Famous all-women Whitbread Race Yacht 'Maiden' has been rescued and is being brought back to the UK for girls' education charities, but only if Edwards can raise funds for the trip
Round-the-world yachtswoman Tracy Edwards‘ famous yacht Maiden, which was found abandoned on an Indian Ocean island last year, is to be brought back to the UK. She has been restored in Cape Town, South Africa, and Edwards intends to sail her home to Southampton, pending successful fundraising, with members of the original Whitbread Race crew.
When Maiden crossed the start line of the Whitbread Round the World Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race in 1989, Tracy and her crew sailed into the history books. Maiden went on to win two legs and come second overall in her class – still the best result for a British boat since 1977. Tracy was also the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year Award in the same year.
Edwards sold the boat after the race. The boat had been bought by successive owners, the last of which eventually abandoned her. The marina in which she was lying then seized the boat, and offered it to Edwards.
Edwards is now fundraising to cover the costs of bringing the famouts yacht back to the UK, where she will be used to raise awareness for young girls’ rights to education. When she returns to the UK, she will become an‘Ambassador for Girl’s Rights’and will, by agreement, be available to, and used by; the Maiden Rescue charity, The Girls Network, I am Girl and UN Women. Maiden will help raise funds for those charities and she will be used by them to promote the agenda of girl’s education. Maiden will also be available for charter and corporate hospitality.
Maiden’s 30th Anniversary Celebrations will be taking place in London, this September 2016. In 2017 Maiden will go on to complete a tour of the UK alongside The Girls Network organisation and in 2018 will complete a world tour, working with I Am Girl and UN Women. The Maiden Rescue project is dedicated to bringing attention to issues faced by young girls who have little or no access to education or who live in circumstances where they are not respected or allowed to develop decent life skills.
Speaking about her charity work, Tracy Edwards said:
‘The Maiden Rescue project is very close to my heart and the journey so far has been incredible. I can’t wait for Maiden to arrive home in the UK and begin working with The Girls Network and similar organisations to bring awareness to the issues faced globally by young women.’
Tracy has also just released her book, Maiden, in Kindle format on Amazon. The story details how Tracy, then a 23 year old sea cook, with no boat, no crew and no sponsorship raised over £1 million, rebuilt a yacht and recruited 11 crew members who went on to compete in a nine month, 32,000 mile voyage around the world.