Who is Pindar?

James Boyd talks to Andrew Pindar and looks at the story behind the company that champions women's offshore racing
Women's yachting is going through a boom period at present. Today, for example, there is the news of Emma Richards' three year sponsorship deal. It is tempting to think this is down to Ellen MacArthur's recent exploits - women in offshore racing boats equals high sponsorship returns - were it not for the fact that Ellen has scrupulously avoided the feminist issue when it comes to her achievements. In fact for Ellen there is no issue. She took part in the Vendee Globe on a level playing field with the men and beat all but one of them. However while this is true for Ellen, Tracy Edwards recently told madforsailing that women's sailing teams were still necessary because in areas of our sport women still aren't treated as equals. Witness the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race and the last America's Cup, where aside from all women's teams there are no mixed crews. Unusually the torch for women's sailing is being carried not by some glamorous Milan-based fashion house or Parisienne perfume manufacturer but by a large printing and electronic media company based in Scarborough, Yorkshire. Pindar is best known for backing the double handed offshore projects of two of Edwards' Royal & SunAlliance crew Emma Richards and Miranda Merron. The sponsorship came about when Emma Richards was invited to go for a corporate day out with the BT Global Challenge fleet. There she met Caroline Pindar, wife of the Pindar chairman Andrew. At the time Richards had been sponsorship hunting for months to get the money to charter Pete Goss' Open 50 to sail in the 1999 two handed Transat Jacques Vabre race. Countless letters had been sent off and there had been endless contacts and introductions - all of them dead ends. The final day to put down the deposit on