Andrew has had remarkable success as a New Zealand motorcycle racing champ, travelling the world and receiving international acclaim. He shares how being a husband and father of 10 completes the picture.
I rode one when I was about ten years old, just a friends motocross bike on a farm and yeah really liked it. Wanted to go faster and faster and push the limits more and more. Just a real challenge for me. Parents said no. Motorbikes are far too dangerous and I can’t have one of those. So I was a bit upset about that but when I was 15, I bought one anyway. And I think I bought and sold about 20 bikes before I was 18. Just trying to get better ones and different ones and just loved riding. I was on an absolute mission to get to the top of motorcycle racing. It’s what I wanted to do. And then I won a couple of titles in America. Won the world series on the Briton. New Zealand built bike that John Briton built. 9 New Zealand super bike championships. Won a Datona in America 4 times on the Briton so I had a pretty good run really. You just pour everything into it mentally. The concentration is just intense and physically you’re just totally rung out. After a race weekend it’s really hard to concentrate on much. I’m pretty well spent. I was just holding racing in my hand really tight and God wanted me to open my hand. And it took every all the trust I had to do that. But when I did I opened it, and it didn’t run away. It was still there, but it was different. It’s like I became a steward of it. Just the responsibility to do the best I had with this gift that God had given me. And using it for God’s glory is the ultimate thing for me. I suppose for me with racing, I did it for 27 years, but it was totally where I thought I had to be. I didn’t want to be anywhere else, I just wanted to be racing motorbikes all around the world. And I was able to do it and make a living from it as well. And it’s quite an incredible journey really. I couldn’t have hoped for a better thing to be doing with myself. I would’ve paid to do it. I went down to christchurch to ride the Briton one time and Karen had just moved over from Australia. I ended up staying at this house that she lived at. She’d just said no to this guy who asked her out, she closed the door and said “Lord when can I just meet my husband?” And she walked into the room where I was and she felt she heard “He is the one”. She said a few funny things to me, then I talked to her a couple of minutes. And then I didn’t see her for a year. But she just waited. She believed that I was the one she was going to marry. So we got married and we’ve got 10 children now. My son Jacob started racing and it was a couple of weeks meeting ago here where I really saw him really start to pick up the pace. He looked like he really had that X factor. To the point where I had tears in my eyes watching him ride around as he was hauling them all in from way back on the grid. I really get the feeling he could he could go a long way with it if he wants to. But it’s not through me pushing him. It’s gonna have to come from himself. Yeah for me holding onto a dream, I wanted to really make it in motorcycle racing. But you can be hanging onto something which is having too much control over you and it’s not all necessarily that good. And you’re consumed by it at the expense of other things, that are more important in life and real. People are more important than achievements. But it’s coming to that realisation and it can it can be a process. We’ve all got a bit of self centredness in us and it’s working through those things. It’s part of growing up and part of working out life and what’s important and what’s not. But we’re all in the same boat.