MEET THE TEAM
Ratsey and Lapthorn have been making Sails for over 225 years. We are experts the experts in sailmaking and our team consists of keen racers and medal winners on both classic and modern yachts.
Jim Hartley - CEO
Since joining Ratsey and Lapthorn in 2016 Jim has been at the helm of the business and has encouraged Ratsey to win numerous projects around the world in all types of sailing. Jim confesses to have been following Ratsey and Lapthorn over the years and jumped at the chance to be fully involved. Growing up on both the East and South coasts of England, the sea has always been close to Jim’s heart. A keen sailor generally cruising with his young family these days but always keen to race whether down in Spain or up in the UK.
Steve Meakin - General Manager
A sailor and sailmaker of great experience, Steve previously ran his own Sailmaking loft up on the East Coast of England. Such a devotee of “The Ratsey Way” Steve decided to join the Ratsey Loft in Cowes several years ago. Steve enjoys working with all customers looking for both performance and durability to the level few can offer. He will be found throughout the season at many of the classic regattas either racing his 1911 gaff yawl Cormorant, or racing with customers whilst also competing in the local Cowes Tuesday and Thursday evening regattas on modern keel boats.
Gary Prangnell - Master sailmaker
Gary represents the best in sail making finishing in the country and is a great asset to the team. His leatherwork finishing skills are second to none across the world and he become an adept teacher to others. An apprentice in the Ratsey and Lapthorn loft, Gary represents a connection with the way Sailmaking has been taught throughout the centuries of Ratsey and Lapthorn history. No one understands such a range of skills better required to finish a sail in “the Ratsey Way”.
Andy Cassell - Sail Designer
Still a competitive sailor, Andy won Gold representing Great Britain in the Atlanta Paralympics. He still knows how to “make a boat go fast” and his depth of knowledge and experience in sail making and design are still much sought after. Not many sail lofts can boast a designer with a gold medal and Andy still has a passion for making the very best sails. Andy was has won an embarrassment of silverware over the years and has been a stalwart of several sailing classes, one notably the Darings in Cowes.
Gonzalo Romagosa - Sail Designer & Med. Agent
Sailmaking has always been a part of Gonzalo’s life, with his father teaching him many of his skills growing up in Spain. He worked for North Sails for many years both in the Uk and mainland Spain, then moved over to Palma, where he is now based. In 2009 he went to Alinghi to be a part of their America’s cup 2009 team. He has since worked in the world of Super Yachts and for other Sailmakers around Europe. Gonzalo has been bought into Ratsey and Lapthorn to push forwards with new technology and state of the art sailmaking. He also fronts the office in Palma, and is a well-known competitive sailor within the Med scene.
Matthew Robinson - Sailmaker Apprentice
With nearly two years experience within the loft Matt shows great promise. Matt has a great deal of sailing experience in a range of vessels and is an active member of Sea Scouts where he is often coaching as well as racing dinghies here on the Isle Of Wight. Matt is mentored by our master sail maker Gary.
Rowena Olden - Sailmaker
Ro is a multi-skilled sailmaker often involved in the design and build of patterns and products Ratsey and Lapthorn complete for our military and aerospace customers. An absolute perfectionist, Ro is just as happy building sails as she is developing new products for these other demanding industries. Also a keen competitive sailor so has a perceptive understanding of what our customers require.