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Iconic yacht 'Maiden' leaves the USA to continue on world tour

by Libby Mudditt 7 Nov 22:50 GMT
Liz Wardley (centre) with Maiden crew © Libby Mudditt

Nearly 30 years ago, Tracy Edwards MBE sailed into the record books on Maiden with the first all-female crew in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Maiden and her glass shattering crew paved the way for women, particularly those in the world of yachting. After the race, Maiden was found abandoned and rotting in the Seychelles. Tracy Edwards MBE worked tirelessly to return Maiden back to the UK; the boat has since undergone an extensive refit and restored to her former glory. Now, Maiden is sailing on a new mission to raise awareness and funds for girls' education around the globe.

The project sees the iconic yacht, Maiden, circumnavigating the globe on a two and a half year worldwide tour across 30 destinations, covering over 60,000 nautical miles. Maiden left the UK in November 2018 and has subsequently stopped over in; Sri Lanka, Fremantle, Sydney, Auckland, Honolulu, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles with short visits to Port Townsend, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Long Beach and San Diego while she was waiting for better weather forecasts before continuing on The Maiden Factor World Tour.

Maiden is sailed by an all-female crew again, with new skipper Liz Wardley taking over the helm from fellow Australian, Wendy Tuck. Other permanent crew members include: Belinda Henry (Australia), Amalia Infante (Spain), Courtney Koos (USA) and Erica Lush (USA).

Liz arrived in Los Angeles last week and worked with Wendy and the crew to prepare Maiden for her journey. Commenting on her appointment as skipper she said "It is incredible to have the opportunity to sail on Maiden, the first boat to ever race around the world with an all-female crew. It is humbling to follow in Tracy Edwards' footsteps and skipper her legendary yacht.

Although things have changed a bit over the last 30 years, there is still a lot of skepticism about women in sport and I am really excited to be working with the team to empower the next generation to achieve their goals. The crew, the milebuilders, the guests and hearing the stories from people around the world who are also inspired by the Maiden story, are living proof that through hard work, tenacity and belief, anything is possible." She added.

On 8th November Maiden will leave from the South Western Yacht Club in San Diego to continue on her world tour with a 4000+ nautical mile journey through the Panama Canal to Antigua. Maiden will return to the USA in January 2019 with stopovers on the East Coast.

For further information, please visit: themaidenfactor.org

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