Below Deck Med’s Captain Sandy Yawn says she ‘don’t come from ego’ unlike male captains

Below Deck Mediterranean’s Captain Sandy Yawn has said her “ego” doesn’t come into play, unlike men in powerful positions. 

The hit Bravo reality series is returning for season eight this week with Captain Sandy Yawn and a new team ready to impress as they sail along Genoa, Italy. 

As always, working on the sea is never an easy fete, whether it be dealing with technical issues on board, difficult guests or staff bust-ups. 

Nevertheless, Sandy, 59, knows how to handle tricky situations, given she has more than three decades of experience in the yachting industry. 

And with this, she has learnt a lot about how she differs as a captain when it comes to leading her crew.

Sandy is the only female captain in the Below Deck franchise with the original show led by Lee Rosbach, Kerry Titheradge on Adventure, Glenn Shepard on Sailing Yacht and Jason Chambers on Down Under.

When questioned on how their leadership styles compare by, Sandy commented: “I think my approach is more of compassion and empathy and also, to pause. 

“Women listen, they’re raising children, women are great multitaskers.

“I think we pause more instead of charging into it. What is on my lung, is on my tongue but I pause and think about how what comes out of my mouth will impact that person in life. 

“Because our words are very powerful, we’re an authority and when someone from authority speaks to you, it impacts you. 

“When I’ve worked for people of authority, what they said to me impacted me for the rest of my life.”

She continued: “I worked for an owner and I’ll never forget it, he was on a phone call, I was in his office and he was a very powerful man and I heard him say ‘I don’t know, take 15 minutes and educate me’ and I went ‘he doesn’t know! I don’t have to know everything.’ 

“That really meant the world to me, I don’t have to know everything in my role, ‘take 15 minutes and educate me’, wow, that was huge. 

“So now I defer my team, even if it is a junior deckhand, I’ll say ‘Hey, have you ever been to this area before, give me your knowledge.’ Sometimes I use that knowledge.”

“I think for a man to say that in a very powerful position means that he is a very humble human being. 

“Whereas a lot of men in those roles come from ego and as a woman and a captain, I don’t come from ego. 

“I come from a place of ‘how can I best serve?’ and that’s the difference.”

Away from the drama of Below Deck Med, Sandy had some amazing news to share this week. 

She had popped the question to her other half, gospel singer Leah Shafer after five years which she gleefully accepted. 

Sandy, who proposed by a beautiful cove with violinists, said she wanted it to look like a “fairytale” for her girlfriend of five years. 

Stream the brand-new season of Below Deck Mediterranean on Hayu from September 26. Captain Sandy also tours theatres in Captain Sandy Live from September 21.