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“Maiden” makes history

“Maiden” finished her last round of the world race in Cowes on Tuesday, 16 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.

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.

At this year’s South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show, in “Maiden’s” honour, a welcome home parade and celebration party were organised to pay homage to Maiden and her crew’s amazing achievements. All boats were invited for the Parade of Sail to our Ocean Village Marina, meeting off Cowes.

A Royal turnout

The guest of Honour at “Maiden’s” homecoming was 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.”

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

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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Caption: “Maiden” comes home to the South Coast & Green Tech Boat Show show