Louise Morton and team are giving the men a good run for their money in the Quarter Ton class at Cowes 9/8/07

One of the most competitive Ladies teams here at Skandia Cowes Week is Team Espada – Louise Morton and crew sailing the 1980 Farr-designed and builtEspada. This smart-looking team who are today sporting pink livery in honour of Ladies Day were sounding fairly relaxed this morning prior to the sixth race of the series.

The seven strong team comprising Morton on the helm, Liz Rushall on main and tactics, Jules Mantle – nav and pit, Libby Deegan – trimmer, Charlotte Lawrence – bow, Olivier Manser – mid bow/mast, and Sarah Rawlings, have been racing hard this week and are currently lying in second place overall in IRC Class 8. Morton commented: “We’ve been doing really well and we’re feeling rather pleased. We won a race and are currently lying second in class and we’re keen to go out and beat the boys especially today – Ladies Day.”

According to Morton this extremely competitive boat was found in a garden three years ago and has been totally renovated: “My uncle built it and then sold it on and it disappeared down to the West Country. My husband found it in somebody’s garden in Poole about three years ago and has completely refurbished it mostly himself. We’ve now we’ve got the class together and have 13 racing this week. We also had 26 in the Quarter Ton Cup recently.”

Chatting about what the boat is like to sail, Rushall commented: “They are like big dinghies, very light, you can get them surfing down the waves and you can turn them on a sixpence, and in a breeze they are a hoot. Compared to the Farr 727 – Louise’s other boat – this boat is luxury as far as space in the cockpit is concerned.

“As far as competition against the men is concerned, well I think our results highlights the fact that there are ladies out there competing on equal terms. The fact we’re second in class shows that we are as good as the guys. In fact we’ve just been told by one of our competitors that we sail the boat rather nicely which we though was quite amuzing.”

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