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Maiden's coming home! An iconic yacht, a world tour and an historic race, all for a world changing cause

Photo credit: © The Maiden Factor - Kaia Bint Savage
Photo credit: © The Maiden Factor - Kaia Bint Savage

Thirty-five years ago, the yacht Maiden, with the first ever all-female crew made history and came home to a huge ‘unexpected’ welcome never seen before both on the water and on land with an estimated crowd of 50,000 in Southampton and a flotilla of hundreds of boats accompanying Maiden on her approach up Southampton Water. Maiden finished her last round the world race in Cowes on Tuesday 16th April with another inspiring young all-female crew who have sailed over 28,000 nm using only a sextant, charts and the stars; Maiden made history again with the first black women and first Afghan crew ever to race around Cape Horn.

We have organised a welcome home parade and celebration party at this years' South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show in Maiden’s honour, to pay homage to Maiden and her crew’s amazing achievements. All boats are invited for the Parade of Sail to our Ocean Village Marina, meeting off Cowes at 0800hrs on Saturday 20th April.

Guest of Honour at Maiden’s homecoming will be Sarah, The Duchess of York, who was Maiden’s ‘Godmother’ in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 89/90. The Duchess has followed Maiden’s journey from the very beginning; she named the boat at the original launch and saw them off at the start and will be on the pontoon in Southampton to welcome Maiden back.

“The Duchess stood up for Maiden and the empowerment of women long before it was ‘acceptable’ to do that. She was never just a ‘figurehead’; she came sailing with us; hosted us in Argentina and was there to encourage the Maiden crew as she was throughout Maiden’s World Tour and Maiden’s final race.” said Tracy Edwards MBE and added “The Duchess shares Maiden’s vision with her own charity ‘Sarah’s Trust’, being a voice and ambassador for forgotten women, children, families and communities around the world.”

I am so proud of the Maidens for completing this final round the world race. You are extraordinary and your strength and determination inspiring. I share your vision of empowering women and working towards an education for every girl everywhere, and I applaud this amazing work.
Sarah, The Duchess of York

When Tracy asked me to be ‘Godmother’ to Maiden 36 years ago, I knew instantly I wanted to support her and the first all-female crew to sail around the world. Christening Maiden on September 20th 1988 was a very special moment and was my first public engagement since giving birth to my daughter Beatrice.

I supported Maiden then and I support her now. I could not be more proud of Tracy and the team.”

During Maiden’s six year World Tour she has continued the battle for equality for the next generation; raising awareness and funds for charities and communities around the world to ensure that girls have access to education whatever their background to enable them to follow their dreams and build better futures.

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