Author: Joe Cooper

On Watch

Juliana Barbieri & Hugh Piggin

By Joe Cooper

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Julianna Barbieri and Hugh Piggin had beginnings with a wee taste of similarity, but not for long. Both grew up near the water, and that’s where their similarities ended…’til much later in their lives. Julianna grew up north of Boston on the water, but, she remembers, might have “spent maybe one day in a sailing boat.” Born in New Zealand, Hugh’s life was on a different trajectory, following the arc of many of us antipodeans in that…

Coop's Corner

Chateau Varnish, ‘62 Vintage

By Joe Cooper

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If you number yourselves amongst the U.S. sailors who watch the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on TV, you will be familiar with the topography, the spectacular scenery, of Sydney Heads. While they are certainly dramatic, they are not the only such highlights of suburban Sydney geography. Some 30 miles north of ‘the heads’ lies the entrance to Broken Bay. This circular indent is the exit for several rivers and creeks, flowing from the…

Coop's Corner

Sailing as Art

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper Jill and I travelled to New York City before the holidays to visit with a mate of ours from Oz. Nina is the younger daughter of one of my great mentors, Tony James, the Finn sailor I wrote about a while back (www.windcheckmagazine.com/article/the_finn_dinghy_the_olympic_singlehander/), and she was in town for business. We met at the Museum of Modern Art and spent an hour wandering the museum’s fascinating galleries and catching up. We had Good Gossip…

Coop's Corner

If

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper Why do we sail? Or rather, why do we go sailing? Because we always have, we started with Dad, it is fun, we like to race, seen nice places, listen to the water lapping alongside at a quiet anchorage, tell and hear sea stories. The reasons are as many as there are boats. It is, nonetheless, my experience that in the U.S., the idea of “pushing my boundaries” is not one that comes up…

Coop's Corner

Bresting the Ribbon

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper My phone dinged, with Jill’s ding tone. Three words: Janet has died. Holy expletive deleted. A veteran survivor of several flavors of cancer, this mother of three and lifer wife was finally nosed out at the boat end. Another one. I stopped for a moment, mentally adding up the people I know who have had life similarly nipped from them on the line of life. I got to ten departed souls without too much…

Coop's Corner

Visions of Newport & Bass Strait A few items from the Ain’t Sailing Great files

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper The CJ Buckley Regatta (you’ll find my article about this brave young man at windcheckmagazine.com/article/a_pebble_in_a_pond/) is a team race event, but not for high school teams, rather for either yacht club teams or whatever team name six high school sailors want to jig up for themselves. Grapes of Wrath and Ship Happens, for instance. But for the primo names of this year’s event (see page 19), complete with costumes, Revenge of the Sith took…

Community

Warrior Sailing: Educating, Encouraging, and Empowering

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper Of all the aspects of sailing that are constant across every discipline of the sport, it is the community we find ourselves in that most often becomes the standout component. The mates, the stories, the highs and the lows, the fear and the high fives, the shared experiences are the fundamental glue we all have in common in the sailing milieu. Think for a moment on what other aspects of our lives offer the…

Coop's Corner

Last: It’s only the beginning

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper The word “last,” or phrases including that word (i.e. “came last,” “was last,” “is last”) has, in our society today, a three-kilo bucket of negative connotations hung around its rudder. Anyone being tarred with such a sobriquet likely wants to shrink from view faster than a foiling SailGP 50 passes another in displacement mode. The psychologists amongst us might debate that this negativity is behind the “every kid gets a prize” at T-ball games…

Coop's Corner

Safety…first?

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper Phew, that was some spring. Herreshoff Regatta in Maine, the last Friday Night Lights, then the State Championships, a long Sunday event at Sail Newport, with 10 races. Then the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Junior Safety at Sea Seminar on 2 June, at Sail Newport. In the middle, another Block Island Race on the J/105 Young American – my favorite mob to sail with these days. The first part of the race was sailed in…

Coop's Corner

The Right Stuff

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper Published in 1979, Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff chronicles the search for, training of and finally launching of, the first U.S. astronauts. One of the core themes is that among the post-World War II test pilots who “pushed the outside of the envelope” to be the first to break the sound barrier, one either had this mythical Right Stuff or, especially after “augering in,” did not. Projected onto the first seven Mercury astronauts…

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