To keep current with my sailing skills I have been participating in Wednesday night beer can races at a local yacht club. The other week there was a surprise guest crew on another boat, it was Wendy Tuck! Wendy is the first female skipper to win an around the world yacht race, which just so happened to be the 2017-2018 Clipper Race on Sanya Serenity Coast. She was in the area as the current skipper of Maiden.
Maiden was the first yacht with an all female crew, led by Tracy Edwards, to race in the 1989 Whitbread race, now known as the Ocean Race and formally known as the Volvo Ocean Race. Primarily a male dominated sport, females in a yacht race were very few and an all female crew was unheard of. Their success in the race and at breaking down gender barriers is the basis for the movie Maiden, released in 2019.
After the race the yacht was sold. Changing owners over the years the yacht fell into obscurity, finally being left to rot in the Seychelles. That was until Tracy Edwards found the yacht in 2014 and decided to raise funds to return her to her former glory, being completely refurbished in 2017. Maiden is currently on a circumnavigation tour, raising money for charity. Their mission statement is below.
“Empower/teach/mentor girls and/or promote, facilitate, lobby for or provide solutions which enable the education of girls not currently afforded that basic human right.“
More information can be found on their website: https://www.themaidenfactor.org
It just so happened that Maiden was in the San Francisco area and there was going to be an open house where anyone could go onboard the boat and meet the crew. How awesome was this?!
The yacht is 58′ long and built in 1979. It is interesting to see how yacht interior design has changed over the past 40 years. The basic layout has a navigation station, galley, crew accommodation, forward and aft heads, and a sail locker at the bow. Unless you are 5′ tall there isn’t much deck-head clearance to walk around inside. There was also a lack of a central area for crew to eat. Much different compared to the layout of a Clipper 68 or Clipper 70. It really is amazing what this boat accomplished in 1989.