Author: Joe Cooper

Women on the Water

Women on the Water: Orlaith Neylon

By Joe Cooper

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This month we chat with an up-and-coming sailor with a bright future in the sport. I spoke with Newport native Orlaith (pronounced Or-la) Neylon at Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard, right after she’d come ashore from sailing on Christopher Dragon in the Safe Harbor Marinas Race Weekend. Full disclosure: I have known Orla since she was born.   Coop: Giday, kiddo. Thanks for coming over. I know a lot of your history generally, but give me your take…

Coop's Corner

To the East

By Joe Cooper

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

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…

Women on the Water

Women on the Water: Sara Stone

By Joe Cooper

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Professional sailor Sara Stone has a goal of competing in The Ocean Race and the Paris 2024 Olympics. With experience from 49ers to TP52s, she was selected as a mentee of The Magenta Project in 2018. Last month, she and Cat Hunt sailed the Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 Alchemist to first place in class and fleet in the inaugural Bermuda Short-Handed Return Race. I spoke with Sara at Cru Café in Newport not long after the prize giving….

Coop's Corner

Onion Patch Thrashing

By Joe Cooper

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,…

Racing

Cat Women (and Men)

By Joe Cooper

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Olympic hopefuls training at Sail Newport this summer One of the many aspects, of a depth unfathomable, of living in Newport, Rhode Island is the breadth and depth of the sailing that happens here. At the end of the high school sailing season last May, I noticed an assembly of Nacra 17 catamarans, one of the recent additions to the Olympic sailing roster, in the dinghy lot at Sail Newport. The fact there was a RIB whizzing…

Coop's Corner

Breeze on.

By Joe Cooper

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  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…

Women on the Water

Women on the Water: Barby MacGowan

By Joe Cooper

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If you have read press releases from Edgartown Race Weekend, the Ida Lewis Distance Race or the Newport Car Museum, amongst others, you have read Barby MacGowan wordsmithing. Barby is the founder and President of Media Pro International, a Newport-based press and public relations company specializing in luxury brands and lifestyle sports. Coop: Barby, thanks for coming over. Great to see you. Barby: Good morning (flashes that 1500-watt smile). Coop: Where are you from, and was sailing…

Coop's Corner

See, Safety – No Joke*

By Joe Cooper

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‘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…

Women on the Water

Women on the Water: Kit van Wagner

By Joe Cooper

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Women on the water need not be elite sailors in Newport. We even have polar expedition leaders in town. Coop: Kit, thanks for coming out. Where did you grow up, and was sailing a ‘thing’ in your family? Kit: (Laughs) You have an hour? I was born in New York City. My dad was in the banking business, and we moved to Japan when I was young – my brother was born there. Then to the UK,…

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