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Andy Stephens

Andy Stephens, 32, from Bristol made the decision to get out of the rat race and feel the wind on his face.

Andy writes: Since leaving university I had a succession of jobs mainly in engineering field sales.

I was bored and decided to chase the dream of working doing something that I really enjoy - sailing.

Since the age of 8

I had been sailing since the age of 8, mainly around the South Coast of Cornwall, progressing from toppers to dinghies then finally to yachts at the age of 16.

From then on sailing was a bit limited due to the amount of time I had available and it wasn't until I read about Flying Fish courses to train students to Yachtmaster level in a few months, that I realised this was what I wanted to do.

Straight into work

Once I graduated from the Fish course as a Yachtmaster, I went straight into delivery work. At first as a mate and eventually, once a few miles had been built up,  as a skipper. I sailed all around the Mediterranean, Britain, Spain, France, Scandinavia and across the Atlantic a couple of times.

I also worked as a corporate regatta and charter skipper and eventually went on to earn the Cruising Instructor certificate. I then did a bit of instructing before being persuaded to get back into the 'rat race' and buy a bar/club with an old friend. 

After three years of running the club the pull of going back to sailing was too great and I sold up.

A sailing business

I delivered a couple of yachts for different companies and after bumping into an old rugby rival who was also a yacht skipper, decided that we could set up a sailng business that would offer a better service both to the yacht owner and to the skippers and crew themselves - who I believed often get a raw deal with some of the delivery companies.

Front Row Yacht Deliveries was formed (www.yachtdeliveries.biz) and we are growing and moving forward all the time.

We deliver both sailing yachts and motor boats from any port in the world to any port in the world. We like to think that we offer a little bit more than our competitors both in terms of our personal yet professional service and because on top of delivering the yacht we also offer a 'Delivery Completion Vessel Condition Report' (where every detail on the boat is checked and reported on before it is handed back to the owner) and Online Vessel Tracking where the owner can, via the internet, locate his vessel at any point during the delivery.

Personally, I find the diverse nature of the business is what keeps it interesting. Not knowing what or where the next job is keeps it exciting. I still get to do my fair share of sailing and therefore am always having new experiences on the water, and of course, always meeting new and interesting people. And you still can't beat the feel of the wind on your face.

Just go for it

My advice to anyone who is thinking about taking a course is 'just go for it!' Whether you're thinking of having a break from the normal day to day or making a life changing decision you'll never know if you don't try. You can always go back if it's not for you. My Flying Fish course is the best decision I made and I've yet to meet anyone who did it who disagrees.

There are many opportunities to be had within the sailing industry and as this type of leisure pursuit is one of the fastest growing in the world there will continue to be in the future, not least with Front Row Yacht Deliveries.

We have many places available both for sail and power skippers and crew – and even if we can't place you immediately we have a database which we keep constantly updated. So please check out the website or email info@yachtdeliveries.biz

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