Hollywood stars supporting Tracy Edwards MBE in her mission for girls’ education

TheMaidenFactorLogoNauticEd is super proud to support The Maiden Factor – a mission to help with girls’ education.

If you remember or have seen the movie “The Maiden”, the Maiden was the all-female crew to complete the Whitbread round the world race in 1989-1990. The Maiden won second in her class and won 2 of the 6 legs of the race. Tracy Edwards was the skipper. Afterward, Edwards was awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy, the first woman to receive it, and made an MBE. The effort has changed the landscape forever for Women in sailing.

Nowadays, The Maiden is on a different mission with an important and far-reaching ambition and NauticEd is proud to support this new mission.

Read on to learn about how The Maiden Factor organization, headed by Tracy Edwards is making a difference.


Tracy Edwards MBE, round the world sailor, author, and activist is selling beloved pieces from the iconic yacht Maiden to keep the dream alive to change the lives of the 130 million girls who are denied an education.

Tracy Edwards MBE

Photo: Tracy Edwards MBE

It is now thirty years on from her inspirational exploits with the first-ever all-female crew in the 89/90 Whitbread Round the World Race. Tracy put everything on the line, including mortgaging her house, to get to the start line and emphatically proved her critics wrong on every front winning by two of the toughest legs and came second overall and inspiring millions around the world.

The Maiden Crew Celebrating

Photo: The Maiden Crew Celebrating

Today she heads up The Maiden Factor Foundation, working with and supporting communities around the world to ensure that girls have access to education and the support to complete it, increasing their life choices so they can build better futures for themselves, their families and communities.

A new crowdfunder campaign has been set up to raise funds to ‘Keep Maiden Moving’ and is supported by Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jack Whitehall, and hundreds of women and men inspired by Maiden’s mission –  which runs until 6th August 2020.  After 6th August you can still donate.

Photo: SY Maiden restored to her formal glory


All donations will help make a difference to the lives of thousands of girls, with unique Maiden rewards, such as Tracy’s jacket she wore when they triumphantly returned to the UK in 1990. “These are some of my most prized possessions, but they are not as important as helping to support a community supporting girls’ education.”  Tracy Edwards MBE.

The past two years on Maiden’s world tour, at stopovers the skipper and crew raise awareness of the issues and raise funds for girls’ education projects.  Schoolchildren are invited to meet the crew and tour the boat; young people are taken out sailing; schools and youth groups are visited; open days, talks, and special screenings of the Maiden film are held – all to empower and inspire.  Children are selected to write ‘Messages of Hope’ to the girls around the world who do not have an education and their handprints are put on one of Maiden’s sails as a visual representation of ‘Hands Around the World’.  At the end of the tour, these messages will be turned into a call to action and presented to the UN by the children.

Hands Around the World

Photo: Hands Around the World


Maiden Crew in Antigua

Photo: Maiden Crew Visit a School  in Antigua – School Girls Come out to Visit the Boat

Some of the projects that Maiden’s work and fundraising have facilitated to date include:

  • Producing storybooks and other reading materials in local languages, together with
  • teacher training and on-going support as well as child-friendly learning environments
  • Training for women to give life skills classes and camps for girls
  • Girls’ tuition, uniforms, and safe transport to school
  • Mentoring for girls, families, and communities
  • Resources for girls to learn to read and write
  • New teachers and coaching for them for a year


Visit the Maiden Factor

Watch The Maiden Factor Videos

My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
Grant Headifen
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Last updated on September 16th, 2022