Recruitment for the role started in February but was delayed until lockdown measures eased and continued funding from Sport Northern Ireland was confirmed.
Andrew started competitive sailing at the age of nine, racing Toppers in his native Northern Ireland. By the age of 13, he was selected to be part of the RYA Northern Ireland Youth Squad in Toppers, and two years later in the Laser Youth Squad. After winning the Northern Ireland youth National Championship, he represented Ireland in the Laser Europeans and World Championship.
In 2014, Andrew was selected as part of the British Keelboat Academy and won the IRC National Championship.
His big break came when he got accepted into the Artemis Offshore Academy to be part of the 2015 squad. After training in Lorient, he took part in his first Solitaire – Bompard Le Figaro, finishing the race at the 32nd place.
Since then he has worked as a professional sailor but has also returned to work and assist as a Senior Instructor at his home club in Quoile.
“With the Olympics delayed until 2021, Andrew will be looking to ensure our High Performance athletes get the best possible support as well as looking to ensure the pathway and club development plans are prioritised.”
Commenting on his new post, Andrew said: “Since our first family holidays on my parents’ boat right up to sailing competitively at a professional level, I have always felt very fortunate to be involved in this sport and I realise it would not be possible if not for the work of our clubs, volunteers and the work carried out by the RYANI.
“Having gone from club racing and through the squad systems myself I know how important this stage of coaching and nurturing is to a future athlete.
“I hope to carry on the great work carried out by my predecessors and give something back to the sport I love through growing the depth of sailing here in Northern Ireland. To me sailing is a sport for life and I hope it can be for others too."