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“I’ve been sailing all my life” – about Tom Cunliffe

October 10, 2011

Tom Cunliffe with our very own Dave Chaplin at the SBS 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen – we shall be honoured to have Tom Cunliffe for our next HOEOCA Speaker Night on Thursday 20 October. Tom is a very well known sailing journalist and as the following bio explains an extremely experienced sailor. This speaker evening is going to be a corker!

Tom Cunliffe’s bio from his website

“I’ve been sailing all my life – I started back in 1961 when my Dad shoved me and a pal off on the Norfolk Broads in a 22-foot gaff sloop with no engine. That way you either learn fast or come to grief. I was fourteen and I was lucky. Since those days I’ve sailed most things from Firefly dinghies at University when I should have been reading law, to big gaff schooners.

I’ve been Mate on a coasting merchant ship and run yachts for gentlemen. I’ve operated charter boats, delivered all sorts of vessels, raced at quite high levels and have been teaching sailing intermittently for thirty-five years. I’ve been a Yachtmaster Examiner since 1978.

Privately, classics are my passion, and until Westernman, my own boats have been at least fifty years old. My wife Ros and I have sailed them all over the Atlantic, from southern Brazil to Iceland and from the Caribbean to Russia, with a number of trips to the US and Canada thrown in. I love traditional craft, but I’m happy sailing anything that does the job properly. I’ve no time for boats that go sideways

Family commitments in the mid-1980s started me writing and lecturing about the sea. My first commercial article was about star sights. It was published by Yachting Monthly where I have a seamanship column to this day. On the strength of this and the advance for Topsail and Battleaxe, I came ashore after living aboard for many years. These days I operate from a cottage in the New Forest. The arrangement suits me well because it gives me somewhere to grow roses and to keep my motorcycle, but I still sneak plenty of time out to go cruising. In the last few summers, Ros and I have sailed from home in our old boat Westernman to Arctic Norway, down to Portugal and up the Baltic to Stockholm. Now I have sold her, but I’m not swallowing the anchor. Watch this space!”

Tom will be talking about The Ship’s that built Britain the subject of his recent TV series. Attendance exclusive to HOEOCA members.

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