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Winner’s Debrief: John Cooper’s Cool Breeze

Published on April 15th, 2014

When the racing was all said and done in the water’s off Charleston, S.C., the crew of John Cooper’s Mills 43 Cool Breeze had no idea they’d won Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week’s Palmetto Cup, the trophy bestowed upon the boat with the best overall performance in the handicap classes.

Like many sailors on the last day of a regatta, most of the 12-man crew were already either airborne or highway bound when sole crewmember Kyle Fast was called to the prize table to grab the regatta’s big prize.

“It was a complete surprise,” says tactician and program manager Billy Liberty. “We sent Kyle Fast over to pick up our trophy [for PHRF A], and I think he was as shocked as the rest of us to be grabbed for the second trophy.”

Ask any past recipient and they’ll tell you the Palmetto Cup doesn’t come easy, and that’s especially true these days at Charleston Race Week, where the teams are high-caliber and the conditions always challenging (especially the early morning boat call).

For Cool Breeze, says Liberty, winning the PHRF A division meant fighting for every point against a few supremely sailed competitors. To learn more, Sailing World tracked down Billy Liberty to get the scoop on Breeze’s big win. Click here for what he shared.

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