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

Sailing as Art

By Joe Cooper

Sailing as Art

By Joe Cooper Jill and I travelled to New York City before the holidays to visit with a mate of ours from Oz. Nina is the younger daughter of one of my great mentors, Tony James, the Finn sailor I wrote about a while back (www.windcheckmagazine.com/article/the_finn_dinghy_the_olympic_singlehander/), and she was in town for business. We met at the Museum of Modern Art and spent an hour wandering the museum’s fascinating galleries and catching up. We had Good Gossip…

Coop's Corner

If

By Joe Cooper

If

By Joe Cooper Why do we sail? Or rather, why do we go sailing? Because we always have, we started with Dad, it is fun, we like to race, seen nice places, listen to the water lapping alongside at a quiet anchorage, tell and hear sea stories. The reasons are as many as there are boats. It is, nonetheless, my experience that in the U.S., the idea of “pushing my boundaries” is not one that comes up…

Coop's Corner

Bresting the Ribbon

By Joe Cooper

Bresting the Ribbon

By Joe Cooper My phone dinged, with Jill’s ding tone. Three words: Janet has died. Holy expletive deleted. A veteran survivor of several flavors of cancer, this mother of three and lifer wife was finally nosed out at the boat end. Another one. I stopped for a moment, mentally adding up the people I know who have had life similarly nipped from them on the line of life. I got to ten departed souls without too much…

Coop's Corner

Visions of Newport & Bass Strait A few items from the Ain’t Sailing Great files

By Joe Cooper

Visions of Newport & Bass Strait A few items from the Ain’t Sailing Great files

By Joe Cooper The CJ Buckley Regatta (you’ll find my article about this brave young man at windcheckmagazine.com/article/a_pebble_in_a_pond/) is a team race event, but not for high school teams, rather for either yacht club teams or whatever team name six high school sailors want to jig up for themselves. Grapes of Wrath and Ship Happens, for instance. But for the primo names of this year’s event (see page 19), complete with costumes, Revenge of the Sith took…

Coop's Corner

Last: It’s only the beginning

By Joe Cooper

Last: It’s only the beginning

By Joe Cooper The word “last,” or phrases including that word (i.e. “came last,” “was last,” “is last”) has, in our society today, a three-kilo bucket of negative connotations hung around its rudder. Anyone being tarred with such a sobriquet likely wants to shrink from view faster than a foiling SailGP 50 passes another in displacement mode. The psychologists amongst us might debate that this negativity is behind the “every kid gets a prize” at T-ball games…

Coop's Corner

Safety…first?

By Joe Cooper

Safety…first?

By Joe Cooper Phew, that was some spring. Herreshoff Regatta in Maine, the last Friday Night Lights, then the State Championships, a long Sunday event at Sail Newport, with 10 races. Then the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Junior Safety at Sea Seminar on 2 June, at Sail Newport. In the middle, another Block Island Race on the J/105 Young American – my favorite mob to sail with these days. The first part of the race was sailed in…

Coop's Corner

Mothers: Dei

By Chris Szepessy

Mothers: Dei

By Joe Cooper Mother’s Day was last month. Social media was ablaze with selfies of adoring offspring genuflecting before their mothers, in real life or in images, making cooing sounds and generally trying to claw back all the dumb stuff they did as kids. Black Friday it ain’t but the restaurants around town probably see a bump in business, as do the flower shops, confectioners and the Hallmark Card aisles at CVS. And no, I am not…

Coop's Corner

The Right Stuff

By Joe Cooper

The Right Stuff

By Joe Cooper Published in 1979, Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff chronicles the search for, training of and finally launching of, the first U.S. astronauts. One of the core themes is that among the post-World War II test pilots who “pushed the outside of the envelope” to be the first to break the sound barrier, one either had this mythical Right Stuff or, especially after “augering in,” did not. Projected onto the first seven Mercury astronauts…

Coop's Corner

The Last Trysail

By Joe Cooper

The Last Trysail

Minds, sharper and more lettered than mine have, ever since we became sentient, been contemplating the Big Conundrum that dogs the human condition. What happens when it is all over? When we pass, meet our maker, go to heaven, snuff it, turn up our toes or, for the Monty Python lovers amongst us, become an ex-human. I suppose a flaw in getting older is that your contemporaries, start to, well, cease to be, become no more. I…

Coop's Corner

Moving boats, always at night.

By Joe Cooper

Moving boats, always at night.

Maybe it’s just me but I find myself spending a disproportional amount of time moving, going to or leaving with boats, at night. One such night late last fall was a classic. I moved the Mini up to the Hinckley Yacht Services yard in Portsmouth, RI preparatory to erecting the shed around her and the Ranger so I could continue my quest to get the Mini sailing again. The night was drizzly wet, misty, dank and generally…

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