Author: Joe Cooper

On Watch

Griff Spinney

By Joe Cooper

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Most of us had childhood goals (visions really, at that young age), often ignited by something we experienced as kids. Griff Spinney’s first vision was from the lower spreaders on the R/P 66 Aurora, the fire-breathing race boat on which his dad, Latimer Spinney, was captain. T’was Block Island Race Week in 2007 and said yacht was competing so the Spinney family were on Block Island. When Aurora arrived back at the dock after racing one day,…

Coop's Corner

Ten for Two

By Joe Cooper

Ten for two is an appalling cricket score. It translates to the batting team scoring only ten runs, at the cost of two wickets. But we’re not here to talk cricket. We are here to talk sailing. Shorthanded sailing, in fact. I preface the following with this advice: “Shorthanded” is NOT a number; just one or two people aboard. Rather is it is the number of persons aboard relative to the size and complexity of the yacht….

Coop's Corner

Sail Plans

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper Good morning class. This month’s question: Who has seen a sail plan of their boat? OK, there are sail plans of a sort on the brochure on the builder’s website. You can find them elsewhere in the internet. Some of the sporting sailors may well have a trophy incorporating a profile of their boat presented for some successes. But, no, I mean a real live, honest to goodness paper drawing, say a meter square…

Coop's Corner

Hang on

By Joe Cooper

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I got a call from a mate/customer of mine recently asking if we could do a quick repair on the kite. I said, “Sure, what’s the matter, what are we talking about, a two-inch tear from a naked cotter pin?” “Well, no.” There was a rather sheepish pause, so I asked, “So what you go fishing with it? Ya wanna help me out here? We have a lot on, and I need to give the guys some…

Coop's Corner

Cut and Print

By Joe Cooper

By Joe Cooper Facebook is many things to many people, from the keeping up with Grandma and the grandkids to yelling back at bot-driven political memes. During this morning’s coffee-lubricated graze through my various FB pages (Yeah, I know I’m looking for the 12-step program) in a full DeLorean moment, I came hard aground against a post from a fella I used to work with. Cue the Flux Capacitor and file the following under ‘Little known details…

Coop's Corner

Hove to, planning plans.

By Joe Cooper

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I usually spend a lot of time (most, my wife Jill would say) thinking about sailing. Of late I have been thinking about sailing even more. Life lessons, funny stories, dumb moves and everything in between. As I tell my high school sailors, give me a sentence and I can give you a sailing story. In the November/December 2017 Coop’s Corner (“Figure It Eight”; windcheckmagazine.com/article/figure_it_eight/), Randall Reeves, who would soon become the first person to complete a…

Coop's Corner

Anti-Social Distancing

By Joe Cooper

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By Joe Cooper I’m going to start a book. No, not that sort. Think distance race or delivery back from somewhere type of book…the Belmont type of book. The kick in a dollar, write down what time you will finish and the person with the time estimate closest to the actual finish time takes the kitty kind of book. In this case, send your dollars to me, after putting them in the microwave for two minutes. Include…

Coop's Corner

A Walk in the (Boat) Park

By Joe Cooper

Apart from the actual sailing of the boat, one of the top three things we love about sailing is the characters we meet, the Kapers we get up to and the stories they spawn, like for instance this beauty. Since November of 1975, I had been sailing Finns. How that happened is its own story but, anyway in the late winter of 1976 there was in Sydney a strike by the truck drivers who delivered gas to…

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…

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