ROC Community Member Brian Cooper’s Adventures on the High Seas

Most days, Brian Cooper can be found at the La Jolla Real Office Centers location, serving as a regional managing director for real estate company Avison Young‘s Southern California office.

“We are a boutique commercial real estate company,” he says. “Our brokers represent a wide range of corporate users of commercial space, and we negotiate commercial lease and sale terms on their behalf.”

But when he isn’t working, Cooper can sometimes be found sailing, a passion first fostered in him by his family at an early age. In fact, Cooper recently took part in the Clipper Round the World Race, a 40,000 nautical mile trip around the world that takes place on twelve competing 70 foot yachts.


This race specializes in giving sailing enthusiasts with little professional experience the chance to tackle a trip often reserved for seasoned sailors. It is broken into 14 to 16 different segments, so that participants may choose which races to take part in.

Cooper found out about the Clipper on a whim, and was eager to join in the excitement.

“One of my friends pointed out an ad in a sailing magazine, and it really took hold with me,” he says. “I had completed a series of longer ocean passages, but never anything this intense, so I was keen to explore this aspect of offshore racing.”

When sailing around the Panama Canal, Cooper and his crew encountered Tropical Storm Colin, which hit the area earlier this summer.

“We came into contact with [the storm] about 500 miles off Cape Hatteras,” he says. “The crews didn’t stop racing, we just modified things to keep people out of any more danger than was normally acceptable.”

When asked about his most memorable moments of the race, it is the storm that Cooper recalls most vividly.

“I had a pretty surreal moment out on the front deck of the boat trying to change a sail while surfing down the face of a huge wave,” he says. “The boat was going so fast and the wind and spray was so intense, the surface of the sea appeared to smoke like it was on fire.”

Now that he’s back at the office, Cooper doesn’t have to deal with such harsh elements — but he does oversee Avison Young’s real estate deals in the San Diego market.

Working at Real Office Centers allows Cooper and his team to focus less on housekeeping details, and to make meaningful connections with other businesses in the San Diego area.

“ROC provides us a flexible approach to office space while we grow,” Cooper says, “as well as a fun atmosphere with a diverse group of professionals.”

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