Josie Rimmer is unnervingly calm. Unnervingly calm with a coffee in each hand. DirtFish’s Women in Motorsport Summit is a day and a bit away and the woman behind WiM is ready.
Everything is as ready as it can be. Today, Friday, is about set-up day. The tent (Brits would call it a marquee, but marquee’s don’t seem to be a thing in America, so we’ll go with enormous tent) is looking much more like an enormous tent than it was a few hours ago – when it arrived in the back of two trucks.
Courses have been marked out, signage completed, passes created and the right people are now very much on the right planes heading west across the Atlantic.
I know this because Josie sent me a message shortly after six this morning confirming Michèle Mouton is, indeed, inbound for Seattle. The combination of late winter snow and the potential for French airport folk going on strike had kept us on our toes with the Skyscanner app open. No need.
Last year’s inaugural WiM Summit was a roaring success, but this being DirtFish and that being Josie Rimmer, the focus was immediately on the future.
“Having Michèle as guest editor was amazing,” was Josie’s opening line in the debrief, a shade under 12 months ago. “But next year, we need to have her here with us.”
And now it’s happening. Along with Pernilla Solberg, Michelle Miller, Rhianon Gelsomino, Leanne Junnila and Heather Holler, the four-time world rally winner will comprise two of the most influential and iconic panels in the history of women in motorsport.
But it’s raining. This is not uncommon for the world’s best rally school, which sits the shadow of the Cascade Mountains.
“I stopped looking at the weather about a week ago,” said Josie.
“But the internet definitely said it will stop soon.”
Everything about the Summit has Josie’s trademark attention to detail. Nothing is being left to chance.
And as The Fabulous Orchids kick off a soundcheck with a quality version of California Dreamin’, she allows herself a smile.
The rain has stopped. The lunchtime pizza has started and we’re 24 hours out from the biggest and best afternoon in the history of women in motorsport.
DirtFish Women’s Month aims to educate and inspire – telling the stories of women involved in all roles of motorsport and culminating in the Women in Motorsport Summit on March 11.