The owner’s syndrome or how to be happy despite the boat

cohen shipowner syndrome
Marco Cohen, right, toasts with his son during the Chiavari-Minorca crossing aboard the Mat 10.10 Dajenu of which he is owner. The “custom” distillate is “Spirit of Dajenu,” made for the crew by a friend of Cohen’s

After telling us about How can you participate in offshore racing safe to lose (but having a lot of fun), in the second article that Marco Cohen, a film entrepreneur from Milan, wrote for us, the organization of the Copa del Rey trip to Palma de Mallorca and the Chiavari-Minorca crossing on the Mat 1010 Dajenu, of which he is the owner, turn into A reflection on the meaning of having, or not having, a boat (By the way: we also asked you).

As always, it is written with great irony and we recommend you read it while sipping a good glass of wine!

The shipowner’s syndrome

Do you have in mind those sailing ship advertisements. French with unlikely owners at the helm in white shirts as immaculate as the boat, champagne and blonde for company (but why the other way around?) looking winking at you from the pages of the Sailing Newspaper, as if to tell you “if you become an owner one day this dream life will be yours”?

No fucking way. Don’t be fooled.

Do you have in mind those serial killer movies where the FBI profiles the wanted men and in the end they always suffer from schizophrenia or split personality syndrome? Here it is: with more socially acceptable levels, most shipowners suffer, have suffered or will suffer from this condition. It is not an if but, only a when and how much. Especially if you don’t have a racing Maxi with containers and sailors in tow, but a 10-meter like yours truly.

To sell or not to sell?

Compared to the Prince of Denmark’s classic dilemma of “to be or not to be?”, we shipowners prefer a more pragmatic “to sell or not to sell?”

But let’s proceed slowly and I will tell you about the preparation for the Copa del Rey 2022, the third event in Dajenu’s(Marco Cohen’s Mat 10.10, ed.) sailing trifecta after the 151 Miglia and the Giraglia.

After trying to find a tinkerer in Liguria (more difficult than a plumber in Milan at mid-August), filling out all possible crew forms for the umpteenth time, Whose biographical data I now know better than those of my family members., here I am finally at the supermarket on Tuesday, July 19, preparing groceries for the group of volunteers I finally convinced to make the Chiavari-Maiorca crossing, ‘na 450-mile walk that, for us bunnies and pussies, also includes passing the mythical Gulf of Lion.

Paper blocked, day ruined

I am at the Esselunga, in the Genoese camallo genovese unloader version, sweating from the 40 degrees outside with two carts of supplies: about 180 kilograms considering the 64 2-liter bottles of water and 64 meals needed to serenely cover the transfer.

The cashier looks at me annoyed and says“excuse me, but your card has been declined.” I smile politely, in Business Week International cover manager style, and tell her“look, that’s not possible. Instead it is possible if you have broken every spending record in preparation for the regatta (expenses that, of course, you had pitifully partly funneled out of the official family budget under extraordinary maintenance), and especially if the algorithm crosses bookings for your daughter’s sabbatical to Australia, her ferry for the Mikonos – Paros high school graduation trip, with the sorting of crew flights scattered around the southern Mediterranean from Palma de Mallorca and for those of the regatta in the opposite direction. Not being profiled as a travel agency, we had clearly blocked my card.

I drive out to head to the shipowner friend who will accompany me on the transfer, shouting like a madman and with the nearly 200 kg of groceries, oilskins for the crossing, and two sails, “Enough is enough, this is the last time I’m getting screwed in September I’m selling the boat.”

The recipe for happiness

Detachment. Second day of sailing, only 48 hours of separation from the Esselunga post. Sunset, the Gulf of Leo greets us with a kind of ruffian ponentino that I wouldn’t miss in Trastevere. I pull out Spirit of Dajenu, the nectar prepared by my friend Paolo Gusti under the motto “this bottle carry it around,” and together with my son as well, 80 to 100 miles from the nearest coast, we drink as happily as ever.

cohen crossing
The crossing aboard Dajenu

In the throes of full wind and alcohol intoxication, we also plan an unlikely Chiavari-Tangier for the following year. Whales, sunsets, laughter, outdoor movie section, eating (my friend is a great chef and even with a horrid little racing stove he churns out one pasta after another). Time flies by as fast as a miniature Atlantic crossing.

We arrive with Code Zero in Menorca. Land.

I am on the ground happy, the hysterical madman who was screaming is only a distant memory. I hug my son, greet the group of friends and feel in harmony with the universe. Perhaps, for the first time since it happened, I can even accept the fact that Milan won the Scudetto .

Kayaking Menorca
Dajenu’s happy crew disembarked in Menorca

The bottom line.

As I write these lines I am back in Milan to pretend to work one week so as not to completely lose face with my partners and am packing my bag for the week of regattas.

I put my father’s double-breasted linen jacket (which he used on those very rare times he arrived in the podium area for sailing awards) in my suitcase for the final night of the Copa del Rey festivities.

And I realize how, from father to son and hopefully onward like this, sometimes “the wrong or less sensible choices, like taking on a boat, are the ones that give the greatest happiness (Cit. Mario Losio of the BigStore bar in Milan).”

Marco Cohen

*I’ll tell you who I am (with irony)

Marco Cohen, a film producer and avid sailor, describes himself as follows:Marco Cohen, Interist, philosopher, size 54 and in good times 56, producer of necessary films for me and my family. I re-embraced sailing at the age of 37 after yet another soccer injury when I realized it is the only sport you can do sitting down and with a glass in your hand.

marco cohen
Marco Cohen, owner of Dajenu

Until I was 25 years old family brawls on a J/24, Fiesta, with my twin brother Daniel and our father Corrado, called the ghost vessel because even when they could not see us, they could hear us, then again a J/24, a J/92 s and since 2016 my beloved Dajenu by Mark Mills. Fast and classy medium improperly ended up in our hands, more apt to pick up the bottle opener than the rudder.”



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