"Maiden" - An adventurous vision and what it took to get there

Tracy Edwards skippered the first all-women crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race 1989 - 90

Tracy Edwards skippered the first all-women crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race 1989 - 90

Often my clients come to get help to find the hidden qualities that are needed to transform their professional or personal lives. Tracy Edwards’s story is an inspirational one that epitomises this. It has been made into the documentary film, “Maiden”, and is released to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Having lost her father at 10 and then bullied by an alcoholic step-father, Tracy, a rather lost angry soul, was expelled from school without qualifications. Nonetheless, she developed a vision of sailing around the world after cooking on a yacht aged 24. Serendipity played a part as, at a chance meeting, King Hussain of Jordan encouraged her to follow her dream. One potential sponsor after another turned her down for being a woman in a man’s sport. There was nothing else for her to do other than risk everything to buy a dilapidated boat - the next job was to repair it! Having made her own heavy commitment, the King gave assistance for the significant costs of the race. Against all odds and four years on, this opened-up the opportunity for the first all-woman crew to take part on the 9 month-long harsh circumnavigation.

In 1989, Tracy and her team got to the starting line. In fact, Maiden won two of her class’s legs including the tricky one across the Antarctic’s Southern Oceans. Somewhat ironically Tracy received Britain’s Yachtsman of the Year Trophy for her endeavour!

It is a story of vision, grit, determination, resilience, leadership, friendship and team work. It is about sticking to the goal and seeing it through with hard work and effort. And as is common, there is fluctuating self-belief, confidence and finally significant personal growth. One crew member reflected, “Well, what would humankind have achieved if it always believed it can’t be done?” Another, “As a human you can go much further than you think.”

My recommendation is see the film for an inspiring view - there’s some infrequent swearing and sexism. (Times are beginning to change, thankfully.) “Maiden” is directed by Alex Holmes and uses original footage.

If any of this strikes a chord with you and you would like support to launch your strengths, please get in touch by emailing: audrey@summitlifecoaching.co.uk Clinic appointments for coaching, NLP and hypnotherapy are available at Mulberry House in the West End of Edinburgh although coaching is available by video-link/phone if you live at a distance.