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Eileen Ramsay - 100 years old today

by South Atlantic Publishing on 3 Dec 2015
circa 1960 - The solo pioneers who competed in the first OSTAR PPL Media http://www.pplmedia.com
Eileen Ramsay, the Queen of yachting photography during the 1950s and '70s, is 100-years old today!

She is planning a quiet day at home with a few close friends calling in to share a bottle of Bubbly – or two. I'm very pleased to say that she remains in great form, her mind is as sharp as a pin, and she can remember just about every picture she took over the years. She doesn’t do interviews any more, but Yachts and Yachting is running a timely biography in their January issue out on December 9, written by David Henshaw.

Eileen and her trusty Rollie were at the centre of a unique period in yachting history – a time when eccentrics ruled, records were there for the setting, and women were more often to be found in front of the lens. But Eileen established herself as one of the greatest yachting photographers of her time, covering the post-War explosion in dinghy and offshore sailing. These include pictures of the first Enterprises, Fireballs, 505s, GP14s, Mirrors, Ospreys, Optimists and the first British America's Cup 12 metre challengers Sceptre and Evaine.


She also took portraits of famous sailing icons like Francis Chichester and Eric Tabarly, Olympians, Rodney Pattisson and Keith Musto, and historic pictures from the first Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic (OSTAR) Races. She was the only photographer Chichester allowed on his Gipsy Moth yachts, and she was commissioned to photograph notorious charmers like Uffa Fox and Max Aitken. Eileen recalls now how she had to stave off their amorous advances.

She was also closely involved in photographing powerboats, in particular, those built on the Hamble, and those powerboat pioneers that competed in the first Daily Express Cowes/Torquay and Round Britain races.

Her unique archive of photographs was saved four years ago by PPL Photo Agency which now has more than 1,000 available to view and purchase online

Did Eileen photograph you or your parent's boat during those years? Her entire archive has been indexed and can be searched on-line by boat name, sail number and event. Click here to view




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