By Joe Cooper & Colin Shearley
There are a number of disconnected and independent Kapers afoot around the waterfront, all aimed at getting young people, teenagers and college kids interested in, and more time on, ‘big boats.’ On Long Island Sound, MudRatz and the Young American Sailing Academy are the two most obvious. On Narragansett Bay, Newport, Conanicut and Ida Lewis Yacht Clubs have programs of various densities aimed at getting this cohort sailing time without the stress of dinghy sailing, and Sail Newport is developing a similar program. The Storm Trysail Foundation and their Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminars spread the word up and down the East Coast, and efforts are underway in the Great Lakes and West Coast to grow this program. In a number of clubs, there are individual members who will take young sailors out in ones and twos on an infrequent basis with no really planned and executed instruction nor really any captured, measurable results. Outside these efforts, all is desert.
While he’s keen to race big boats and perhaps one day have a job like Vestas 11th Hour Racing bowman Nick Dana (pictured here at the start of Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18), 11-year-old Colin Shearley hopes the sport takes steps to improve safety. © Stephen Cloutier/photogroup.usRead more
Editor’s note: In August, WindCheck Contributing Editor Joe Cooper led the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar at Sail Newport in Newport, RI. Those who know this affable Aussie know his passion for creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for young sailors aboard big, fast boats. As luck would have it, Coop’s mate Ralf Steitz, President of the USSMA Sailing Foundation, was in town with the Warrior Sailing Program’s flagship, a Volvo Ocean 70. Two eager sailors who’d just completed the seminar tell the tale of yet another amazing Coop’s Kaper.
The flagship racing project for Warrior Sailing and the USMMA Sailing Foundation, Warrior (pictured here in the 2017 Vineyard Race) competed in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 as CAMPER. ©Allen Clark/PhotoBoat.com
My Warrior Sailing Experience
By Connor Macken, age 15
The Warrior Sailing Program provides maritime education and outreach for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. One of the boats that is used for this program is a retired Volvo 70 named Warrior. I was fortunate to join the Warrior Sailing Team for a few days in Newport this past August. After a summer of sailing Lasers, 29ers and C420s, I was looking forward to learning the ropes of a larger, faster boat.Read more