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Legendary boat 'Maiden' returns home 27 years after world record

by Libby Mudditt 25 Apr 2017 10:23 BST 25 April 2017

Maiden's restoration and global campaign, The Maiden Factor (to give more girls around the world access to a basic education), is being made possible by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan in memory of her father, King Hussein I, Maiden's original sponsor

Maiden, the iconic boat that sailed into the record books in 1990, is returning home to the UK 27 years after making history at the Whitbread Round the World Race with her all-female crew.

Skipper Tracy Edwards' achievement with Maiden in 1990 inspired a generation of women. She defied critics who believed it wasn't possible for an all-female crew to take part in the Whitbread Round the World Race – one of the most gruelling tests of human endurance. Maiden won two legs of the race and came second overall – the best result for a British boat since 1977 and a record that has never been beaten.

Tracy has worked tirelessly to bring Maiden back to the UK. Her restoration in Southampton will take a year, after which Maiden will sail again, spreading the message via a huge global campaign that every girl has potential and the right to an education. The campaign is called "The Maiden Factor".

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan said: "My father, King Hussein I, would have been the first to offer his support and guidance to the new Maiden Project announced this week. I, as a young girl, fondly remember his 'hands-on' involvement with the original project which made sporting history, and surprisingly feel how the issues of female equality and values he championed all those years ago seem even more relevant today.

"Having the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE back at the helm is something I know my father would have been so happy to learn and he would have wanted me to be part of this project.

"As his daughter, I feel honoured and humbled to be involved with the resurrection of the Maiden project as it embarks on its new chapter of maritime history. The knowledge that Maiden will once again travel the seas, means not only will the memory and legacy of my late father live on but we can all use this a platform to highlight the need of equal access to education for girls in all corners of the globe, referencing something that he always believed in: 'anything is possible'."

Tracy Edwards MBE said: "It's shocking to me that over 61 million girls around the world are still denied one of the most basic rights; access to education. The struggle to get Maiden to the start line represents the barriers faced by so many, whilst also proving to the world that girls can overcome them, and achieve great things.

"The crew of Maiden faced many obstacles and prejudices. Very few people believed an all female crew could complete the race and not only did we prove everyone wrong, we won two legs and came second overall. Now we would like to do the same for women around the world, who are being denied an education and the opportunity to reach their full potential.

"To have support from HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan in honour of her father is incredibly special as I know that without HM King Hussein I, Maiden would not have happened."

www.themaidenfactor.org

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