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Profile of a cruising sailor- Ted Nobbs

by Lee Mylchreest on 14 Jul 2013
Ted Nobbs, an hour into the 2006 ARC Nancy Knudsen
Ted Nobbs, speaker on anchoring skills and equipment at the Cruising Masterclass in the coming Sydney International Boat Show, 3/4 August, started sailing as a kid in the Kogarah Bay Sea Scouts with his small brother Johnnie. Together they sailed and raced VJ's with the Burraneer Bay sailing club, and a passion was born.

While Ted followed a serious career in becoming an architect, when sailing called he answered. By the time he was 18 he had graduated to 'big boats' and ocean races, and by the time he had finished architecture we had been invited to sail for Australia in the Admiral's Cup on Lorita Maria, then sailed in the Fastnet.

This led to sailing in the UK for a couple of seasons after the Cup on a British 55 footer, Zest of Hamble, winning the season's Ocean Racing points score. Staying in London also meant that he started his architectural career in a large London firm, gaining invaluable experience which would stand him in good stead on his return to Australia.

'You might say that sailing has led to many turning points in my life,' Ted says today, ruminating on his long career of ocean racing, including ten Hobarts and innumerable off-shore races in Australia and New Zealand as well as the UK

It was even an off-shore race - Sydney to Rio de Janeiro - that started his interest in cruising.

'Those long ocean days without sight of land were an eye-opener to me. While some others didn't fare so well with the isolation. I relished it! I even loved the cold, and going round the Horn was one of the highlights of my life..'

But the race had opened his eyes to the real beauty of long range cruising, and the competitive conversations around the bar after races had started to leave him cold.

So he and his sailing buddy (and coincidentally wife), keen sailor Nancy Knudsen, decided to do a little sailing of their own and set off in 2003 for a six year sojourn on their boat 'Blackwattle', which included a circumnavigation.

'While I knew a lot about sailing, I knew next to nothing about cruising independently, which requires very different skills,' he explains.

'Anchoring?' he laughs today, 'When I was first asked to anchor for lunch during a 'booze-cruise' around Sydney Harbour on an aluminium two-tonner, I couldn't even FIND the anchor.'

Those days are long gone, and Ted brushed up his skills over several years, knowing that he would be anchoring in a myriad of different bays and anchorages around the world. This was honed by six years of anchoring in everything from coral cays to slippery weed fields, in up to 80 knots and in up to 40 metres. He experimented with almost every type of anchor in all situations.

His practical knowledge of the use of anchor buddies or sentinels, of snubbers and Med Hooks, as well as his insightful information about anchoring techniques make him an obvious choice to share his information at the two-day intensive Cruising Masterclass to be held at the Sydney International Boat Show, 3rd and 4th August.

Other subjects to be covered include:

Passage Planning
MOB
Rigging and sails for cruising, incl heavy weather
Vessel systems, water, fuel, power options
Short-handed cruising
Applied Navigation
Multihulls vs Monohulls,
Cruising with kids
Insurance for cruising
Cruising to the Whitsundays - anchorages, dangers, timing
Cruising to Tasmania - anchorages, dangers, timing.


Attendance is free for the inaugural Masterclass, but registration is essential to reserve your place as space will be limited.

For the full program and further information about the Cruising Masterclass, http://www.sail-world.com/index_d.cfm?nid=109962!click_here.

For ask for more information about, or to register for the Masterclass, http://www.sydneyboatshow.com.au/activities/cruising-masterclass/index.html!click_here

The Sydney International Boat Show runs 1-5 August.

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