Director Alex Holmes' documentary 'Maiden' tells the story of Tracy Edwards and her all-women sailing crew racing in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989

A feature length documentary recounting the story of Tracy Edwards and the first ever all-female crew taking part in the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989 is being screened at the Toronto Film Festival, taking place in the Canadian city 6 – 16 September.

‘Maiden”, named after Edwards’ yacht, is directed by Alex Holmes’, whose previous work include Paula, starring Victoria‘s Tom Hughes, Le Mans: Racing is Everything, and House of Saddam.

Tracy Edwards’ story is certainly inspiring and fascinating, so it’s not surprising Holmes decided to film a documentary about it.
After leaving school at 15 with no qualifications, Edwards started working on charter yachts in Greece.

Her first experience of the Whitbread Round the World Race was as a cook on the boat Atlantic Privateer. She was so inspired by the experience, albeit behind the scenes, that three years later she bought the 58ft yacht Maiden, put together an all – and first – female crew and entered the race. The crew went on to win two of the Whitbread legs and came second in class overall.

The sailor received an MBE and became the first woman in its 34 year history to be awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.

Her yacht Maiden went through a full restoration which culminated in a ceremony last June. The vessel will now set off for a three year project to promote girls’ education around the world and raise money to fund projects to empower young women. The project is backed by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan, who also helped restore the famous yacht.

Yesterday, Wednesday 5 September, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall joined Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan and Tracy Edwards at St Katharine Docks in London to visit the newly restored Maiden. The date also coincided with Tracy’s 56th birthday. The delighted sailor tweeted:

Tracy Edwards with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visit Maiden yacht in London


Kay Cottee

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