your favorite books…on sailing of course. Some of mine are discussed this month.

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America’s Cup, for kids

By Joe Cooper

Gretel and WeatherlyThe America’s Cup is, as most sailors remember, about to happen in Bermuda. There are many opinions (hey, we’re sailors) on the current state of the AC, and they range across the spectrum from “Great!” to “Bring back the 12s!”

Listening to a shortwave radio broadcast of the 1962 America’s Cup at his home on the other side of the world from Newport, Rhode Island, little Joey Cooper was late for school the day Gretel (KA1) surfed past Weatherly to win Race 2.   © unikatoo.com

There is one thing about the America’s Cup that, even if held in bathtubs on an obscure body of water in Mongolia, would not change: the experience of the guys and, way too infrequently, the women, who sail in this most storied sailing event. Win, lose or…well, there are no draws, sailing in, and the larger America’s Cup experience is one of the most profound experiences in sailing, or at least it was for me.

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Sailing by the Numbers

By Joe Cooper

Chase MulvaneyLast month, I attended a yacht design contest at the Paul Cuffee School in Providence, Rhode Island. The Cuffee School is named for one of the early successful black businessmen in the New Bedford whaling industry. As befits most inner city populations today, a vast swath, the bulk I’d guess, of the middle school population in Providence are not Anglo Saxon by ancestry.

Chase Mulvaney, a senior at Rocky Hill School in East Greenwich, RI, rigs up at a recent Friday Night Lights regatta at Sail Newport. © Matthew Cohen Photography
 
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Clancy, of the paperwork

By Joe Cooper

safety at sea marion bermudaLate February found me flying west to visit my mates in the Marin Marine Mafia in San Francisco, the nominal reason being to share the celebrations of one of our number in his 85th year. I also saw some of the other blokes and girls, went for a sail on SF Bay, introduced one of the former Prout sailors, now at university out there, to said mafia, and generally kicked back in the warm sun pouring in through the south windows of the hillside aerie in Mill Valley owned by my host, the birthday boy.

Every sailor contemplating an offshore passage should attend a safety at sea seminar…and make sure your electronic rescue beacons are properly registered. © Spectrum Photo/Fran Grenon
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Trains, Boats and Automobiles

By Joe Cooper

Volvo Ocean RaceI was reminded recently that four of the five boroughs of New York City are on islands. This came about as I rode Amtrak into Manhattan to attend a Volvo Ocean Race press round table in midtown. The event’s save-the-date email was rather neutral in tone, but nonetheless I persuaded myself something was afoot.

Teamwork is everything in the Volvo Ocean Race, all the time. © Sam Greenfield/Dongfeng Race Team/Volvo Ocean Race
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Sailing around the world: A brief history

By Joe Cooper

vendeeMost of us probably get a variety of sailing info in our mailboxes on a daily, if not hourly, basis, from the America’s Cup on down the celebrity chain. Some of us get info on the Vendée Globe. Fewer, in the U.S., would know that at Christmas, Frenchman Thomas Colville blitzed the solo circumnavigation record by eight and a half days, finishing his solo circumnavigation aboard a 102-foot trimaran in 49 days.

© Jean-Marie Liot/DPPI/Vendee Globe

And as I write, (30 Dec), Francis Joyon and five of his mates are blasting across the southern Indian Ocean on their 102-foot trimaran, having a crack at the outright record of some 45 and a half days set in 2012. So at one point a couple of weeks ago there were the remaining, at the time, 25 (of 29 starters) or so Vendée boats, Colville and Joyon all in various parts of the Atlantic and Southern oceans and half a dozen of them travelling at speeds approaching those of the AC cats, viz. 30 knots.

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Sailing – A different kind of tough

By Joe Cooper

Rich WilsonFall appears to finally be upon us. As I write, the temperature is not in the 80s, the sky is overcast and the trees are shedding their leaves, finally. I am still buzzing after sailing the foiling cats at the Red Bull Foiling Generation ‘go for a sail’ event last Monday. That was a great way to blast out of this season. But what’s next? What are we all doing for the next three months or so until we can start thinking about 2017 sailing?

A professional educator, a sailor and an adventurer, Rich Wilson founded sitesALIVE! In 1990 to engage students in science, geography, math and history by connecting them to live, real world adventures. © B. Gergaud/courtesy of sitesalive.com
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Seeing Red…well, Magenta anyway

By Joe Cooper

Magenta ProjectRegular loiterers in this corner will be aware of my interest in the idea that sailing teaches much more than merely sailing. In the case of a number of young women of my acquaintance, sailing, or more accurately being around all the things that sailing requires, builds confidence.

 

Team Magenta 32 (shown here at the World Match Racing Tour Newport) enjoyed a successful season in the M32 Series.   © Stephen Cloutier/photogroup.us
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The Finn dinghy: THE Olympic singlehander

By Joe Cooper

Finn SailingMy adopted mother (I adopted her, and her husband, Tony James) posted a Facebook picture a few days ago. It was of the Australian Sailing Team for the 1972 Kiel Olympics including amongst other notables, her husband Tony. It brought back some serious memories.

Success in the Finn, exemplified by US Sailing Team Sperry athlete Caleb Paine, who represented the USA in the Rio Olympics and won a bronze medal, demands considerable strength and stamina.   © US Sailing Team Sperry/Will Ricketson
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Diary of a Weekend

By Joe Cooper

Congratulations on their remarkable success in the Newport Bermuda Race to the High Noon crew from American Yacht Club’s Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team. There, I said it. By now I reckon every else has said it, but I could not let the chance pass. Good going, ladies and gentlemen.

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