HomeINTERESTWhitbread History Strong in Ocean Globe Race 50th Celebration !

Whitbread History Strong in Ocean Globe Race 50th Celebration !

Whitbread  in Ocean Globe Race

The legendary Whitbread Round The World Race will forever be linked to Great Britain with those iconic images of 17 classic yachts sailing down the Solent into the unknown.

It was the start of the first ever fully crewed yacht race around the world on September 8th, 1973. No one knew what would happen. Eight months later, passing the Needles on the way to the finish, the legend of the Whitbread was set. It had cost the lives of three sailors swept overboard, but changed the lives of every sailor who had participated. With the Whitbread so connected to British yachting history, it was ironic that none had entered the Ocean Globe Race until now, with the French contingent leading the charge for honours in this 50th anniversary celebration of that first race.

Tracy Edwards, who expressed early interest in the OGR, had her plans for Maidendisrupted by the global pandemic. The iconic yacht had to stop then resume her world tour in September 2021. Her ongoing mission is to educate, empower and elevate girls, increasing their life and career choices through the all-woman Maiden Whitbread story. The crew engaged with schools, charities and organisations in more than 20 destinations around the world, raising money to fund girls’ educational projects.

Now, Tracy Edwards MBE and DP World, the sponsor of The Maiden Factor World Tour, have seen a new opportunity to further their objectives and announced that Maiden and her all-female crew will enter the 2023 Ocean Globe Race.

We are very excited to take part in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race, over 30 years since Maiden and the first all-female crew defied the odds in the 89/90 Whitbread race. Since then, Maiden has become a Global Ambassador for empowerment of girls through education and we have a young skipper and crew who will have the experience of a lifetime, just as we did all those years ago.  TRACY EDWARDS MBE

Maiden had first entered the 1981 Whitbread as Disque d’Or III with Swiss skipper Pierre Fehlmann. Tracy had entered the 85-86 edition as a cook on Atlantic Privateer, one of only five women in the 200 crew participation. She was determined to change that. In 1989 Maiden, Great Britain and Tracy Edwards made history. She entered the first ever all-female crew. She was met with disbelief, raising more than a few eyebrows in what was then a male-dominated sport. Yet, this “tin full of tarts” as the late yachting journalist Bob Fisher infamously nicknamed Maiden, gave the boys a run for their money, winning two legs in the Southern Ocean and leading their class!

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When Don McIntyre, the OGR Founder, offered Tracy a special dispensation from the mixed gender crew rule of the OGR, she initially said, “No! I think I will take a male cook!”. With sailor extraordinaire Marie-Claude Heys (GBR) on board for the round trip, Maiden is certainly a strong contender in the historic Flyer Class!

When Don McIntyre, the OGR Founder, offered Tracy a special dispensation from the mixed gender crew rule of the OGR, she initially said, “No! I think I will take a male cook!”. With sailor extraordinaire Marie-Claude Heys (GBR) on board for the round trip, Maiden is certainly a strong contender in the historic Flyer Class!

We are delighted to have Maiden back in the OGR, joining the strong Flyer Class, currently dominated by the well prepared entries of Marie Tabarly and Pen Duick VI and Lionel Regnier and L’Esprit d’Equipe, soon to be joined by Tanneguy Raffray’s Neptune. We have given special dispensation to Maiden in regard to the OGR rule of mixed gender crew in recognition of her historic achievement. Everyone involved is excited to see her race with an all-female crew and once again inspire women around the world.
DON MCINTYRE, OGR FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN

 

 

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