Happy Birthday Mark Cooper!

A toast for Mark's 50th birthday
A toast for Mark’s 50th birthday

Monday was a landmark day for Mark, our Chief Instructor, as he reached his half-century.

He’s been sailing since he was a child and his phenomenal sailing knowledge and experience, coupled with his cheery disposition, make him a very popular instructor.

Raised in Cornwall, the county at the ‘foot‘ of the UK, Mark was a keen surfer and windsurfer in his younger days. He also campaigned catamaran dinghies in worldwide events for 30 years, and was the F18 catamaran National Champion in 1999. He is an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor, Advanced Powerboat Instructor, and Senior Dinghy Instructor.

Mark spent 23 years in the Royal Navy as a hydrographic surveyor. He retired in 2004 and we first met him when we ran some courses for a group in Malta in 2007. He came to work at the school as a Cruising Instructor the following year and became our Chief Instructor in 2010.

He is especially in demand for catamaran courses and, as I write this, he’s on his way to the south of France to do a week’s own boat tuition on a brand new 50ft catamaraan.

As well as his sailing skills we love his tidiness on board and off! Mark sets a good example for some of our less houseproud instructors (I won’t name and shame here …)

Maria, his girlfriend, who is also one of our superb instructors, was unable to be here as she’s working in Ireland. She arranged this wonderful cake and some champagne for him to celebrate. The cake tasted as good as it looked …

The splendid cake with a candle for each decade.
The splendid cake with a candle for each decade.

I’m sure you will join me in wishing Mark a very Happy Half Century and I hope he is still sailing when he makes 100 years old.

Crew Club- General Interest- Staff & Student News