Tracy Edwards MBE

Tracy has generously agreed to be an Ambassador for Girls Go Sailing. It is partly due to Pippa’s admiration for Tracy’s achievements that she herself is the sailor she is today! Tracy has made a career of Motivational Speaking, and has become a leading example of an ‘Inspirational Woman’ that many admire.

If you haven’t yet had the opportuinty to watch the movie “Maiden”, the story of Tracy’s determination to succeed and subsequent history making effort in the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, we suggest you do at the earliest opportunity. It is a truly amazing documentary available on Amazon Prime Video.

Tracy skippered the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race in 1989, becoming the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy. She was subsequently appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Tracy was expelled from school at the age of 15. With no exams or qualifications she left to travel the world. Her career started on charter yachts in Greece at the age of 17 when she learned how to sail. Tracy took part in her first Whitbread Round the World Race as cook aboard ‘Atlantic Privateer’ in 1985/86 becoming the first woman to race around the world on a Maxi.

Upon her return she was inspired to enter the first all-female crew in the 1989/90 Whitbread. Much resistance was encountered, but despite this she persisted in recruiting a 12-woman crew for her 21-year-old, 58-foot yacht “Maiden”. Together they crossed the start line on 2nd Sept 1989 and sailed into the history books. They achieved second in class, winning two out of six individual legs of the race. This was the best result for any crew of a British boat since 1977 and it has never been beaten. Tracy, who had taken out loans to buy the boat, was forced to sell her beloved “Maiden” after the race.

In 2014, Tracy discovered that “Maiden” had been abandoned and was in poor condition in a marina in the Indian Ocean. She set up the “Maiden” Rescue project and began fundraising to get her home to the UK. This wasn’t to be just a rescue mission. Tracy knew that “Maiden” could be an inspiration to the next generation and had the capacity to promote, lobby and fundraise for the facilitation of girls’ education.

Tracy says:

We believe that “Maiden” has the ability to promote and fundraise on a global scale. She inspired a whole generation of women and now I want to give her the chance to do the same for another generation; my daughter’s generation. “Maiden” is an icon of female empowerment, ability, and the will to succeed against all the odds. We must ensure the basic human right of every girl to attend school.”
The Maiden Factor charity has been established to achieve this ambition.

Our goals in the field of girls education are similar. Tracy aims to bring education in general to those girls not so fortunate to have access to it. Ours is to educate females of all walks of life in sailing to also empower them by instilling skills and confidence.

Please visit The Maiden Factor for more information on Tracy’s plans, and support her in any way you can. Thank you.