Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup 2016 – As well as bearing a remarkable resemblance to Michael Caine, RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine leads an extra-ordinary life.
Andrew is a past president of the Section of Surgery, Royal Society of Medicine. He is a consultant vascular surgeon at St.Thomas’ Hospital, London, and at Dartford, Kent and served as a council member of the British Medical Association. Andrew trained at St. Thomas’, and Harvard (Brigham and Women’s) and in Cape Town (Groote Schuur).
Away from medicine, his passion for yacht racing knows no bounds. Andrew is the Secretary General to the International Maxi Association and Admiral of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. He competes in sailing regattas and offshore races all over the world. On Saturday 30th July, Andrew will be presenting the winner’s trophy for the Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup, that is unless his team is the winner. Andrew will be skipper of his First 40 La Réponse, as part of the GBR Red Team.
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup is a pro-am nation versus nation sailing competition, combining the tough disciplines of offshore racing with the cut and thrust of short course yacht racing. It is considered to be the world championship of amateur sailing and The Commodores’ Cup is revered amongst Corinthian sailors.
“Vascular surgeons often get called in when there is a tremendous amount of bleeding, it is considered one of the most technically demanding branches of surgery. As a vascular surgeon, you are often asked to act decisively and quickly. When things go wrong on a boat the same applies, you have to come up with the right solution immediately.
Both sailing and surgery require an analysis of complex variables to achieve the result. There are a lot of surgical situations where you have a number of ways to investigate and treat and the same can be said of sailing, where you have a number of variables such as wind and tide to predict. Correctly predicting how those variables change is the route to success. Sailing is probably the most complex sport and surgery is similar in respect of medicine.
In both sailing and surgery you have to put your knowledge and your technical skill on the line. In sailing you can decide, which way to tack for your benefit, and in surgery you can choose different procedures. In both cases, once you have gone down a path, you have to stick with it. If everything goes right it is very satisfying, if everything goes wrong it is pretty depressing. Other doctors can simply do another test, prescribe some new pills, and say come back in a week. Sailing is the same, you can’t dither around and have a look at the weather forecast again – You have to make a decision and live with it.
As a vascular surgeon, I am often asked to work during the night, which means I am not phased, as some people are, about staying up all night in an offshore race. Working through long hours and through the night is less of a problem for me than the average person. I am also very used to working with teams, such as teams of nurses, teams of other doctors and teams of theatre staff. Essentially a surgeon leads a team in theatre much as a skipper leads a team on a boat.”
For more information about Brewin Dolphin visit website.
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup starts Saturday 23 and concludes Saturday 30 July 2016.
more information visit event commodorescup.rorc.org.
by Louay Habib