Editor’s note: In our October 2017 issue, 10-year-old Colin Shearley wrote about his experience aboard Warrior, a Volvo Ocean 70 that serves as the flagship of the Warrior Sailing Program. Contributing Editor Joe Cooper, who made Colin’s amazing experience possible, posted the story to WindCheck’s Facebook page.

Awesome to see such young ones out there learning early! I’m sure those two are going to be quite the sailors later in life. Very cool that they are learning the ins and outs of being on a boat at such an early age. Thanks for the great post! It has inspired my 12-year-old to want to learn more about sailing.

Julie Tootser, via email

Joe Cooper replies:

Dear Julie,

Thanks for the letter. Glad I was able to impact your son; that is great!

I agree it is a very gratifying thing to see young’uns out on boats, a boat in this case that only a wee fraction of the sailing community will ever get alongside, let alone sail on. But getting kids fired up does not need a VOR 70. Literally almost anything that is not a 420 will do. I can still remember the first ‘keel’ boat that I was aboard and that was a Folkboat. The smell of the enamel paint, bacon and eggs, wooly blankets, and that wonderfully indescribably aroma coming from the bilge. That combination of salt water, spilt coffee, sawdust, and most of all, the smell of the kerosene used to fire the stove and lamps. It is such a great life; every kid ought to have a chance to experience it. Thanks again, and if you and yer son are ever in Newport…



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