Today it was finally time to announce what those of us in Team Andy have known since crew allocation back in May – that we were actually Team GREAT BRITAIN!
Our day started with an early morning commute to meet under the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square at 10am to collect our kit provided by our official sponsors – the GREAT Britain campaign.
Then it was off to a top secret venue for our official launch. Security is quite tight; we all needed to take photo ID with us and have our bags x-rayed on the way in!
Our venue is a well known iconic address, that a lot of us had only seen ever seen on the TV or from a distance. As a Conservative Councillor, it also holds a somewhat special significance. The official welcome and photo call was over quickly enough then we had a few minutes to take our own photo’s and to meet No 10’s longest serving resident – Larry the Cat. Who was completely uninterested in proceedings, only managing to raise his head slightly to see what all the fuss was about, before going back to sleep.
Then it was on to the magnificent setting of the Foreign Office for a briefing the the GREAT Britain team about their campaign, what it involves and how Clipper and us as a team fitted into the picture. After a quick tour of the Foreign Office, it was off for a private lunch at the Clarence to celebrate our new official branding.
I never thought for a minute, that I would ever represent my country in any sport, or to be an ambassador for all that is great about our country. So to be flying the flag and to be wearing Great Britain kit, is a huge and very special honour; I’m very proud to be able to represent my country.
The GREAT Britain campaign celebrates, showcases and promotes the very best of British industry, heritage, culture and our countryside. It is about promoting British values to encourage the world to come to visit, study, invest and do business in the UK.
I spent last week doing Level 4 Training on the GREAT Britain yacht, which I will write all about at another time, however needless to say – it was GREAT!
I’m off in the morning to join my boat ahead of the Rolex Fastnet Race on Sunday. I’m more than a little nervous about it after an eventful week last week on training.