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

Homemade Sailing

By Joe Cooper

Homemade Sailing

One of the inspirations that led to Bob Salmon inventing the Mini Transat in about 1976 was the burgeoning costs of the O.S.T.A.R. From that race’s invention and first edition in 1960, it had exploded to the point where the boats, and equipment, were light years past the budgets of the average bear. The first O.S.T.A.R. had five boats with everyone sailing “what they brung,” boats they already owned. The second, in 1964, had fifteen entries and…

Coop's Corner

The Hot Embers of the Soul

By Joe Cooper

The Hot Embers of the Soul

Passion must be a top contender for stoking the soul, to get it up to red ember hot, temperature. Passion is a curious thing. Not sure I, or anyone, can explain, or define it, but I humor myself I can see it, or appreciate it, or realize someone has it when I am exposed to it… In our own arena, manifest through WindCheck magazine, any one of the past 37 America’s Cup events has been oversubscribed by…

Coop's Corner

Optimistic Future

By Joe Cooper

Optimistic Future

Regular readers will know of my penchant for using metaphors from Star Wars. Today’s line is “You need not be a Jedi to see into the future.” I cannot be the only sailor doing some head scratching about the results of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team in Japan. I do not envy Paul Cayard’s new job as the director of this team. I would recommend, Paul, you get out and do as I have just done and…

Coop's Corner

The Empty Three Quarters

By Joe Cooper

The Empty Three Quarters

As a kid, I saw the David Lean production of Lawrence of Arabia in the local cinema. I was fascinated. Of all the movie’s magnificent scenes, one continues to stand out. The one where T.E. Lawrence brings a young Arab kid into the officer’s bar in Cairo. They are both in Arab dress, filthy after having been in the desert for days, weeks. Lawrence approaches the bar and orders two lemonades. The inhabitants of the bar, the…

Coop's Corner

The Scientist & The Sailor

By Joe Cooper

The Scientist & The Sailor

For the dear reader with a long memory or nothing better to do on a snowy February evening, I bring your attention to a previous Corner column, “Bresting the Ribbon,” on the ugly duckling of human diseases, Epilepsy (windcheckmagazine.com/article/bresting-the-ribbon/). Extra credit for remembering the name Phil Haydon, Ph.D., Neuroscientist extraordinaire and founder of Sail 4 Epilepsy (S4E; sailforepilepsy.org). I met Phil through the Bermuda One-Two Yacht Race community at one of their not infrequent gatherings at Newport…

Coop's Corner

Laser Life

By Joe Cooper

Laser Life

What is it that the scroll reads…? “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Or perhaps, “I had a farm in Kenya.” Regardless, I had a Laser. Built by Performance Sailcraft in Australia. My boat was #14172. Turns out I was an OK Laser sailor. Pretty slippery in breeze and OK the rest of the time. NOT as good as in a Finn, but there ya go. (Cf my column on transitioning, at light…

Coop's Corner

The Rodney Dangerfield Conundrum

By Joe Cooper

The Rodney Dangerfield Conundrum

By Joe Cooper Rodney, the man with a face that would stop a runaway semi-trailer whose memorable quote, “I don’t get no respect,” could be on his gravestone. Respect is a commodity in somewhat thin supply these days if one watches too much social media. The people versus the politicians, people, some of them, versus the police, a fool’s errand at the best of times. Kneeling athletes and saluting police… At the time of this writing, a…

Coop's Corner

On Coaching

By Joe Cooper

On Coaching

Editor’s note: This month’s Coop’s Corner was originally published by Sail1Design, “a grassroots organization, by sailors for sailors, dedicated to the youth, high school, college, and one-design sailing communities,” and is reprinted with permission. You’ll find this superb resource at sail1design.com. With summer not far off, sailing programs around the country are gearing up for their sailing lessons sessions. There will be high school sailors teaching and coaching Opti sailors, college sailors teaching and coaching high school…

Coop's Corner

Sea Sagas

By Joe Cooper

Sea Sagas

Well, The Vendée Globe has placed its podium people. Dear old Roi, Jean Le Cam, could not, sadly, break onto the august triple stair. Pip Hare continued to impress and cheer us all the way to, and inside, the Barn. What an effort, dragging a 20-year-old-boat, sans foils, on the financial equivalent of the smell of an oily rag, spending an afternoon hanging off the side of her boat replacing a rudder, and later dragging a busted…

Coop's Corner

En Garde: The Foils are Coming…maybe.

By Joe Cooper

En Garde: The Foils are Coming…maybe.

The hunkered-down factor has likely made following the adventures of the two most demanding sailing races on the planet a welcome break over the holidays and into the New Year. I speak of course of the America’s Cup (preliminary challenger regatta) and the Vendée Globe. In a curious touch of Serendipity, the Vendée Globe’s fleet, with some eighteen foil-equipped, fire-breathing 60-footers was transiting the Southern Ocean, solo, south of New Zealand, just after the AC boats had…

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