Author: Joe Cooper

Coop's Corner

The Hot Embers of the Soul

By Joe Cooper

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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…

Community

Women on the Water: Joan Porter

By Joe Cooper

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When you ask one of “The Women” to do an interview and she says, “Sure, come on over,” well you do. “Over” in this case is the west facing deck, overlooking the Sakonnet River, in Tiverton, Rhode Island of the home of Joan Touchette Porter and family. Coop: Thanks for the coffee. Joan Porter: (Laughs) It’s easier that way. Coop: Was sailing a “thing” in your family as a kid? JP: (Pointing to a ramshackle 30-footer on…

Coop's Corner

Optimistic Future

By Joe Cooper

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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…

Community

Women on the Water: Robbie Benjamin

By Joe Cooper

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For those seeking inspiration for women in sailing, one might do worse than look at Robbie Benjamin, longtime presence around the Newport, Rhode Island waterfront, and one of only two women commodores of a yacht club named for a woman, the Ida Lewis Yacht Club. I spoke with Commodore Benjamin at Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard in early August. Coop: Was sailing a thing in your family? Robbie Benjamin: Well, being around boats, yes. My family roots are…

Racing

Cooper on the 2021 New England Solo/Twin

By Joe Cooper

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  The concept of racing doublehanded got a serious boost last year. This was driven, apart from “distancing” restrictions, by the proposal to include a doublehanded co-ed offshore class in the Olympics. Well, like many of the highly caffeinated drinks one might imbibe during the O’dark-thirty watch, this boost went up and came down pretty quickly, surrendering the field of DH racing back to the folks who have been doing it, in some cases, for years. Competitors…

Coop's Corner

The Empty Three Quarters

By Joe Cooper

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…

Community

Women on the Water: Trudy Robinson

By Joe Cooper

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File under two degrees of separation. I met Trudy Robinson as a consequence of my time with Dr. Phil Haydon, he of Sail 4 Epilepsy. Dr. Phil kept his boat at Safe Harbor New England Boatworks in Portsmouth, RI. Trudy was the guardian of the front office and was taken by the branding on Phil’s boat. It transpired she too has epilepsy. I spoke with her at Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard in July. Coop: Thanks for coming…

Coop's Corner

The Scientist & The Sailor

By Joe Cooper

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

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…

Community

Women on the Water: Suzy Leech

By Joe Cooper

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Interview by Joe Cooper   What is the gag about “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” I caught up with another new Newport Local, Suzy Leech, the self-described bow chick on that legendary Mighty Mary, for a coffee at Belle’s in Newport recently. In addition to the America’s Cup (albeit defeated in the Defender Finals) Suzy’s CV includes a cruise around the world (well, half of it) with the family as a Padawan Learner; an Olympic…

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