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Maiden comes full circle!

by Libby Mudditt 20 Apr 14:48 BST
The Message of Hope Handover - Their Highnesses Jalila and Zayed © Libby Mudditt

Over the past 7 months Maiden has sailed 28,674 nm and 154 days at sea, crossing the finish line in Cowes at 1152hrs on Tuesday 16th April 2024. In spite of the rain, the swell and the cold conditions, many boats came out with family and friends and Maiden supporters to cheer her across the line.

Each crew member on Maiden will have reflected on their amazing achievements during the race, not only the life-long friendships they've made, the extreme conditions they faced, the experiences and skills they have honed while racing around the world - all in the footsteps of the first ever all-female crew of Maiden, skippered by Tracy Edwards MBE in the 89/90 Whitbread Round The World Race.

Who would have thought that without that chance meeting of a 21 year old boat hostess and a king and a subsequent friendship over the years with his daughter, Maiden would not have happened and her inspiring story would never have been told.

His late Majesty King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan, believed in Tracy and provided the sponsorship which turned her dream into reality. HRH Princess Haya was 12 years old when she first met Tracy and had grown up hearing stories about Maiden and what she had achieved from her father. In 2017 she in turn stepped in to make Maiden's restoration possible and history repeated itself as her children who were 10 and 5 years learned about Maiden's story and her quest to make a difference in the world; the iconic yacht would sail around the world again with an all-female crew, this time with a mission of raising awareness and funds for girls' education.

In honour of his Majesty King Hussein, his daughter and grandchildren, HRH Princess Haya, Their Highnesses' Jalila and Zayed were at Ocean Village today to see Maiden's return 34 years after previous round the world race finish. A tribute to her father's vision and to show her children what their grandfather started. They met with the skipper and crew, toured the boat and learned more about the race, the world tour and the inspiring stories of how the monies raised have empowered so many girls' educational projects around the world.

The circle is now complete with their Highnesses' Jalila and Zayed adding their own 'message of hope' to the baton and handing it across to the school children from Meon Cross in Fareham who put the first messages in the baton six years ago. Carried by Maiden for over 60,000+ miles around the world; thousands of children have written messages about their hope for the future. They follow a common theme and the messages are simple: education for all; no conflict; equality; a healthy climate; clean water; a living and a home. So there is hope for the future!

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