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The story of the restoration of the legendary boat Maiden

Return of the Virgin: How the Sailing Legend Was Recovered

Maiden (Virgo)  Is a bureau designed  Farrah  58-foot on which  Tracy Edwards  and her all-female team finished second in their class in the race  Whitbread Round the World Race 1989-1990  (subsequent race names:  Volvo Ocean Race, The Ocean Race ). The boat recently underwent a complete refurbishment before embarking on a round-the-world tour to raise awareness and funds for girls' education under the logo  The Maiden Factor.

Few yachts (and even fewer skippers) are truly famous. Famous enough to be recognized simply by name.  Maiden that is - and that is Tracy herself.

Maiden and her all-female crew became famous in the 1989-1990 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Her cocky women's team has become famous beyond the British sports press alone. From the blessing of the boat by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York to the finale and triumphant return to the Solent in 1990 as a two-stage race winner (crew wearing swimwear), Maiden has consistently made headlines as one of the most celebrated yachts of the era.

But after the race, while Tracy Edwards herself remained in the spotlight, Maiden was sold. And 24 years later, after a series of resales, this aluminum boat was found languishing somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Maiden  was abandoned in the marina  Eden island , Mahe Island, Seychelles, where it collapsed into oblivion. When Edwards heard about the condition of the boat, she launched a crowdfunding campaign to reclaim  Virgo  home. The campaign attracted a lot of attention and more than £ 40,000 was raised - many people donated literally a few pounds to restore the yacht.

It took about three years to raise the necessary funds and transport the yacht to Britain on a cargo ship - she could not go on her own. The boat got to  Humble  in 2017, where she underwent a comprehensive recovery, before embarking on a three-year circumnavigation in late 2018. Much of the cost was covered by the princess  Hayyi bint al-Hussein  - the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan, who at one time sponsored the participation  Maiden  in the race.

Tracey Edwards attends a meeting with Princess Hayya of Jordan Bint al-Hussein, whose family supported Maiden in the 90s and is today.

This yacht was designed  Bruce Farr  and took part in the race for the first time  Whitbread round the world race  in 1981-82 under the name  Disque D'Or III .  Then she participated in a solo trip around the world BOC Challenge   in 1986-87 Tracy Edwards took her to Humble from Cape Town that same year. As the crew sailed from Southampton up the Humble River, the boat almost sank.

Initial repairs in preparation for the race  Whitbread  in 1989 it was whipped up and very budgetary. For example, her famous gray did not match the colors of the sponsor, the airline  Royal jordanian airways because the team partially used paint, not the one they needed, but the one that they managed to get for free.

This time, all tones and shades are sustained. However, the boat still carries many echoes of the past.  Howard Gibbons , who was at that time a manager  Virgins , returned to manage her recovery.

Amelia Ralphs , a team engineer and one of the key contributors to the restoration of the boat, recalls: "I think one of the coolest things about this project is that there are so many people around, manufacturers and ordinary people, to invest their time and energy here."

Original boat specification   Maiden

She points to a custom bow hatch that the French company  Goiot  made in exact accordance with the original. “We have not paid anything beyond what we would have paid for a normal hatch -  Goiot  I have invested in what we are trying to achieve with this project. "

The reconstruction sought to achieve a certain balance. On the one hand, keep the authentic spirit  Virgins , on the other hand, to bring it into line with the realities of our time. During its world tour, the boat will take on board guests who have paid for their participation - both for day sailing and for crossings. Therefore, it must meet modern safety and environmental requirements, be easy to operate, be suitable for PR and marketing activities as well as for ocean crossings.

In addition to the deck, I also had to tinker with the rigging, since the runners and large grottoes, so beloved by the racers  Whitbread are not very suitable for corporate sailing.

Instead of this  Maiden has a fractional rig with positive sweep spreaders made  Marine Results and Seldén ... Yacht designer  Tony Castro  was also involved in most of the restoration work.

Otherwise, the boat is strikingly close to the original design. “It's really unique because the yacht is very old-fashioned - and very functional at the same time,” says Ralfs. "Its depth makes it really safe, you feel calm in it."

Much of the rig is in its original location. For verification, Ralphs uses a surprisingly detailed model made by one of the fans.  Virgins .

“This model was in a museum and then moved to my kitchen. And I was very worried all these months so that nothing happened to her, - says Ralphs. "The model is so valuable because it shows details that you won't find in any photograph."

The location of the winches is almost identical. Only two winches have been removed and 14 remain on deck.

On the high seas the team will consist of 9 members, in coastal voyages - 12, permanent core - 3 people. Ralphs says it takes eight pairs of hands to turn the fordewind. On deck, there are analog instruments, matched as precisely as possible.

"Compasses  Plastimo  - the last two such black compasses that I could find all over Europe, in two different countries. We needed them, because that was the original color scheme. "

The entire hull and deck underwent long-term abrasion to remove 30 years of build-up of paint, fillers and everything else - and get to the metal itself. The deck itself did not require much work - unlike the hull. The elegant sloping transom has been almost completely redesigned and the keel has been significantly offset. It turned out that the skeg was almost completely rotten - and it was removed.

In accordance with the standard

Internal work required both getting rid of corrosion and upgrading the yacht to modern safety requirements. Watertight bulkheads were added to the rear of the sail and galley pantry, as well as fireproof bulkheads in the engine compartment.

Although the interior changes were minimal, the number of berths was reduced from three tiers to two as  Maiden  will walk more with a crew of 9 than with 12-14.

A pilot seat has been added next to the chart table. All analog devices are duplicated by electronics from  B&G, Inmarsat and Mastervolt,  including 4 cameras on the deck.

One place will definitely be the envy of teams traveling around the world - Ralphs calls it "the library." This is a comfortable spot right under the steps, with a seat, booths for personal belongings and a locker.

There you can, for example, store sunglasses, or all sorts of things, or just collect your thoughts before going on watch - it is separated from the living space by a new sealed door.

Specification   boats in Maiden

Length overall: 17.71 m  (58 feet) Length at the waterline: 15.24 m  (50 feet) Width: 5.02 m  (16 feet) Draft: 3.20 m  (10 foot) Displacement: 21,773 kg  (48 feet)

And even if Virgo is no longer a racer, but her voyage around the world  - from Great Britain to India, then to Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, through the Northwest Passage down to Uruguay, around Cape Horn, back to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal in both directions, transatlantic crossing to Britain and then final return to Jordan will be an amazing adventure.

We also have our own legendary yacht. This is "Hetman Sagaidachny", where the team of independent Ukraine took part in the Whitbread Round The World Race in 1993-1994. under the command of Eugene Platon. It was subsequently sold. For many years, Yevgeny Platon has been trying to attract the attention of the public and sponsors to the fate of the boat - and to return it to Ukraine. About Ukraine's participation in this prestigious round-the-world regatta, "Hetman Sagaidachny" and Yevgeny Platon, "Interparus" will tell in one of the upcoming materials.

Author:  Helen Fretter  / Translation:  Dmitry Bushuev

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The largest yachting exhibition in Europe will open its doors on January 18, 2020, and will run until January 26 inclusive at the exhibition center in Dusseldorf. As always, this will be a very special event for the entire yachting industry and for the boat show visitors who invariably come to Düsseldorf from all over the world every year.


Buying a yacht is a responsible process. There are a lot of details, a lot to consider. Interparus has prepared a checklist of the most important aspects that you need to pay attention to.

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Tracy Edwards and her 1990 Whitbread Round the World Race crew mark restoration of the Maiden

  • Stef Bottinelli

Tracy Edwards and her 1990 crew reunited in London's St Katharine Docks to mark the restoration of their yacht Maiden and promote education for girls

28 June 2018

Tracy Edwards and her 1990 all female Whitbread Round the World Race crew, marked the full restoration of their yacht Maiden in London yesterday.

The yacht will set off for a three year project to promote girls’ education around the world and raise money to fund projects to empower young women.

Eight crew will be aboard Maiden when she sets off from Southampton to Jordan at the end of the year to promote The Maiden Factor Foundation, I am a Girl and The Girls’ Network. The project is supported by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, who also helped restore the famous yacht.

Restored Maiden yacht at St Katharine Docks in London

The record breaking yacht, Maiden, is lowered into UK waters for after being found abandoned in the Seychelles

Before she starts her world tour, Maiden will be first unveiled at Cowes Week 2018 and then will  joining in the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race  .

Iconic yacht Maiden won two legs of the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1990 and came second overall – the best result for a British boat since 1977 and a record that has never been beaten.

The yacht was rotting away when Tracy Edwards decided to have her restored.

27 April 2017

Maiden – the yacht that made history with the first all-female crew to sail the Whitbread Round the World Race – has arrived home.

The iconic yacht, which was skippered during the 1989-90 race by Tracy Edwards, was transported from the Seychelles, where she had been discovered rotting away.

She has now been transferred to Hamble Yacht Services for a year-long refit. The boatyard did the original work on the yacht ahead of the Whitbread 27 years ago.

Once the work has been completed, Maiden will be unveiled at Cowes Week 2018 before joining in the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race which will bring together yachts and crew from previous editions of the Whitbread Round the World Race.

Maiden will then be used as part of a global campaign to give more girls around the world access to a basic education.

Maiden’s restoration and global campaign, The Maiden Factor, is being made possible by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan in memory of Her father, King Hussein I.

The former crew of Maiden

Maiden’s former crew gather to welcome her home. Credit: Rick Tomlinson

“My father, King Hussein I, would have been the first to offer his support and guidance to the new Maiden Project announced this week. I, as a young girl, fondly remember his ‘hands-on’ involvement with the original project which made sporting history, and surprisingly feel how the issues of female equality and values he championed all those years ago seem even more relevant today.”

“Having the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE back at the helm is something I know my father would have been so happy to learn and he would have wanted me to be part of this project. As his daughter, I feel honored and humbled to be involved with the resurrection of the Maiden project as it embarks on its new chapter of maritime history,” continued the Princess.

“The knowledge that Maiden will once again travel the seas, means not only will the memory and legacy of my late father live on but we can all use this a platform to highlight the need of equal access to education for girls in all corners of the globe, referencing something that he always believed in: ‘anything is possible’.”

Tracy Edwards defied the critics and inspired a generation of women when Maiden came second overall in the 1989-90 race.

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Many believed it wasn’t possible for an all-female crew to take part in the Whitbread Round the World Race – one of the most gruelling tests of human endurance.

Maiden won two legs of the race and came second overall – the best result for a British boat since 1977 and a record that has never been beaten.

“It’s shocking to me that over 61 million girls around the world are still denied one of the most basic rights; access to education. The struggle to get Maiden to the start line represents the barriers faced by so many, whilst also proving to the world that girls can overcome them, and achieve great things,” commented Edwards.

“The crew of Maiden faced many obstacles and prejudices. Very few people believed an all-female crew could complete the race and not only did we prove everyone wrong, we won two legs and came second overall. Now we would like to do the same for women around the world, who are being denied an education and the opportunity to reach their full potential,” she continued.

“To have support from HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan in honour of Her father is incredibly special as I know that without HM King Hussein I, Maiden would not have happened,” added Edwards.

24 March 2017

Maiden, which carried the first all-female crew to ever sail around the world, across the finish line of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, is heading back to the UK on Sunday (26 March).

The 58-foot yacht has been languishing in the Seychelles, where the iconic vessel has been sadly neglected.

Now in a new cradle, Maiden is waiting for the arrival of the ship that will take her home.

Maiden in disrepair. Tracy Edwards looks her over

Tracy Edwards sees Maiden for the first time in 27 years. Credit: The Maiden Factor

Once restored to her former glory, the yacht will be used to inspire women to take up sailing and challenge the perception of what women are capable of.

Maiden will become an “ambassador” for the not-for profit organisation, The Maiden Factor, which will work with charities such as I am Girl, Just a Drop, Girl Up and The Girl’s Network.

In 1990, a 27-year-old Edwards made the history books when her 12 crew on board Maiden defied the critics by winning two legs and finishing second in its class in the Whitbread Round the World Race (now Volvo Ocean Race).

This is the best performances in the race by a British boat since 1977.

Tracy Edwards and her all female crew on Maiden during the Whitbread

Maiden and her all-female crew. Credit: PPL

According to The Maiden Factor blog, which keeps fans updated on the iconic yacht, Edwards had to remortgaged her house to buy Maiden for £110,000.

Called Prestige then, the former round the world competitor yacht was languishing in Cape Town’s commercial docks.

Edwards then had to re-mortgage Maiden to pay for the refit, and almost faced ruin until a former charter client, King Hussein of Jordan, stepped in to help.

Following the race, Maiden had to be sold to pay off debts, and went through a series of owners before being abandoned to rot in the Seychelles.

Edwards has spent three years raising funds to bring Maiden Home, and flew out in January to the Indian Ocean island to see the yacht again.

As recorded on the Maiden Factor blog, Edwards cried when she saw the battered yacht for the first time in 27 years.

“My poor baby, she’s such a mess,” she said.

“I had no idea she was in such bad shape. It is such a sad and gruesome sight. We have to get her home and fast.”

Battered rail of the yacht, Maiden, abandoned in the Seychelles, Indian Ocean

Just some of the work which needs to be done on Maiden. Credit: The Maiden Factor

“I’d heard she was in a poor state but not this bad,” she adds. “I’ve been raising funds to bring her home for the last three years but it stopped me almost dead when I saw her,” continued Edwards.

“There was a physical pain in my heart at the sight. I guess it must have been building up. I didn’t think it would be this emotional. I cried, tears of delight at seeing her after so long but also distress at what she has become,” explained the Whitbread skipper.

“The boat was the 13th member of the crew and she looked after us, made sure we got home safely so the bond is immense. She is like an old friend and it is distressing to see this neglect. When I first heard she’d been abandoned I was surprised how heartbroken I was. It was like losing a member of the family,” stated Edwards.

“But we can rebuild her. She is like me, a fighter and a survivor,” she added.

25 November 2016

Work to restore the iconic Whitbread Round the World yacht, Maiden, will begin in the coming months, with the vessel expected to sail into London in September.

The announcement from the Jordan Tourism Board comes following a renewed partnership between The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Maiden’s skipper, Tracy Edwards MBE.

In 1990, Edwards made the history books by leading the first all-female crew to the finish line of the Whitbread Round the World Race (now the Volvo Ocean Race) on board Maiden, which was sponsored by the Jordanian Royal family.

Her 12 crew on board Maiden defied the critics by winning two legs and finishing second in its class, the best performances in the race by a British boat since 1977.

The 58-foot yacht was recently discovered by Edwards falling into disrepair in the Indian Ocean.

Backed by the Jordan Tourism Board, and through a combination of crowdfunding and sponsorship, work to restore Maiden to its former glory is expected to begin shortly.

The yacht will then be used to carry on the legacy started in the 1980s by Edwards – to inspire women to take up sailing and challenge the perception of what women are capable of.

The yacht will sail the globe promoting the agenda of education for girls and raise funds for these associated charities as well as Maiden Education.

Tracy Edwards

Tracy Edwards defied the critics when she entered an all-female crew in the 89-90 Whitbread Round the World Race

Commenting on the project, Edwards said: “Maiden is an inspiration and I want her to engage with people all over the world.”

“She is an icon of female empowerment, the ability and will to succeed against all odds and that’s something I want to harness and use to inspire young girls everywhere to achieve their full potential,” she stressed.

Filming has begun for a one off TV series which will follow the rescue and restoration of Maiden and also the selection and training of a new crew.

The original Maiden crew from 1989/90 will deliver the “grand dame of sailing” to London in September 2017 for her re-launch.

Celebrations will include sailing under Tower Bridge and handing Maiden over to her new crew.

Crew trials will test sailing skills on the water in the UK and in Jordan.

There is also filming already underway to accompany a documentary about Maiden’s completion of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race which will be aired on prime-time television and have a premiere in Leicester Square in time for Maiden’s reveal in London in September 2017.

Following the London film premiere, Maiden will attend the start of the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante. The yacht will then sail to Jordan for the winter.

Edwards said she was delighted that the Kingdom of Jordan had, once again, shown their support for women and sailing.

“We must ensure that the basic human right of every girl is to have an education, a conviction shared by His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan, who was the first person help me on my initial quest to get an all-female crew to sail around the world,” she said.

“It would be an understatement to say that I was delighted that the Kingdom of Jordan under the reign of his son, His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, has stepped in to help me on my new mission to inspire a whole new generation and make Maiden a vessel for peace and education across the world,” added Edwards, who is now a motivational speaker.


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History Resurfaced: Meet Maiden

  • By Kelley Sanford
  • Updated: May 23, 2017

Maiden, Sailing, Yacht

The 58-foot sailing yacht Maiden has returned to the UK after a 27-year hiatus. Her former skipper, Tracy Edwards MBE (Member of the British Empire), met the yacht when she arrived, full of emotion. Edwards and Maiden have quite a history together.

In 1989, Edwards and 11 other women accomplished a first in the Whitbread Round the World Race (WRTWR), now known as the Volvo Ocean Race. As the women sought sponsors in the face of skepticism, Edwards hunted and hunted for the vessel that could make her dream come true. She eventually found it: a disheveled sailing yacht named Prestige. The yacht had competed in the 1985-86 WRTWR under the name Stabilo Boss. Edwards mortgaged her home to purchase the vessel and transported her to the UK where she was refit and renamed Maiden.

Maiden’s hull was painted grey, with gold and red lines, like the colors on a Royal Jordanian Airlines plane, Jordan’s flagship airline and Maiden’s sponsor. This sponsorship was ultimately from Edwards’ close friend, Jordan’s King Hussain I. Edwards would say it was only with his funding and friendship that the WRTWR’s first all-female crew were able to compete.

On September 2, 1989, Edwards and her crew set sail from Southampton, on the first leg of the Whitbread Round the World Race, destination Uruguay. The women completed the race’s 5 legs, won 2 of those legs in their class and successfully sailed back into Southampton in May of 1990, coming in 2nd place overall in their class. They’d accomplished their goal and shocked the sailing world.

Whitbread Round the World Race

After the WRTWR, Maiden was sold. Now, 27 years later, the yacht was discovered abandoned in Mahé, Seychelles. She was repurchased in 2016 through fundraising and, in April of 2017, has returned to Southampton. Maiden was joyously met by Edwards and other 1989 crewmembers, who had been awaiting her return.

She will undergo restoration at the Universal Marina, Sarisbury Green, Southampton in preparation for a big future: The Maiden Factor is a charity initiative to promote education for girls around the world. And Jordan is once again partnering with Maiden; in honor of her father, King Hussain I, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain is supporting The Maiden Factor project. Maiden will set sail in August 2018 on her world tour to promote girls’ education. September and October are slated to visit Jordan and Dubai, with the following months’ locations are yet to be announced. Edwards and Maiden now have a chance to continue their round-the-world journey they started almost 28 years ago.

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The Tracy Edwards profile – why sailing’s trailblazer is back with Maiden

Helen Fretter

  • Helen Fretter
  • March 14, 2019

Trail-blazing skipper Tracy Edwards is back, with her next big project: The Maiden Factor. We found out why...

yacht maiden restoration

Sportspeople – and sailors are no exception here – can be a little… one-dimensional. That single focus which makes competitive athletes so successful often comes with a very straightforward mentality.  

Tracy Edwards is the polar opposite. She is wholly, entertainingly (no doubt sometimes maddeningly) human, in all its contradictions. She has learned to be tough, yet cries ‘at the drop of a hat’, she can be warm and easy to talk to, but at times has closed ranks entirely. She’s no-nonsense, with a dramatic streak.  

She went from teen tearaway to national hero to near recluse before she was 30. She skippered a multi-million pound catamaran, and was spectacularly bankrupted.

Edwards and her Maiden teams achieved incredible things in sailing, and paved the way for others to achieve more. She inspires unwavering loyalty among some of her team, but has also fallen out with more people in the sport than most. She is not a woman whose life has ever followed a linear path and, aged 57, she still isn’t backing away from controversy.  

A life lived to the full

Tracy Edwards was born in 1962. Her mother, Patricia, was a remarkable woman in her own right – a former ballet dancer who had toured the world, she was a go-kart driver in her spare time, a rarity in the 1960s.

After her father died when Tracy was 10, the family moved to Wales and her mother remarried. Badly bullied at secondary school, and subject to an abusive relationship with her volatile stepfather, Edwards became an archetypal teen rebel. Following years of bunking off school, underage drinking, and run-ins with the police, she was eventually expelled aged 15.

What followed next is well known sailing lore. The teenage Edwards ran away to Greece, worked in a bar in a marina, then joined a motoryacht crew as stewardess. Despite suffering crippling seasickness, she discovered a love of the ocean.  

yacht maiden restoration

Aboard Maiden in the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Race

Edwards moved from motor to sailing yacht, sailing across the Atlantic on her first passage under canvas, learning to navigate on the return crossing. She worked on a yacht chartered for King Hussein of Jordan, who became a lifelong supporter. She bumped into Whitbread Round the World Race crews on her travels and became fascinated by the challenge.  

She argued her way onto the crew of a 1985 Whitbread entry as cook. And then, famously, put together the first all-female Whitbread campaign with Maiden (sponsored by Royal Jordanian Airlines), coming 2nd in class and winning two legs in the 1989-90 race.

She was heralded as a national hero, and hounded by the press. Her private life became tabloid gossip fodder (Edwards has divorced twice), and she disappeared from the public eye for a couple of years, rearing horses on a smallholding in South Wales.  

Then she bounced back, put together an all-female team to try and win the Jules Verne trophy with the maxi catamaran Royal & Sun Alliance in 1998, before being dismasted in the Southern Ocean. She had a daughter, and moved into campaign management with Maiden II. The team was skippered by Brian Thompson, Helena Darvelid and Adrienne Cahalan, and set multiple world records.

yacht maiden restoration

4 Feb 1998: The 92ft catamaran, Royal and SunAlliance sets off on her attempt at the Jules Verne Challenge Photo: Julian Herbert/Allsport/Getty Images

Australian navigator Cahalan joined the Jules Verne campaign without hesitation. “When Tracy got in touch with me I was on a plane in about two days!” she recalls.

“Tracy is a good leader and she doesn’t micromanage.

“I know she is controversial, but working within her team I’ve always found it really a fabulous opportunity, and she’s always surrounded by a great team of people who enjoy sailing with her. Look at the personalities she’s managed and the great success she’s had, getting the best out of them. That’s what she’s good at.”

yacht maiden restoration

Tracy Edwards, Sam Davies and Emma Richards at the launching of the Maiden Two Project in 2002. Photo: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Edwards then organised the first ever round the world race to start from the Middle East, the infamous Oryx Quest. Four giant multihulls took part in 2005 in a glitzy event, thanks to a £38million multi-race sponsorship deal from the state of Qatar.

But despite the huge sums promised (the $1million 1st prize was then the biggest ever cash award for a sailing race), legend has it that the golden envelopes handed out at the prizegiving were empty.

Qatar had refused to pay up. Edwards, who had already been in financial trouble following the purchase of Maiden II, was forced into bankruptcy with £8million personal debts. She disappeared from the public eye almost entirely. And now, she’s back.  

The yacht Maiden is the reason why Tracy Edwards has invited me into her home – and current mission command – after a decade of exile from the sailing community. Immediately after the Whitbread, Maiden was sold – first to an owner who cherished her, and then, like poor Ginger the hackney carriage horse in Black Beauty , she was sold on, falling further and further into ignominy. Eventually the yacht was discovered, rusting and abandoned in the Seychelles, in 2014.

yacht maiden restoration

Maiden was in a very sorry state when shipped back to the UK from the Seychelles, with severe hull corrosion, and needed a complete refurbishment

Edwards, with typical impetuosity, announced immediately that she would rescue and restore her. There was the small question, though, of what to do next. It was Mackenna, Edwards’ now adult daughter, who suggested using the boat as a vehicle to raise funds and awareness for girls’ education.  

The ongoing costs of the yacht will be covered by sponsorship, paid-for crew berths, and hospitality. The fundraising element of the project is wholly separate, with all charitable funds raised going to The Maiden Foundation , which then partners with small charities working to improve girls’ access to education through focussing on literacy and mentoring.

The yacht has begun a two-year world tour, raising funds in different territories as she goes. It is a significant undertaking, and has attracted some seriously big names: Dee Caffari will skipper for a period, as will Wendy Tuck, the winner of the last Clipper Round the World Race.

A legacy project

For Edwards, the Maiden restoration and tour brings together many things she set out to achieve in sailing – and since – to do with female empowerment. It is also a rehabilitation of both herself and the vintage yacht.

“I’d never really seen this as a sailing project,” she tells me. “Which I know sounds a bit weird because we’re doing a two-year tour sailing around the world. But that’s almost superfluous for me: this is about girls’ education and Maiden’s legacy. And it’s also not letting Qatar be the last thing I ever did, if I’m brutally honest.”

The fallout from the Qatar debacle was savage. “I lost everything,” Edwards explains. After the race, she was held in the country for a month. “They took away my passport. I couldn’t get an exit visa. It was terrifying.  

“So, they didn’t pay us and when I threatened legal action, things got very nasty, very quickly. I got everyone out of the country. Mack was five and she flew out with my cousin. I stayed behind to fight the legal battle and suddenly found out I couldn’t leave. They bugged my phones. I was followed, threatened.”

Edwards had borrowed heavily against the contract, and when the money failed to materialise, bankruptcy was inevitable. The order came through on her 43rd birthday, and she had to sell the family home immediately.

“The worse thing for me was putting my mum into a home, which I still find quite hard to talk about because she was living with us and she was disabled, and that’s where she died.” Edwards recalls with emotion. “But you know what, I had a disabled mother and a five-year-old daughter, so what do women do? They get on with it.”

She decided to move to London. “We literally stuck a pin in the map and it landed on the Duke’s Head in Putney. So, we rented a tiny, little terraced house just down the road.”  

yacht maiden restoration

The infamous Oryx Cup 2005 Photo: Barry Pickthall/ PPL

As a first priority Edwards, a single parent, needed to earn money. Since her sporting celebrity days she had been an ambassador for the NSPCC and was invited to visit the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. Edwards was fascinated by their work, and when offered a job running a project for them she jumped at the chance.

“Can you raise £500,000 to bring 120 teenagers to London for a conference?” she recalls. “I can do that. God, I loved it. I was part of helping to write the 2009 resolution on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. How awesome is that? I would never have done that if all the bad things hadn’t happened.”

Edwards, who had dropped out of secretarial college after just a couple of weeks, now found herself working a desk job. “I don’t take well to bureaucracy,” she admits, “So that was hard.”

Inspired to learn more, she went to university to study psychology. “I started when I was 47 and graduated when I was 50. My mother was delighted – finally, she said, you have an education!”

After graduating she worked on an internet safety scheme for children, but was starting to look for her next challenge. “Then, right in the middle of me going: ‘Oh, God, what am I going to do next?’ I had the email saying, do you know who owns your boat, Maiden?” She mimes thanking the heavens.

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Maiden has been fully restored and is currently on a round-the-world tour raising funds and awareness for girls’ education initiatives Photo: Kurt Arrigo

The approach came wholly out of the blue – Edwards had cut herself off from yacht racing, not even sailing for pleasure. “I get really seasick anyway,” she points out. “I often get invited on day sails, but I say no, because for me it’s a day of misery.”  

“And I was angry. I was angry with some people in the sailing world. I was angry that people hadn’t asked for my side of the story before judging me, and I didn’t have the energy to fight at the time. So I had literally walked away.”

Maiden eventually returned to Hamble on the south coast, where Edwards had originally refitted her before the 1989 Whitbread. It was both the natural place for the yacht to go and slightly uncomfortable for Tracy personally.  

“Going back to Hamble was very strange because I don’t have hugely fond memories. But then [we were] actually welcomed back with open arms into the fold. That was quite special because I didn’t quite know what to expect.”

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Tracy Edwards at the nav station of ‘Maiden’ in the 1989-90 Whitbread Race Photo: Tanja Visser/PPL

Full disclosure

Edwards is also back to her characteristic pull-no-punches style of operating. There are several “Oh God, don’t print that” moments as we get drawn into discussing politics.  

She still sees it as her place to call out sexism in sailing, and says she ‘cried with joy’ when Wendy Tuck and Nikki Henderson took 1st and 2nd in the last Clipper Race.

She was part of a group that objected to a video the Scallywag team made during the last Volvo (featuring puerile jokes about how to treat a male crew’s crotch rash), along with Dawn Riley and Emma Westmacott. The group took advice from Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson on the employment law implications.

“We formed a committee. What did they call us? Old has-been hags, that’s what we were called by some of the guys in the Volvo. The rumour was that we were doing it because we were pissed off to be out of sailing and had something to prove.

“I don’t care anymore. I so don’t care what people say.”

“Because we love our sport and we want to see it succeed and we want it to be diverse and wonderful. We don’t want it to be male, pale and stale, which is what it is.”

Cahalan, who was onboard with her when Royal & Sun Alliance dismasted, says: “Tracy never shies away from responsibility, it’s never anybody else’s fault.”

Edwards is currently writing the third instalment in her autobiography, and is also the subject of a revelatory new documentary film, Maiden (see below).

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Maiden returning triumphant to Southampton in 1990 after two class wins in the Whitbread Round the World Race

One comment leaps out from the documentary, when Edwards recalls what her mother said when she mooted the idea of an all-female campaign. “You could do it if you stuck to it,” Patricia Edwards had told her daughter, “But you’ve never stuck to anything.”

Maiden succeeded the first time around because Tracy Edwards had something to prove – not just that women could race around the world, but that the teen rebel who’d been told she’d never amount to anything could pull off something audacious.  

There’s a definite sense that this new project is about proving the critics wrong once again.  

It comes with its own risks (the refit proved complex, and teething problems saw the yacht put in a couple of unscheduled stops on her first leg). But Edwards says she is no more risk averse than she used to be.

“Someone has to take the risk. This stuff has got to be done and I have always felt very strongly that you have to stand up and be counted. And I have never been afraid of standing up and being counted.”

 The Maiden documentary

The film opens with a painfully young and nervous Edwards introducing herself as the skipper of Maiden, and traces the arc of how the Whitbread campaign came together through the race itself to their final triumphant return to Southampton.

“[Before filming] the girls called me and said: ‘Is this truth time, or is this like the first documentary where we just go everything’s wonderful?’” recalls Edwards, “I went no, it’s the truth. So they were like well, you might not like some of the stuff we’re going to say.

“Time does soften the memories and the documentary reminded me how awful I’d been, how angry I’d been a lot of the time and how difficult I was to deal with, and the girls were very upfront about that. That was quite difficult to watch. But it needed to be on record.

“It’s a very raw account. There’s no gloss. It’s us telling it like it is and then some amazing old footage.”

The documentary is a thoroughly engaging watch. Although before the Whitbread the Maiden crew were at pains to disprove critics who said girls couldn’t form a cohesive crew, there were deep tensions in the team. It culminated with Edwards and watch leader Marie-Claude Kieffer (née Heys) explosively falling out, and Kieffer leaving. Not all the Maiden crew were involved in the documentary.

Dawn Riley joined the Maiden crew knowing ‘absolutely nothing’ about Edwards. At the time Riley was working as professional sailor and Edwards, who had no background in helming racing yachts, wasn’t remotely on her radar.

“To be fair, at that time I don’t think anybody else on the boat had the weather routing skills she had,” recalls Riley.

In the film journalists also discuss the appallingly sexist things they wrote about the Maiden campaign, and how they were proved wrong as the female crew delivered back to back leg wins.  

The Maiden documentary was released across the UK on March 8 – for showing times see  www.maiden.film  It has also been well-received at film festivals around the world.

This profile feature appeared in the March 2019 issue of Yachting World, which also includes an exclusive onboard look at the Maiden restoration.


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How the Female-Crewed Yacht Maiden Beat the Male-Dominated Sport of Sailing

The all-female crew of the racing yacht Maiden celebrate their win

The all-female crew and ship were once referred to as a “tin full of tarts” – until they won.

By Don Riddell and George Ramsay, CNN

(CNN) – More than three decades since its pioneering, round-the-world voyage, the Maiden racing yacht is again sailing the high seas -- and changing the lives of young women in the process.

Skippered by British sailor Tracy Edwards, Maiden became the first all-female crew to sail around the world in 1990 – a landmark moment for a sport that was slow to welcome women into the fold.

“It’s hard to remember that people were pretty aggressive about not wanting us to race around the world,” Edwards tells CNN Sport's Don Riddell . “It was the real last bastion of male dominance in a sport.”

The crew ended up winning two of the six legs of the Whitbread Round the World Race – now known as the Volvo Ocean Race – and placed second overall in its class, defying the sexist attitudes that pervaded sailing at the time.

“One of the headlines, which has to be my favorite, was: ‘Maiden is just a tin full of tarts,’” says Edwards, adding that the same journalist later referred to the crew as “a tin full of smart, fast tarts.”

Fast forward 33 years ago and Maiden continues to represent “the empowerment of women, the strength of women, and what women are capable of,” according to Edwards.

Having been restored to its former glory, the yacht has been touring around the world since 2018, recently completing a journey from Dakar, Senegal, to Cape Town, South Africa.

The aim of the tour is to raise funds and awareness for girls' education, trying – particularly in the developing world – to keep them in education until they are 18.

Making Maiden seaworthy once more was no easy feat. In 2014, Edwards was told that the vessel had fallen into disrepair and was rotting away in the Seychelles.

That prompted the original crew from the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race to start a fundraiser. Along with support from Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein, the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, they were able to bring Maiden back to the UK and begin a restoration project.

“The Maiden Factor” – the name given to the not-for-profit organization – forms part of the legacy of the original crew.

Between 2021 and 2024, Maiden intends to sail 90,000 nautical miles, visiting 60 destinations in more than 40 different countries.

“I’m seeing people getting to dream more and understanding that we are limitless as human beings,” says Lungi Mchunu, a member of the current Maiden crew.

“I just want them to be able to dream and know that they can try and do anything. If it doesn't work for you, that’s fine; you keep moving, you find something that’s more suited for you.”

A South African native, Mchunu used to work as a banker and was terrified of the sea before she discovered sailing in 2017. Since then, she has not only conquered her fear, but has also become the first African woman to sail to the Arctic.

“For some odd reason, I feel at home even when the waves are like five or eight meters,” says Mchunu.

“I feel the most comfortable at sea ... Even when I was rescued in the Arctic, it was not scary. I was just okay, I guess ... I'm getting to know a side of myself that I never knew existed.”

Mchunu’s ultimate dream is to sail solo around the world, and Maiden – as it has with so many other women before – is empowering her to achieve that goal.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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Five classic superyachts brought back to life from the brink

Related articles, superyacht directory.

Not every owner relishes the prospect of a shiny new-build when they have the option to restore a beloved classic. Read on to discover some of the world’s most fascinating and valuable classic superyachts, which were brought back from the brink by their patient owners...

There is something intensely magical about the act of restoration: the feat of rescuing something that has fallen into a state of disrepair and returning it to its original condition. For owners, there is a process of falling completely for the yacht – something which compels them. British sailor Tracey Edwards recalls how restoring the yacht that became Maiden ceased to be purely about practicalities. “I fell in love with her,” she remembers simply. It is something to which many owners could relate.

 The recovery of something that was once great is a venture infused with nostalgia and romance. Particularly, perhaps, when its heyday is recorded in writing or in photographs that survive. And while this could apply to lots of things, the very word “wreck” is strongly redolent of boats. 

A wreck that has been restored, of course, is no longer a wreck. But henceforth she will always have once been one – and this fact will remain an element in the boat’s story, a source of pride and interest for those who continue to sail her.

Built in 1930, Atlantide (as she is now known) is now in her 90s – a venerable old lady, sprightlier than most nonagenarians after judicious refits. She is a beautiful boat with an illustrious past.

Designed by Alfred Mylne , Atlantide served as a tender for a J Class America’s Cup challenger. Then, in 1940, she was one of the “Little Ships” that evacuated more than 330,000 Allied troops from the Dunkirk beaches, entitling her, unusually, to fly the St George’s Cross.

After a post-war refit, she spent 50 years in the Mediterranean and was given her current name in the 1980s. Then, shortly before 2000, she was bought by yachtsman and technologist Tom Perkins, who devoted time and money to the further refit that Atlantide desperately needed.

Yacht designer Ken Freivokh remembers the project with great fondness, travelling to Malta with Perkins to view the boat. When he did so he was horrified. Her condition, he recalls, was “very, very poor, half-abandoned”. She was being used as a dive-boat, and an out-of-keeping superstructure had been put on top, destroying the boat’s elegant sheer line and making her look “very strange”.

What he could see immediately, however, was her underlying beauty and potential. But she needed a major restoration, and about 90 per cent of the plating along her spine had to be either restored or replaced. Freivokh contacted an aluminium worker who built an entirely new and more appropriate superstructure.

Freivokh and his team were given exceptional input, the licence (and the money) to do whatever they felt necessary. In addition to the standard requirements of yacht renovation, they had extraordinary paintings and antiques at their disposal. They were able to commission further art deco artworks too – of a style that complemented the yacht and her era. The boat and her contents might have ended up, he reckons now, as “inch-for-inch the most extraordinary yacht afloat”: a big claim, but one that’s hard to deny.

After Perkins’ passing in June 2016, Atlantide was sent to Royal Huisman in the Netherlands by another owner and American technologist – Jim Clark, who also built J Class boat Hanuman as well as Hyperion . It is fair to say that, for all the ups and downs of her past, Atlantide ’s future looks rosy, well beyond her centenary in 2030.

Western Flyer

We might think 2021 a bad year, but in 1940, as Nazi Germany invaded Norway, the world truly “went to hell”, wrote the future Nobel-laureate John Steinbeck. Far from these hostilities, having published The Grapes of Wrath to both acclaim and notoriety the previous year, Steinbeck motored along the coast of Mexico and California, into the Gulf of California. There, as he had hoped, “the great world dropped away”.

In an out-of-season sardine-fishing “purse-seiner”, then named Western Flyer , he and a small crew examined and collected marine animals, negotiating “wrecks and wayward currents”. Though they marvelled at “the incredible beauty of the tide pools” and “the swarming species”, it was no idyll. Things seemed “to sting and pinch and bite” worse than in other places. The region was “fierce and hostile and sullen”. Written up as The Log from The Sea of Cortez , largely as a result of Steinbeck’s enduring fame, the venture has entered literary folklore – and attached added renown to the boat.

During the decades since, the Western Flyer has – like all fishing boats – pursued catches (different species, caught often in quite different areas) as marine populations have shifted and declined: perch; king crab; salmon – far to the north or further south. The story of Western Flyer is the story of the Pacific west-coast fishery, and the story of humanity more broadly.

Rechristened Gemini , at times her ownership was hazy. Located by her unchanging call sign WB4044, she had come to resemble a ghost ship: paint peeling, mud-spattered, strangled by weed and timbers rotting. She has sunk at least twice, become completely unseaworthy, and all the time the price of restoration has grown.

She is owned now by a marine geologist called John Gregg who is restoring her with the help of Tim Lee, a shipwright from the west coast. Whereas the wheelhouse, Lee remarks, could remain remarkably intact and original – around 90 per cent of it – the hull was in a shocking condition. The starboard side, in particular, he remembers, was “completely rotten”. “If the boat had rolled over” she would probably, he remarks, “not have been salvageable.”

While some backbone timbers are original, it has been necessary to basically build a new hull. Time cannot be denied. But she – and the wider world – are lucky indeed that she has found people enthusiastic and committed enough to restore her, and to ensure that this piece of literary history can continue to “fly” along the western coast.

Shenandoah of Sark

More than once the famous yacht Shenandoah of Sark has been pulled back from the brink. As others have observed, she has really lived. She has seen all sides of life and come, in the process, perilously close to extinction.

First built for an American financier in 1902, she was in Germany before the First World War and then confiscated by the British Navy. She was given the name Shenandoah after the war, then rechristened again, this time by an Italian prince – another boat to be called Atlantide . She spent the Second World War concealed in a Danish shipyard, her masts and one of her engines removed to make her unseaworthy (and less appealing to thieves). Her post-war history included an almost year-long zoological and oceanographic expedition along the African west coast, as well as time spent smuggling in Central America – her precise location is unknown. Seized by French customs in 1962, she was tied up and left to rot before being bought and restored by a French industrialist.

Working as a charter yacht, she was sold in 1986 to a Swiss businessman who ordered a complete restoration at New Zealand shipyard  McMullen & Wing . The majority of the riveted hull was replaced, and the result was impressive: in 1996 she won the ShowBoats International award for Best Classic Yacht Restoration.

Together the owner and the yard have lavished attention upon every detail: from polished teak or redwood planking, to art deco lights and a unique, detachable deck cockpit. Further attention since to her rig and her mechanics has ensured that this is one yacht in a very fine position to advance far into – and perhaps complete – her second century.

Well past her centenary (having been built in 1913, on the eve of the First World War) Vagrant is one of the oldest yachts still afloat. There are a small number of older human beings living – but not many. And the comprehensively refitted Vagrant will almost certainly outlast them all. In 2017 she had a major refit – for almost two years – in Dutch restoration yard Royal Huisman. Her owner’s instructions were that “ Vagrant should be ready to last for another one hundred years.” Well, who can say? It certainly isn’t impossible.

Back in the distant past, Vagrant ’s designer, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff , dominated the America’s Cup between the late 19th century and the early 1930s. A boatbuilder, he was also a proficient sailor, placed in the National Sailing Hall of Fame, and helming in the America’s Cup at least once.

Vagrant was built for Harold Vanderbilt, of the famous dynasty. Herreshoff built boats for the financial big guns – William Randolph Hearst, John Pierpont (JP) Morgan, Jay Gould. Yachts, like houses, were (and are) a symbol of wealth and success, and Herreshoff’s were the finest.

Now, under relatively new ownership, Vagrant – one of the most revered classic yachts afloat – is being restored to her former greatness. Her steel hull needed substantial work (sandblasting areas of corrosion left some plates too thin and in need of replacement). But her teak interior has justified the wood’s reputation as the best natural material for a marine environment: beautiful, hard, rich in protective oil, resistant to rot and little prone to warping.

Sure enough, when removed and examined, much of the wood in the cabins could be treated and reused, even after so long (with the redesign to accommodate things such as electric lighting, plugs, heating and air conditioning, which were absent from the original boat). This clear link with the past serves to emphasise that this is very much the same boat.

Other departures from the original – aluminium masts, for instance, with internal furling for the mainsail and fisherman’s sail – seem an update rather than any kind of insult to the original maker. She might still sail under her old name of Vagrant but she has, very clearly, a loving home.

Having been built in the late 1920s, the sailing yacht Cambria was assumed, like so many, to have been destroyed during the Second World War. In fact, she had fallen into complete oblivion: vanishing not only from the present, but also from the historical record. One authoritative book on the yachts of William Fife , the renowned Scottish boatbuilder responsible for Cambria , omitted her completely. Only subsequently has she been rediscovered in every sense – restored to history and restored in the present.

Cambria was built originally for a newspaper magnate – Sir William Berry – who rose from complete obscurity (having left school in South Wales at 13) to become owner of the largest media empire of the day: publisher of titles still active and well-known, like The Sunday Times , Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph . Berry’s publications happened to include Yachting World , giving him a route to its editor. 

Soon after its construction, Cambria won an early race, then for a few years raced some 50 times a year. Her beauty was much admired, and fame seemed assured. (Berry asked his wife whether she might like a matching yacht, an offer she sadly declined.) Rules of the time hindered Cambria , however, and not long afterwards she changed hands. Her name was changed and she retreated, during the 1930s, into obscurity – and then into oblivion.

Her sketchy post-war history includes an ill-fated circumnavigation during the 1970s, before being bought, and mothballed, in Australia, until finally she was rediscovered near the Great Barrier Reef. Her basic structure, mahogany planking on a steel frame, remained intact and was remediable with careful repair work. Only in the 21st century did she return to British waters, after more than half a century. With a new mast, of spruce pine, and a thorough refit in Southampton in 2006 which saw Cambria stripped back and the boat’s stem reworked. There is no doubt now that Cambria does once again fulfil Fife’s basic requirement of a yacht – that she be both “fast and bonnie”.

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Sailing Legend Tracy Edwards' Yacht Maiden Set For Swansong

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Thirty-three years after British round-the-world yachtswoman Tracy Edwards and her all-female crew sailed into Southampton to a hero's welcome, her yacht Maiden is about to embark on a final race.

Record-breaking Edwards and her team defied expectations in 1990 to come second in the gruelling Whitbread race. They survived a tornado on the final leg and went the last five days without food.

Now, after being rescued from the scrapyard and painstakingly restored, Maiden is ready for one last stab at yachting glory.

"She's reaching the point now where she's had her day," Edwards told AFP at London's St Katharine Dock, where Maiden is moored.

The yacht, built in 1977, will be retired next year after she has competed in this year's Ocean Globe Race -- the Whitbread's successor -- which will start from Southampton on the southern English coast on September 10.

Once again Edwards, whose Whitbread crew was the first all-female team to take part, has put together a women-only line-up -- this time drawn from all corners of the globe.

The crew, skippered by the UK's Heather Thomas, includes yachtswomen from India and Antigua as well as an Afghan film-maker.

Since Maiden's restoration, Edwards has been sailing the boat around the world as part of her charity work to promote girl's education and empowerment.

The subject is close to Edwards' heart after her own experience of discrimination as a young yachtswoman in a male-dominated sport.

One skipper famously rejected her saying his crew wouldn't be the "only racing team in the world with a girl".

That, she says, made her more determined.

When glory came, the yachting world was astounded. Many had not even expecting her team to finish the first leg.

Edwards went on to become the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year trophy.

She hopes the 2023 crew will inspire girls and young women who might think sailing is not for "people like them".

The search for the team took her "far afield" sparked by a meeting with Whoopi Goldberg, patron of her girl's education charity The Maiden Factor.

"When we met her in New York she looked at me and said 'where are all the black girls in sailing?' And she was right," Edwards said.

Edwards' Maiden Factor works with charities and girls educational programmes to help those with no access to education.

Edwards is particularly preoccupied by the plight of women in Afghanistan since the return of the Taliban government two years ago.

"I feel angry... . Women are being cancelled. I just can't find the words," she said.

Since August 2021, girls have been barred from schools and universities and most UN and NGO jobs.

Afghan video journalist Najiba Noori, 28, who will accompany the crew, said she was honoured.

"My generation had some chances, some opportunities, it was not easy but we started fighting and we achieved," she said, adding that she was "really worried" for the next generation.

"Their future is dark, it's a tragedy," she said.

After the Ocean Globe race, Maiden will resume her "world tour", promoting girl's education for a last few months before retirement.

Her final itinerary will include Jordan.

Jordan's late King Hussein was Maiden's first sponsor after a chance meeting in the US when he gave Edwards his palace phone number and urged her "to give him a shout".

Since the king's death in 1999, his daughter Princess Haya bint Hussein has continued to offer support and help.

Hussein was a "great mentor" and encouraged Edwards to ignore critics who thought competitive sailing was too tough for women, she said.

"He was way ahead of his time. Girls in Jordan went to school, university, wore trousers, had jobs and sat in the government.

"He was visionary, an extraordinary man," she said.

Sailing Legend Tracy Edwards' Yacht Maiden Set For Swansong

Thirty-three years after British round-the-world yachtswoman Tracy Edwards and her all-female crew sailed into Southampton to a hero's welcome, her yacht Maiden is about to embark on a final race.

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Home » Mystic Seaport Museum and Crew to Restore 1885 Schooner Yacht Coronet

Mystic Seaport Museum and Crew to Restore 1885 Schooner Yacht Coronet

  • By Sophia Matsas
  • November 8, 2022

Mystic, Conn. (November 8, 2022) – The Henry B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum is preparing to receive a massive restoration project later this month. Coronet, the 1885 Schooner, and what may be considered the last of the Gilded Age yachts will be making its way to Mystic for a three year restoration. The hauling process is proving to be an impressive undertaking in and of itself, as the vessel is currently on dry dock and indoors at IYRS School of Technology and Trades in Newport, Rhode Island, where it has been under restoration since 1995.

yacht maiden restoration

First launched in 1885, Coronet was one of the most elegant sailing yachts of its day. Intended for crossing the ocean in style, the 131-foot schooner was designed by William Townsend and built for Rufus T. Bush by the C. & R. Poillon shipyard in Brooklyn. Bush then put forth a $10,000 challenge (roughly $300,000 in today’s dollars) against any other yacht for a transatlantic race. The ocean race between the Coronet and the yacht Dauntless in March 1887 made Rufus T. Bush and the victorious Coronet famous—the New York Times devoted its entire first page on March 28, 1887 to the story.

Henry B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is uniquely suited to the task. In 2007, a major investment was made to upgrade the Shipyard’s shiplift which allows it to haul vessels up to 450 tons, a capability unmatched by any other facility on eastern seaboard.

Since 1995, Coronet has been under restoration at IYRS, the premier marine trades and modern manufacturing school in the United States. Originally purchased as a student project to provide the hands-on experience in historic wooden vessel restoration the school is known for, the schooner was later sold to a private buyer but remained at IYRS under restoration by a team of shipwrights who included IYRS students and alumni. Coronet has been one of Newport’s favorite maritime attractions during its years at IYRS.

yacht maiden restoration

Over the course of the next few weeks,  Coronet  will be moved from dry dock at IYRS and hauled to the Museum in a complex and meticulously planned series of events. Currently underway is the dismantling of the building where  Coronet  resides, allowing a 1000 ton floating crane  to access the vessel.  Coronet  will then be lifted from the former building site to a dock near IYRS. From there it will make the journey from Newport to Mystic on an eight-hour trip that will end through the Mystic Bascule Bridge and up the Mystic River to the shiplift at the south end of the Museum.  Coronet  will reside there until restoration is complete, a process that is expected to take approximately three years.

Coronet  was recently purchased by  Crew , a New York based company run by brothers Alex and Miles Pincus. The purchase and continued restoration efforts of  Coronet  are in line with Crew’s long history of historic vessel restoration. “ Coronet  is without equal. Her restoration is a calling that we feel destined to pursue. ”

The Museum and the team at the Shipyard have worked with Crew over the years to maintain vessels in their existing fleet, most recently, Pilot, a wooden schooner with a nearly 100-year history that now serves as a seasonal oyster bar located at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6. “Working with Crew has always been a pleasure, and they understand the historic preservation of their fleet.  We look forward to this exciting project to bring  Coronet  to life,” says Chris Gasiorek, Senior Vice President of Operations and Watercraft at Mystic Seaport Museum.

Visitors to the Museum will be able to view the progress of the restoration as the Shipyard offers a unique opportunity to watch its shipwrights while they work. The restoration team will again include IYRS alumni who are looking forward to bringing  Coronet’s  restoration full circle. Spectators both near and far can also follow along with the restoration on social media at both the  Museum  and  Coronet  Instagram accounts.

*Several factors, including weather, will affect the departure date of Coronet from IYRS and arrival at the Museum. At this time, the anticipated arrival to the Museum is December 1. An exact date will be confirmed in a separate communication closer to that time.

Media Contact Sophia Matsas Director of Marketing & Communications Mystic Seaport Museum 860.572.5317 (o) [email protected]

About Mystic Seaport Museum

Mystic Seaport Museum is the nation’s leading maritime Museum. Founded in 1929 to gather and preserve the rapidly disappearing artifacts of America’s seafaring past, the Museum has grown to become a national center for research and education with the mission to “inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.” The Museum’s grounds cover 19 acres on the Mystic River in Mystic, CT, and include a recreated New England coastal village, a working shipyard, formal exhibit halls, and state-of-the-art artifact storage facilities. The Museum is home to more than 500 historic watercraft, including four National Historic Landmark vessels, most notably the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan . For more information, please visit mysticseaport.org and follow the Museum on Facebook ,  Twitter ,  YouTube , and  Instagram .

Founded by brothers and lifelong sailors, Alex and Miles Pincus, Crew is an innovative hospitality group that creates and operates experience focused restaurants and maritime ventures.

Crew was built on a simple premise: to create experiences that we love and to share them with the world. Whether it’s sipping craft cocktails on a historic schooner overlooking New York Harbor or enjoying sustainable oysters in a cozy New Orleans hideaway, we focus on making the places we wish existed.

With a growing family of venues, including globally-acclaimed restaurants, a prized fleet of historic vessels, metropolitan marinas, and a renowned ship restoration team, Crew has established itself as a leader in the revitalization of New York’s waterfront and as the prototype for a new genre of urban experiences.

  • 50th anniversary , coronet , crew , henry b du pont shipyard , iyrs , museum news , shipyard news


75 Greenmanville Ave Mystic, CT 06355 860-572-0711 [email protected]

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A canal boat passing through Bingley Five Rise locks in West Yorkshire

UK’s steepest lock flight marks 250th birthday amid canal funding fears

Events to be held this weekend celebrating Bingley Five Rise locks, which opened in 1774 and is still in use

For people who like their thrills gentle, safe and at never more than three miles an hour, Bingley Five Rise locks is quite a rollercoaster ride.

The canal lock flight in West Yorkshire , the steepest in the UK and a true wonder of the nation’s waterways, will this weekend celebrate its 250th birthday.

When it opened in 1774, about 30,000 people gathered awestruck to watch the first boats make the 60ft descent through the five linked locks.

There will be events marking the anniversary on Saturday, and genuine pride that such an incredible feat of engineering is still in use today.

“We are so proud of it,” said Sean McGinley, a regional director of the Canal & River Trust . “It should be in a museum really. It is sort of mad but it’s wonderful. The fact that boats still go through it after 250 years, in pretty much the same way they always did, is outstanding.”

The view from the top of the locks

Behind that pride and joy are concerns that canals in England and Wales could be in peril. The trust was told last July that it would get less money from the government, a cut it equates to 40% .

It felt like “a kick in the shins,” said McGinley. There was a real chance Britain’s canal system could in future years see Beeching-style cuts, he said

A red plaque

“We have got to get this into the minds of the public because once a canal is gone, it’s gone … it’s gone for ever. We have to treasure them and look after them because if we lost things like Bingley Five Rise it would be horrendous for the nation.”

Britain’s canal system relies on the work of countless volunteers and McGinley that could only go so far. “If there’s not enough money coming in, it doesn’t matter how many volunteers we have. We will be closing locks, we will be closing canals, because we can’t afford to keep them open.”

It is not just boat users who enjoy the 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in the trust’s network, there are also about 10 million people a fortnight enjoying walks, jogs and bike rides along the towpaths.

“If people just gave us 10p each, there wouldn’t be a problem at all,” McGinley said.

The locks at Bingley are considered one of the greatest feats of canal engineering of their day and are Grade I-listed , the same as York Minster and Buckingham Palace. They sit on the Leeds to Liverpool canal, once one of England’s most important transport routes.

A canal boat passing through Bingley Five Rise locks

Ruth Garratt, a heritage adviser to the trust, said the locks were hung on the side of a hill to avoid other more expensive options. “They were keeping a very close eye on construction costs, to the penny. This was the most economical way of getting up and over what is an incredibly steep incline,” she said.

The penny pinchers were 18th-century Bradford wool merchants, and the man responsible for the locks was Halifax-born John Longbotham.

Garratt would love for him to be better known. Longbotham dedicated his life to the Leeds-Liverpool canal, she said, but when economic factors halted canal building in the late 1770s he lost his income and plummeted into poverty. He died penniless.

“It is such a sad story but it is also the story of the boom and bust of the Enlightenment era,” said Garratt, one with parallels today. “There was a cost of living crisis, wars abroad … there were winners and losers.”

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  1. Maiden refit: How Tracy Edwards’ sailing legend was brought back to life

    yacht maiden restoration

  2. Legendary sailor Tracy Edwards and her historic yacht Maiden have

    yacht maiden restoration

  3. Tracy Edwards and her 1990 Whitbread Round the World Race crew mark

    yacht maiden restoration

  4. Emotional homecoming for the pioneering Maiden yacht

    yacht maiden restoration

  5. Legendary sailor Tracy Edwards and her historic yacht Maiden have

    yacht maiden restoration

  6. Heldena lll going into soak tank for final prep before maiden voyage

    yacht maiden restoration


  1. Maiden refit: How Tracy Edwards' sailing legend was brought back to life

    The yacht recently had a full restoration before setting off on a round the world trip to raise funds and awareness for girls' education under the banner of The Maiden Factor Maiden has been ...

  2. Maiden's Restoration

    Maiden Restoration Timeline. In 1990 the iconic yacht Maiden crossed the finish line of the Whitbread Round the World Race and Tracy Edwards MBE and her crew raced into the history books as the first all-female crew to sail around the world. Proving the critics wrong they won two legs and came second overall, the best result for a British boat ...

  3. Maiden (yacht)

    Maiden is a 58 foot (18 m) aluminium ocean racing yacht built in 1979, designed by Bruce Farr and raced by Pierre Fehlmann, Bertie Reed and Tracy Edwards and John Bankart. Edwards bought the yacht in 1987 to compete in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race with an all-female crew. The yacht achieved good results and broke records, leading to Edwards becoming the first female winner of ...

  4. The story of the restoration of the legendary boat Maiden

    Maiden (Virgo) Is a bureau designed Farrah 58-foot on which Tracy Edwards and her all-female team finished second in their class in the race Whitbread Round the World Race 1989-1990 (subsequent race names: Volvo Ocean Race, The Ocean Race ). The boat recently underwent a complete refurbishment before embarking on a round-the-world tour to raise ...

  5. Tracy Edwards and her 1990 Whitbread Round the World Race crew ...

    28 June 2018. Tracy Edwards and her 1990 all female Whitbread Round the World Race crew, marked the full restoration of their yacht Maiden in London yesterday. The yacht will set off for a three year project to promote girls' education around the world and raise money to fund projects to empower young women.

  6. What happened to Tracy Edwards' sailing yacht Maiden?

    The boat was Maiden, a 17.7-metre aluminium ocean racing yacht designed by Bruce Farr in 1979.Edwards had bought it second hand to contest the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race (later the Volvo; now the Ocean Race). At 26, she skippered the first all-female crew to take on the challenge and, against the expectations of sceptics, won two of the race's six legs, including the perilous ...

  7. Meet The Crew

    Maiden inspires women and girls all over the world; Maiden raises funds for girls' educational programmes around the world; Maiden shows, by example, what girls can achieve if they embrace STEM subjects; Subscribe to our newsletter

  8. How pioneering yacht Maiden overcame 'the real last bastion of ...

    Along with support from Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein, the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, they were able to bring Maiden back to the UK and begin a restoration project. "The Maiden ...

  9. First All-Female Crew To Sail Around The World: Tracy Edwards And Maiden

    Above: Refitting Maiden, the 58-foot sailing yacht saved from Cape Town. Image via Tracy Edwards. Life Is Not A Straight Line. Long after the success of the Whitbread race, unbeknown to Edwards, her and Maiden's lives continued to mirror each other. ... Since the restoration, the sailing yacht has been on a round-the-world journey - The DP ...

  10. Whitbread Round the World Race, Maiden, Sailboat, Sailing Yacht

    The 58-foot sailing yacht Maiden has returned to the UK after a 27-year hiatus. Her former skipper, Tracy Edwards MBE (Member of the British Empire), met the yacht when she arrived, full of emotion. Edwards and Maiden have quite a history together. In 1989, Edwards and 11 other women accomplished a first in the Whitbread Round the World Race ...

  11. The Maiden Factor: iconic yacht returns

    The iconic yacht Maiden has returned to the UK three years after her former skipper Tracy Edwards MBE launched an appeal to purchase and restore her ... King Hussein I. Tracy has worked tirelessly to bring Maiden back to the UK. Her restoration in Southampton will take a year, after which Maiden will sail again, spreading the message via a huge ...

  12. Maiden: the return of a legend « YachtWorld UK

    Maiden will be restored before embarking on a global campaign to give more girls around the world access to a basic education. Maiden's restoration and global campaign, The Maiden Factor, is being made possible by HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan in memory of Her father, King Hussein I. Tracy has worked tirelessly to bring Maiden back to the UK.

  13. why sailing's trailblazer is back with Maiden

    A legacy project. For Edwards, the Maiden restoration and tour brings together many things she set out to achieve in sailing - and since - to do with female empowerment. It is also a ...

  14. How the Female-Crewed Yacht Maiden Beat the Male-Dominated Sport of Sailing

    Fast forward 33 years ago and Maiden continues to represent "the empowerment of women, the strength of women, and what women are capable of," according to Edwards. Having been restored to its former glory, the yacht has been touring around the world since 2018, recently completing a journey from Dakar, Senegal, to Cape Town, South Africa.

  15. Five classic superyachts brought back to life from the brink

    British sailor Tracey Edwards recalls how restoring the yacht that became Maiden ceased to be purely about practicalities. "I fell in love with her," she remembers simply. ... in 1996 she won the ShowBoats International award for Best Classic Yacht Restoration. Together the owner and the yard have lavished attention upon every detail: from ...

  16. Sailing Legend Tracy Edwards' Yacht Maiden Set For Swansong

    Sailing Legend Tracy Edwards' Yacht Maiden Set For Swansong. Thirty-three years after British round-the-world yachtswoman Tracy Edwards and her all-female crew sailed into Southampton to a hero's ...

  17. Tracy Edwards

    Tracy Edwards, MBE (born 5 September 1962) is a British sailor. In 1989 she skippered the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, becoming the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy and was appointed MBE. She has written two books about her experiences.

  18. Mystic Seaport Museum and Crew to Restore 1885 Schooner Yacht Coronet

    November 8, 2022. 12:56 pm. Mystic, Conn. (November 8, 2022) - The Henry B. du Pont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport Museum is preparing to receive a massive restoration project later this month. Coronet, the 1885 Schooner, and what may be considered the last of the Gilded Age yachts will be making its way to Mystic for a three year ...

  19. Московский метрополитен. Moskovsky Metropoliten. Moscow Metro

    Видео, аудио, фото: Московское метро в 2015 году.

  20. BETA GIDA, OOO Company Profile

    See other industries within the Manufacturing sector: Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing , Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing , Alumina and Aluminum Production and Processing , Animal Food Manufacturing , Animal Slaughtering and Processing , Apparel Accessories and Other Apparel Manufacturing , Apparel Knitting ...

  21. UK's steepest lock flight marks 250th birthday amid canal funding fears

    It is not just boat users who enjoy the 2,000 miles of canals and rivers in the trust's network, there are also about 10 million people a fortnight enjoying walks, jogs and bike rides along the ...

  22. Geographic coordinates of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

    Geographic coordinates of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia in WGS 84 coordinate system which is a standard in cartography, geodesy, and navigation, including Global Positioning System (GPS). Latitude of Elektrostal, longitude of Elektrostal, elevation above sea level of Elektrostal.

  23. Environmental Services in Elektrostal'

    Find environmental services and restoration companies on Houzz. Narrow your search in the Professionals section to Elektrostal', Moscow Oblast, Russia residential environmental testing and home disaster restoration services to find a list of qualified professionals. Read through professional profiles for information on qualifications ...