​Meet the Clipper 2019-20 Race Crew: Christian Andrew

16 August 2019

Name: Christian Andrew

Age: 49

Occupation: Police Officer

Hometown: Hertfordshire

Legs: 5 and 6

Team: Unicef

Race Crew member, Christian Andrew is swapping detecting crimes for detecting weather patterns as he retires from the Police Force this year and gets ready to take on the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. We caught up with Christian to see how his training is going and how he is feeling ahead of his challenge beginning in January.

What inspired you to sign up for Leg 5 and 6 of the Clipper Race?

I was inspired to sign up for the legs as they are offering a big contrast. The big challenge of crossing the “Mighty” Pacific Ocean is one that I really would like to achieve. I retire from a 30 year career in the Metropolitan Police Service this year and Leg 5 really appeals given the fantastic stopovers in Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays, Sanya, Subic Bay, and Zhuhai. The number of shorter races on this leg makes it really attractive from a competitive and sailing perspective and it’s a great opportunity for me to me enhance my sailing skills before taking on the Pacific Ocean.

You have now completed the Clipper Race training programme, how have you found the training so far?

The training has been fantastic and so enjoyable, in particular Level 4, when we were at sea for the whole week, culminating in two training races. The delivery of the training by the Skippers has been excellent and there has been a real emphasis on safety which has given me a lot of confidence as I know we will be facing much more challenging conditions once we are racing. The training races made it feel real and really showed the competitiveness of all the skippers and crews. It was quite surprising to see how fellow crew raised their game when the races started and there was a real team spirit on-board the Unicef boat.

What has been your most memorable moment at sea to date?

There have been lots of memorable moments - from helming the yacht when it was flying along in over in 25 knots of wind, crossing the busy shipping lanes at night, sitting chatting under an amazing sky whilst on anchor watch, jostling with the rest of the Clipper Race fleet on the race start and some good times whilst cooking in the galley! There was also the time when I was on the foredeck when I experienced my first broach and saw how well the Skipper and AQP dealt with it, which gave me a lot of confidence in them and my crew.

What will you miss the most from home?

I will miss my wife, Sharon and two daughters, Lauren and Kate, my parents, wider family and friends. I will also miss coaching the swimmers at my local swimming club where I am the Head Coach of the Junior Section of the Club. I will also miss my home comforts of sleeping in my own bed, home cooked food and the odd glass of wine!I think it will be worlds away from my everyday life but I feel ready for the challenge of life on board. Being part of a watch system where I will have to cook and clean is very appealing to my wife and she’s already looking forward to me continuing to use these new skills once I return home! I’ve already started making my own bread from scratch!

How are you preparing for the race besides the Clipper Race training programme?

I have started some weight training to build up my upper body strength as I find I’m often on the coffee grinders, sweating the sails or lifting them up from the sail locker. As a novice sailor I’ve been reading up on the Clipper Race and sailing in general to increase my knowledge. I’ve also been studying the Clipper Race training manual and been practicing all my knots!

What do your friends and family think about you taking part in the Clipper Race?

My wife thinks ‘you only live once’ and she’s very proud that I am taking on such a huge challenge. Most of my friends, family and colleagues think I’m mad and having a mid-life crisis but they know what I’m like and are totally supportive of me which has been great. I am very grateful to everyone who has donated to the Unicef and Great Ormond Street charities that I am supporting and the 150 supporters that have joined my Facebook group. I also feel very lucky to have family and friends that have committed to being in St Katharine’s Dock for the Race Start and also flying to Seattle to be on the dock side to welcome me when I arrive in Port.

What does being part of the Unicef team mean to you?

I feel very privileged and proud to be part of the Unicef team. It is an honour to be representing Unicef given the work it does to protect children in danger across the world. As a Dad myself I know how important it is to improve the lives of children and help to ensure that they are given a chance to reach their full potential. I am keen that as part of the Unicef team we surpass our fundraising target.

Inspired by Christian’s story? You, too, could be lining up on the Clipper Race start line. All training provided; no previous sailing experience necessary. Hit the button below to find out more.

Join The Race
Until Race Start : The Asia-Pacific Challenge