ORACLE TEAM USA Cooper Dressler didn’t need a big opportunity to get his big break into the America’s Cup. Once the door opened a crack, he kicked it open.
“What allowed me to stand out was, when we were packing up the base after the last America’s Cup, I was there every day at seven in the morning, willing to do anything just to be a part of it, and that persistence was the key,” he explains.
Dressler had been in San Francisco with one of the US entries in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup. There’s a great clip from 2013 showing him outside the fence at the ORACLE TEAM USA base, looking wistfully at the action inside.
After the racing finished in 2013, he was hired to work at the base, literally sweeping the floor, and helping with the pack up. When the team relocated to Bermuda, he was included as a shore team member.
“I moved as part of the shore team but I kept going to the gym and ultimately when we needed one more sailor, Jimmy and Tom gave me a shot and it’s worked out ever since.”
He’s come a long way from that Red Bull Youth America’s Cup experience.
“As a way of saving money there, we would actually sleep in a commercial building where we were being loaned office space,” he recalls. “We were a bit scrappy.”
And now he is living out his dream, sailing with the defending champion of the America’s Cup.
“I aspire to keep sailing big boats with the best teams and I’ll see where that takes me. Luckily, I’m doing ok so far!”