During over 30 years in the marine industry, Andrew Roberts has been intimately involved in some of the most exciting and pioneering sailing and ocean yacht racing projects.
Andrew prepared seven successive race yachts for Chay Blyth between 1975 and 1984, including British Steel, the Whitbread racer Great Britain 2, trimarans Great Britain 3 and 4, and Brittany Ferries. In 1977, he worked with Naomi James to prepare Express Crusader for her solo round the world voyage.
He also prepared monohull and multihull race yachts for Rob James (Colt Cars), Mike Birch (Third Turtle, Olympus Photo and Formule TAG), Robin Knox-Johnston (Great Britain 2), Loïck Peyron (Lada Poch) Peter Phillips (Livery Dole), Adrian Thompson (Paragon) and Nigel Irens and Tony Bullimore (IT 82).
In 1989, he joined forces with Chay Blyth to form Challenge Business and create a ‘wrong way’ round the world race for amateurs. As Project Director he established the design principles behind two classes of steel yacht that are widely considered to be among the most seaworthy ever built.
Andrew and his team were involved in every element of the design, construction, preparation, race maintenance, refit and routine maintenance, as well as the event management and shore support for four successive round the world races. He also modified yachts and supported solo round the world records by Mike Golding in 1993/94, Samantha Brewster in 1995/96 and Dee Caffari in 2005/6, before leaving Challenge Business to pursue new projects.
Andrew’s record for safety is unrivalled. In all, Challenge yachts raced round the world 51 times, and over 600 crew have circumnavigated in complete safety.
“Taken as a whole, his knowledge, expertise and planning is probably without parallel in the marine arena.” Sir Chay Blyth
“If it hadn’t been for Andrew…I’d never have left the quay at all.” Naomi James
"A master in your field. I was privileged to work with you and I hugely respect your knowledge and expertise." Mike Golding
"One thing's for certain: the only reason I could complete my record is because of your vision, your drive and your tenacity." Dee Caffari
“I have always thought of you as one of the real rocks behind Challenge Business and more than anything the person who has instigated and maintained such rigorous safety and equipment standards.” Andrew Bray, Editor, Yachting World