Coop's Corner

Joe Cooper, WindCheck’s intrepid Contributing Editor, muses on everything from exploring the waters of his native Australia as a young’un to his time as an America’s Cup crewman…and especially his passion for getting young people out sailing.

Coop's Corner

One Boat Length, One Step at a Time

By Joe Cooper

One Boat Length, One Step at a Time

If you were to be seen at the yacht club post-race, propping yourself up using the time-honored rigging of placing your elbow on the bar, with half a glass of Dark ‘n Stormy in hand, and in the midst of replaying the afternoon’s race to all and sundry, you were to mutter the phrase, “Humans are a competitive lot” the response may be wide ranging. The most likely would be for the throng to immediately place that…

Coop's Corner

Wash the Pinnies and Bring the Bailers

By Joe Cooper

Wash the Pinnies and Bring the Bailers

Our son, Ned, graduated high school in the class of ’14. By my calculations this makes his freshman debut the fall of 2010. In the fall of 2009, we attended the Prout School Open, day go see event. As we entered the campus, at the speed of rush hour traffic upstream of a five-tractor trailer crash behind all the SUVs in front of us, we found a right hand turn down a slight incline. This turned out…

Coop's Corner

To the East

By Joe Cooper

To the East

Jill was away last weekend, so I was home alone. Well, with the dog and the Honey Dew list. The Dew I selected was construction (ongoing) of a rack on which to store the small boat fleet. 2 x 4s, construction screws, Miter saw, glue, you know the drill. Actually, I got the drill too. At knockoff I drove to the market down the street. I was fortunate to arrive at that time dedicated to sweaty, smelly,…

Coop's Corner

Mission (Mischief?) Managed

By Joe Cooper

Mission (Mischief?) Managed

Anyone with, or close to, a now 25-year-old son or daughter will remember the phrase “Mischief Managed,” and the tap of the wand, needed to close the Marauder’s Map. Said map of course being a way for Harry to roam the castle and see who was afoot. Kinda like AIS for wizards. Harry’s Mission was of course, well, we’ll let that one slide and revert to the Mission needing Management. This particular mission was (helping) set up…

Coop's Corner

Onion Patch Thrashing

By Joe Cooper

Onion Patch Thrashing

It is not now, nor will it be likely be anytime in the future, possible to discuss the 2022 Newport Bermuda Race without noting the tragic loss overboard of the owner and master of the Centurion 42 Morgan of Marietta, Colin Golder. With considerable effort in strong winds and related sea state the crew were able to recover Colin’s body. I, the Bermuda Race organizers, and everyone involved with the 2022 Bermuda Race extends to the family,…

Coop's Corner

Breeze on.

By Joe Cooper

Breeze on.

  Time once was when if you went to a sailboat race the organizers started the race. Unless there was no wind, or serious fog. If there was “too much” wind, great don’t start. Sadly, this is no more. The idea that it’s blowing too hard has had the threshold of what constitutes too hard gradually lowered. If the threshold windspeed, at which the organizers deem it too windy, continues to fall, perhaps we will all end…

Coop's Corner

See, Safety – No Joke*

By Joe Cooper

See, Safety – No Joke*

‘Tis that time again. After losing the 2020 race to COVID, the Cruising Club of America’s Newport Bermuda Race is on for 2022. Many Safety at Sea certificates have lapsed and considering this year’s race has roughly 220 entries, the demand for new, current certificates is high. The Annapolis to Bermuda Race, aka The Bermuda Ocean Race, is on again too. They have at this writing 37 entries, so when summed to 220, there are close to…

Coop's Corner

Getting the Guernsey

By Joe Cooper

Getting the Guernsey

The statement “The America’s Cup has changed a lot in the past 40 years” qualifies as a gold medal, AAA, five-star understatement of substantial proportions. Certainly, the boats are in a different league than the plodding ol’ 12 Metres, but the thing I have been thinking about is how the crews are assembled. To write on this topic properly I would need to consult THE Tome on the America’s Cup, the late Bob Fisher’s two-volume history, An…

Coop's Corner

Thanks for the Memories…

By Joe Cooper

Thanks for the Memories…

Don’t panic, dear reader. I’m not leaving; just reflecting this month on memories. I am occasionally asked, “if I miss Australia.” Well, that is a difficult question that does not truly have an elevator pitch answer. Depending on the circumstances, where we are and who is asking, there are a couple of versions. Sound bite: “Well, I have not lived there for forty years. I have lived in the U.S. longer than I lived in Australia.” The…

Coop's Corner

Measuring Up

By Joe Cooper

Measuring Up

My memory of the first time I did my own boat work was in the middle ‘60s. The work was fiberglass taping. The boat in question was my Sabot. A hard chine, plywood, garage-built boat Dad had bought to act as a tender for the big boat and to get me sailing on my lonesome. The amount of lonesome sailing I put on the boat ultimately caused some leaking through the chines. Your boat, your fix was…

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