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Expedition Team....

andy1.jpg (4250 bytes)Andy Bristow

Colonel Andy Bristow was one of the joint leaders of the expedition and co-ordinated the water-borne activities of the expedition as well as skippering the expedition's yacht John Laing throughout her long passage from UK to Antarctica and then safely back home again.

Andy was brought up in Portsmouth where he attended Portsmouth Grammar School.  Although at the time the school may have failed to ignite the spark of academic greatness, or an immediate desire to go to university (Andy played a part in this too of course!), it did introduce him to adventurous activities from an early age and a strong desire  to seek a career in the Army.  Andy has subsequently returned to the academic studies he'd shunned at the time and now has an Masters postgraduate degree.

Andy jokingly suggests:

"People ask why I did not join the Navy as I came from Portsmouth - but I suspect I joined the Army because I saw rather too much of the Royal Navy off duty in my home town!  Nevertheless, sailing has subsequently featured heavily throughout my Army career."

Alongside his other duties Andy has been Team Manager of the Army Offshore Sailing Team.  He is also an experienced mountaineer and has climbed extensively in the UK, the Alps, Dolomites and been a member of  two expeditions to the Nepalese Himalaya.   He is additionally an experienced canoeist, power boat handler, caver and video photographer. 

Andy has served on operational tours to Kosovo, Sierra Leone and twice to the Gulf during the Gulf War of 1991 and again in 2003.  He is currently working within the Ministry of Defence in London.  Since he was commissioned in 1982 into the Royal Corps of Signals (who are responsible for the Army's communications, technology services and Headquarters facilities), Andy has also spent much of his service stationed overseas in Germany. 

In 1989-90 he was a member of the core crew of the Joint Services entry into the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.  Whilst racing around Antarctica he was seized with the hope that one day he'd return with time to spare to stop and explore some part of the continent; though he did swear at the time that he would never again choose to endure the worst of the Southern Ocean.  Time seems to have dimmed the latter memory!  It was participating in the same event  that he developed his skills with a camera as one of the broadcast networks' onboard cameramen for the first yacht race ever to receive truly global media coverage. 

In total Andy now has thirteen Atlantic crossings under sail to his name.  Returning to the theme of his schooldays, one of his few successes in the classroom was to pass an O Level in astro-navigation.  This came as a source of some relief to other members of the crew!



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