Sloop Foundation Pay Tribute To Burnett-Herkes

September 21, 2021

The Bermuda Sloop Foundation [BSF] is paying tribute to the late Andy Burnett-Herkes, saying that “his soul and his spirit will live on.”

A spokesperson said, “It was with deep sorrow that the staff, board and committee members of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation learned today that long-standing board member and marine operations expert Andy Burnett-Herkes has passed away.

David Goodwin, Chairman of the BSF Board, led tributes to Mr. Burnett-Herkes. Mr. Goodwin said, “I invited Andy to the join the Board for many reasons, back in 2016, but I knew him from many previous tall ships events since 2009.

“We were also colleagues at Bank of Butterfield many years ago. Andy wore many hats in support of good causes, and throughout was his loyalty and dedication to developing sailing in Bermuda.

“His marine operations expertise was invaluable to keeping the Spirit of Bermuda in the best condition with tight resources in order to keep our youth development programmes going over the years.

“We sincerely appreciated everything he did for Spirit and our team. We thank his wife Sarah and his family for sharing him with us, and offer our deep sympathy for their loss. I considered him a good friend and we will miss him dearly.”

The spokesperson said, “Alan Burland, a BSF founder and board director, also cited Mr. Burnett-Herkes’ knowledge and input for the organization as being central to the ship’s operations.”

Mr. Burland said, “He understood Spirit well – how it was built, how it operated including the marine systems, rig, rigging, electronics etc. and he was most helpful in putting together the lists of work for various re-fits and maintenance weeks.

“He had an eye for detail and an ability to find practical, affordable and sustainable solutions. He was also deeply knowledgeable of the requirements for safety at sea and the operational protocols and regulatory inspections and approvals that go with running a ship.

“As co-chairman of our Marine Operations Committee, with Spirit’s Captain, Andy’s management style was steady, sensible and reliable. His demeanor was calm and cool and he was a good listener, willing to get input from the ship’s crew, yards and service providers. He never lost his cool and managed complex subjects confidentially and clearly.”

The spokesperson said, “In addition to his active involvement with the BSF, Mr. Burnett-Herkes was a member of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for 40 years, and was a volunteer and Officer there for 34 years.

“He was a member of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, serving in various roles including Race Committee, Chief Inspector and Chief Post-Race Inspector. He was also involved in Age Concern, was an active member of the Bermuda Station of the Cruising Club of America and was a Past Commodore of Sandys Boat Club.”

Mr. Burland said, “He will be sorely missed. During his illness he never complained and he always provided input in a timely and well researched way, even when overseas, under the weather. His loss is a major shock to all of us, in the Bermuda Sloop Foundation and among the crew of Spirit of Bermuda.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks and deepest condolences to his family. His soul and his spirit will live on. Sail on dear friend, over the horizon, until we meet again.”

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