George Ratsey

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameGeorge Ernest•Ratsey
Used nameGeorge•Ratsey
Born25 July 1875 in St. Pancras, England (GBR)
Died25 December 1942 in New Rochelle, New York (USA)
NOC Great Britain
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


George Ratsey was one of the 5-man crew aboard the Duchess of Westminster-owned cutter Sorais that won the bronze medal in the 8-metre class at the 1908 Olympics. Ratsey was also a fine yachtsman in his own right and raced various small yachts with some success. He was a member of several well-known clubs like Larchmont Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America, New York Athletic Club, Essex Yacht Club, and the Island Sailing Club of Cowes, England. Despite his sailing expertise, he was better known as a sailmaker.

Ratsey joined the family firm of sailmakers founded at Cowes by his great-grandfather, George Rogers Ratsey, in 1796 and were soon acknowledged as the best sailmakers in Britain. The oldest firm of sailmakers in the world, their sails were to be seen on many vessels in Lord Nelson’s fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar. After merging with fellow sailmakers Lapthorn in 1882, to establish Ratsey & Lapthorn, they soon established themselves as the best sailmakers in the world after setting up business in the United States at the Robert Jacob’s City Island boatyard in 1902.

The company was involved in making sails for both defenders and challengers in the America’s Cup in the early days of the event and they designed many of the sails for Sir Thomas Lipton series of “Shamrock” challengers. Ratsey’s son Colin served his apprenticeship with the family firm and worked for them for over 50 years. He too was an Olympic medallist, winning a silver in 1932.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Sailing GBR George Ratsey
8 metres, Open (Olympic) Sorais 3 Bronze

Olympic family relations