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Dressler: no big secret to my success

Making a point: Dressler with students at CedarBridge Academy

Cooper Dressler, a grinder with Oracle Team USA, told students at CedarBridge Academy this week that having a strong work ethic can open doors and lead to opportunities.

Dressler should know.

After earning a fifth place finish in the 2013 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup with the American Youth Sailing Force Team, Dressler accepted a part-time job with Oracle Team USA as it was closing up its San Francisco base.

“I wasn’t hired to be a sailor, or even to be on the shore team,” Dressler said.

“I was hired to do the jobs nobody else wanted to do. I was washing the floor, taking out the garbage, cleaning up bird feathers, and worse, from the rafters in the warehouse.

“But I had pride in what I was doing. I didn’t complain. And I tried to do every job as well as I could.”

When the team de-camped to Bermuda, Dressler was with them, now working with the shore team.

“I would get up early and get into the gym before work,” he said. “I wanted to do everything I could to be ready for any opportunity.”

Six months later Jimmy Spithill, the Oracle Team USA skipper, and Tom Slingsby, the sailing manager, told Dressler they wanted him on the sailing team.

Typically of Dressler’s character, his talk to the students on Wednesday was something he squeezed into a morning on a rare day off, as the team took a quiet day mid-week in anticipation of training all weekend in better weather.

“The main advice I would offer is to take on anything you do with pride and work at it,” he said. “You never know who is watching, or what doors could open for you.”

The talk at CedarBridge is one of a series of sessions that Oracle sailors are doing at public schools across Bermuda.