Mark Andrews joined the British Finn party last month and with further success following less than a week later he’s looking optimistically at the remainder of the year.
Andrews began the year watching his British teammates dominate the Finn class on the World Cup circuit with Giles Scott victorious in Palma and then Andrew Mills triumphant in Hyeres.
Ed Wright then won the inaugural EUROSAF Champions Sailing Cup event in Italy before Andrews got in on the act himself at the second in the Netherlands – his first ever senior podium finish.
He then joined Sir Ben Ainslie in making history at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round The Island Race as the JP Morgan BAR catamaran circumnavigated the Isle of Wight in 2:52:15hours.
That bettered the 12-year-old record held by French sailor Francis Joyon by more than 16 minutes and, with European and World Championships in the Finn on the horizon, Andrews in high spirits.
“It was great to get the win in Holland and it was my first win. We have had four different British winners of the last four events so it is pretty special and we have a great track record,” said Andrews, who is currently competing at the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth.
“For the events we have turned up for I don’t think we have lost one in the last three years. The Finn has always been up there with Ben [Ainslie] and Iain Percy.
“My next regatta is Sail for Gold and that is going to be a little low key but it is all helping towards the build up to the worlds and Europeans later in the year.
“We obviously need to get the practice in and the training done and hopefully it will all pay off. To get a medal in either would be amazing.
“I am taking each race as it comes but it was amazing to break the record, we had perfect conditions out there and hopefully it will stand for a while.”
Andrews will compete at the European Championships in Germany next month before moving across the continent to Estonia for the Finn Gold Cup – the class’ World Championships – in August.
And for Andrews the chance to link up with three-time Olympic Finn champion Ainslie at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race was an opportunity too good to pass up.
“I have done the race three times now and with Ben twice and this time was a lot different. We thought around three hours would be a great time at the start of the day,” he added.
“So to come home under that was pretty quick and we knew if we wanted to get anywhere near that the conditions had to be with us.”
© Sportsbeat 2013