Meet Andi Robertson, the man behind 110,000 words of daily website reports and interviews with skippers


A few weeks ago I had this email from an Irish reader named Jack Gingell: ‘Could we have a profile of Andi Robertson, who has done so much to enliven the commentary of the Vendée Globe race?’

Yes, good idea, thanks for asking.

It’s a perfect time to applaud Andi’s role. If, like me, you consider the Vendée Globe site the new gold standard for a multilingual sailing event site, you should know that a huge part of that is down to the single-handed efforts of this flying Scotsman.

Andi is a regular contributor and boat tester for Yachts & Yachting, Yachting Life and part of the media team for race events such as the Audi Med Cup. But from November until last week he has been engrossed in a solo mission to produce all the English content for the Vendée Globe site.

His seven-days-a-week job was to produce up to four reports every day as well as hosting the daily live interviews with English-speaking skippers and scripting the videos. The photo above by Thierry Martinez shows Andi in action on the website radio show.

All told, Andi reckons he has written around 110,000 words since November, well over a book’s worth – and of a consistently impressive standard. So, bravo Andi and thanks for everything.

As for his memories of this race, he tells me he particularly liked talking to Sam Davies and Steve White, both of them always good fun and good value.

Yet it was with White that he had his biggest misunderstanding while live on air.

Steve’s boat Toe in the Water was the only one in the fleet that had a proper toilet on board, and he agreed it was worth its weight in bad conditions. Andi remembered that when Josh Hall owned the boat there was a magazine rack beside the heads for times of proper reflection and he asked Steve: “Do you ever have time for a man moment?”

There was a long silence on the other end of the line.

“Steve completely misunderstood. He thought I was asking something much more sinister,” Andi remembers. “Finally, he said: ‘I don’t think so.’ “