Author: Joe Cooper

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,…

Coop's Corner

Getting the Guernsey

By Joe Cooper

The statement “The America’s Cup has changed a lot in the past 40 years” qualifies as a gold medal, AAA, five-star understatement of substantial proportions. Certainly, the boats are in a different league than the plodding ol’ 12 Metres, but the thing I have been thinking about is how the crews are assembled. To write on this topic properly I would need to consult THE Tome on the America’s Cup, the late Bob Fisher’s two-volume history, An…

Women on the Water

Women on the Water: Allie Gray

By Joe Cooper

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Interview by Joe Cooper Allie Gray grew up in Florida and through sailing has made her way to Newport, Rhode Island and into the thick of the sailing scene. I spoke with her during her lunch break at Sailor & Seam in Newport, where she is a sailmaker. Coop: Allie, thanks for mixing lunch and sailing talk. Allie Gray: Thanks for having me, Coop. Coop: Where were you born? AG: I was born and raised in Clearwater,…

Coop's Corner

Thanks for the Memories…

By Joe Cooper

Don’t panic, dear reader. I’m not leaving; just reflecting this month on memories. I am occasionally asked, “if I miss Australia.” Well, that is a difficult question that does not truly have an elevator pitch answer. Depending on the circumstances, where we are and who is asking, there are a couple of versions. Sound bite: “Well, I have not lived there for forty years. I have lived in the U.S. longer than I lived in Australia.” The…

Women on the Water

Women on the Water: Hayley Fraser

By Joe Cooper

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Interview by Joe Cooper   Hayley Fraser is the General Manager of Dutch Harbor Boat Yard, a full service boatyard in Jamestown, RI that boasts a spectacular – and exceptionally well-organized – mooring field. Coop: Hayley, thanks for making time for me today. Just give me a quick overview of your background. You were born in Rhode Island, correct? Hayley Fraser: No worries, thanks for the opportunity. Yes, I grew up in North Kingstown, Bissel Cove, near…

Women on the Water

Women on the Water: Kelsey Britton

By Joe Cooper

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As the Composites Technology Program Manager at the IYRS School of Technology & Trades in Newport, Rhode Island, Kelsey Britton has a passion for designing and building with some of the lightest, strongest materials on earth. Coop: Hi Kelsey. Where are you from, and was sailing a “thing” in your family? Kelsey Britton: Hi Coop. Oh, yes. I was born and raised in North Kingston. My father just retired from the marine business last year. He’s a mechanic…

Coop's Corner

Measuring Up

By Joe Cooper

My memory of the first time I did my own boat work was in the middle ‘60s. The work was fiberglass taping. The boat in question was my Sabot. A hard chine, plywood, garage-built boat Dad had bought to act as a tender for the big boat and to get me sailing on my lonesome. The amount of lonesome sailing I put on the boat ultimately caused some leaking through the chines. Your boat, your fix was…

Coop's Corner

Homemade Sailing

By Joe Cooper

One of the inspirations that led to Bob Salmon inventing the Mini Transat in about 1976 was the burgeoning costs of the O.S.T.A.R. From that race’s invention and first edition in 1960, it had exploded to the point where the boats, and equipment, were light years past the budgets of the average bear. The first O.S.T.A.R. had five boats with everyone sailing “what they brung,” boats they already owned. The second, in 1964, had fifteen entries and…

Community

Women on the Water: Veronica Brown

By Joe Cooper

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Veronica Brown is the Director of Experiences and Events at Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard in Newport, RI. We chatted over coffee at Belle’s in early November. Coop: Veronica, thanks for the coffee. Where did you grow up, and was sailing a ‘thing’ in your family? Veronica Brown: I grew in Bath Maine. My dad was in the Merchant Marine and mum was a politician, so despite that background, I did not grow up sailing. Coop: Hummm, OK,…

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