The broadest supporter of British sailing takes on another woman sailor


Yesterday Pindar announced that they are chartering a Class 40 yacht for their new sailing protégée Jo Royle to race in the two-handed Transat Jacques Vabre race in November.

The 27-year-old from Lancashire will be sailing with French sailor Alexia Barrier (both pictured, with Jo on the left).

This is the second Pindar-sponsored yacht in the race, as the Scarborough-based printing company is also entering its new Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed Open 60. Jo apparently didn’t want to step up to an Open 60 just yet, let alone one this powerful, so the big boat is being raced by Brian Thompson and Will Oxley.

(The boat, you may remember, was dismasted on one of her first outings during Cowes Week, and the wingmast has been repaired with a sleeve.)

But to get back to the point, Pindar’s sponsorship of sailing has been steadily increasing in scope and value. Right now, they are supporting young 420 sailor Hannah Mills, match racer Ian Williams, Jo Royle and Brian Thompson, and they own and have built what is rumoured to be the most expensive and developed Open 60 around.

I’m not sure what the overall strategy is, but one thing’s for sure: they have been fantastic supporters of British racing and company chairman Andrew Pindar gets great enjoyment from it while his company appears to punch above its weight.

I believe it’s this very personal relationship with business that’s real ace in the deck of British sailing but more of that in another blog.