Maiden’s skipper and crew for the OGR has been announced at HMS President, St Katherine Docks in London.
Maiden will race around the world again with the only all-female crew; leaving Southampton on 10 September on an eight month around the world yacht race; 4 legs via three great Capes; starting and finishing in the UK with three stops in South Africa, New Zealand and Uruguay. Steeped in retro spirit of the first Whitbread race the skipper and crew will need to rely on their wits and skills, such as celestial navigation with sextants and charts instead of the modern tech of today’s racing yachts and they will have no GPS or other high-tech.
Heather Thomas (26) from the UK has been named skipper and her crew of 12 young women from around the world with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills. They will no doubt inspire another generation of women, girls and future sailors, just as Tracy Edwards and the iconic yacht Maiden did over 30 years ago in the 89/90 Whitbread Race.
Maiden is taking a break from the world tour which resumed in 2021 but continuing the battle for equality for the next generation during the OGR; raising awareness and funds for communities and charities around the world to ensure that girls have access to education. Maiden and her crew have sailed over 70,000nm, visited nearly 50 destinations in over 20 countries and met thousands of girls from all walks of life – inspiring and empowering them to believe that whatever their background, they can build better futures for themselves, their families and communities through education.
With the start of the OGR just over three weeks away, Tracy Edwards MBE commenting on Maiden’s new skipper and crew in the OGR said: “We have an amazing young skipper and crew, they have come together as an awesome team and are all set for an experience of a lifetime, just as we had all those years ago. Their aim is not to just take part in the OGR, but to be the first allfemale crew to win an around the world race!”