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Andrew Lorant

An interest in the theatre during schooldays led Andrew to a gap year job at Hampstead Theatre in 1970, followed by study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He became a professional stage manager, spending seasons in Nottingham, Leeds and New York, then in 1976 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in London.

By 1980 Andrew had established himself as a freelance arts manager. His projects ranged from large scale musicals, Annie in London and Starlight Express in Tokyo, to alternative theatre at the Edinburgh Festival and in London pubs.

He also managed to fit in a two year spell as Deputy Director of Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) in Birmingham, representing MAC on the committee of the National Association of Arts Centres.

Andrew is a keen windsurfer and in 1991 his passion for water sports overwhelmed his interest in the arts industry. Today he jokes that this must have been his mid-life crisis, for he abandoned his theatrical career, had his 40th birthday and became a windsurfing instructor. He spent the summer windsurfing in Cornwall and realised that he liked his new life on the beach.

A winter trip to Barbados was the inspiration for the next stage of Andrew's career. He had identified a market for water sports instructor courses delivered in glamorous locations. By 1993 he had qualified as a Royal Yachting Association instructor-trainer and had become one of the founding directors of Flying Fish.

Today Andrew's weeks on the beach are few and far between but he doesn't seem to mind. "It's my choice," he says. "I get great job satisfaction from looking after a company that gives so many people a life changing experience."

He represents Flying Fish as a member of the Year Out Group, the trade body for organisations that arrange structured gap year programmes for young people.

Andrew is a Trustee of Omnibus, the charity running an Arts Centre in the old Library building on Clapham Common North Side in London.

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