The work of Eileen Ramsay, the Queen of yachting photography from the early 1950s to 1970s, has been saved for posterity. The sailing archive, which records the explosion in dinghy and small boat sailing in Britain after the War years, also includes iconic pictures of offshore racing in the Solent, and historic pictures of sailing pioneers from the first Observer single-handed transatlantic races (OSTAR) and the solo voyages of Francis Chichester, Alec Rose and Eric Tabarly.
An exhibition of Eileen’s pictures will be on display at the RYA Volvo Dinghy Show in the West Corridor at Alexander Palace, London on the fifth and 6th March.
Circa1964: Keith Musto & Tony Morgan, silver medalists at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games in
the Flying Dutchman Class, and winners of the yachtsman of the Year Award, Copyright Reserved - Eileen Ramsay - PPL
The famous archive includes long forgotten images of Olympic sailors Keith Musto and Tony Morgan, Silver medalists at the 1964 Games in Tokyo, and Rodney Pattisson and Ian MacDonald-Smith who won Gold for Britain in the same Flying Dutchman class at the Mexico Games in 1968. She also recorded the career of Charles Currey, who won Silver at the Helsinki Games in 1952, and Robin Aisher, who represented Britain in the 5.5m keelboat class at the 1960 and ’64 Games before finally winning Bronze at the Acapulco regatta in ’68.
Circa 1968: Rodney Pattisson (right) and crewman Ian MacDonald-Smith, Gold medal winners, Copyright Reserved - Eileen Ramsay - PPL
Other noted sailors to have fallen within Eileen Ramsay’s focus have been Stewart Morris, Gold Medal winner at the 1948 Games in Torquay, fellow International 14 champion and Olympic representative Bruce Banks, and Sir John Oakeley, the son of wrestling champion Sir Atholl Oakeley, who became one of Britain’s most successful dinghy champions in the 60s and 70s, winning the Merlin Rocket crown three times in succession before going on to win the Flying Dutchman world championship.
Eileen, now aged 95, has kept her photo archive intact and called in PPL Photo Agency to digitise the pictures and manage the Library.
Barry Pickthall, at PPL, says: 'It was very important to save Eileen Ramsay's archive. As well as photographing dinghies and yachts for more than two decades, she was a specialist portrait photographer, and her early pictures of Francis Chichester, Eric Tabarly, Alec Rose and those OSTAR pioneers have great significance when recording Britain's sailing history.'
Circa 1959, Bourne End Week, Upper Thames Sailing Club, 14ft dinghy, International 14 class, Copyright Reserved - Eileen Ramsay - PPL
Circa 1966. Cowes Week, Isle of Wight. Dragon One Class, Copyright Reserved - Eileen Ramsay - PPL
Circa 1970. Bourne End Week, Upper Thames Sailing Club. Thames A Rater open keel boats,Copyright Reserved - Eileen Ramsay - PPL
Circa 1967. Cowes Week, Isle of Wight. Cervantes broaching, Copyright Reserved - Eileen Ramsay - PPL
Bourne End Week, Upper Thames Sailing Club, 12ft dinghy, National 12 class, Copyright Reserved - Eileen Ramsay - PPL
Circa 1960: Francis Chichester aboard his ketch rigged yacht Gipsy Moth III, preparing for the first Observer Singlehanded Transtatlantic Race, Copyright Reserved - Eileen Ramsay - PPL
To view Eileen Ramsay's images currently on line click here
by PPL Photo Agency
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11:45 AM Wed 2 Mar 2011GMT
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