Dear WindCheck crew,

When looking up Peter Cooper the previous owner of our [Hinckley Bermuda 40], I came across your Eight Bells remembrance of Mary M. Savage. As an avid racer myself, I was quite impressed with her accomplishments.

Mary Savage delivering Peter Cooper’s Hinckley Bermuda 40 yawl Pumpkin Shell home after a Newport Bermuda Race…

You believe that the photo in your article was taken on Peter’s Pumpkin Shell on the way back from Bermuda. I laughed when I read that, “according to Mary, not an easy passage. I believe they were down to bare poles at one point.”

Indeed, after eleven Newport Bermuda Races on ACTAEA, ex Pumpkin Shell, I put my foot down and flew home – all but one of the return trips had been nasty. The twelfth race was in 2014 when our crew and we won the Lighthouse. My husband and the guys raced Hurricane Arthur back to the Chesapeake. It was close.

I know that Peter raced in Long Island Sound and also took the boat south during several winters. He was not too successful, according to him. On our first trip to Bermuda, there was a gentleman on a boat tied up next to us who had been one of Peter’s crew. He confirmed the lack of trophies, but said that everyone always had a bang-up time.

I wonder if you have any history of Pumpkin Shell in your files. We didn’t know that she had ever sailed to Bermuda and wondered when. We would love any information you might have about Peter and Pumpkin Shell. The boat has had an interesting history and he was charming when we bought her in October 1989 (we closed on Halloween; how perfect.). As I grew up in Plandome Manor next to Manhasset Bay, the circle was complete.

Connie Cone ACTAEA USA 3815 (Pumpkin Shell ’s original number!!!)


…and Connie & Michael Cone’s ACTAEA (the same boat!) in the Vineyard Race. © Rick Bannerot/

Connie – Regrettably we don’t know more about Peter and Pumpkin Shell, but it’s likely one (or more) of our faithful readers does. We will be happy to forward all correspondence.

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