Tracy Edwards’ Whitbread maxi Maiden returns home for ambitious new project


Some 27 years after setting sail on the Whitbread Round the World race with the first all female crew, Tracy Edwards has brought the maxi Maiden home with a big new project in mind

A moment of history was revisited on the banks of the River Hamble in April when the Whitbread maxi Maiden returned home. It was from here she set off on the round the world race in 1989 with skipper Tracy Edwards and an all-female crew.

The 58ft maxi went on to win two legs and finish 2nd overall in the race and when Edwards and her crew sailed back into the Solent to the finish in May 1990 –  as on previous legs they were dressed in swimsuits – their arrival made headlines.

Almost 28 years on, the yacht has changed hands several times and ended up abandoned in the Seychelles, where Edwards tracked her down in 2014. Edwards has worked since then to raise the funds to bring Maiden back to the UK for restoration.

The yacht arrived in Southampton by ship and was towed round to Hamble Yacht Services where she will be undergoing an extensive refit before being relaunched in time to take part in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends regatta. This celebrates yachts that have featured in the Whitbread/Volvo since 1973 and will run over the same course as the last leg of the race from Gothenburg to The Hague in June next year.

Maiden is in very poor condition, lacking a mast and most serviceable deck fittings. Down below is even worse, says Edwards. “She’s a bit sad – it looks like she’s been vandalised.”



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