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Maiden to embark on global tour for awareness of girls’ right to education

Princess Haya supports restoration of record-breaking all-female crew boat

By JT - Apr 25,2017 - Last updated at Apr 25,2017

The crew of the Maiden, led by Skipper Tracy Edwards, inspired a generation of women and defied critics at the time who questioned the ability of an all-female crew to compete in the notoriously difficult round-the-world race (Photo courtesy of the Government of Dubai)

AMMAN — The historic boat which carried the first all-female crew in the 1990 Whitbread Round The World Race is due to return to the UK for restoration, with the help of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, before embarking on a global tour to raise awareness of every girl’s right to education. 

The crew of the Maiden, led by Skipper Tracy Edwards, inspired a generation of women and defied critics at a time when the ability of an all-female crew to compete in the notoriously difficult round-the-world race was being questioned. The crew won two legs of the race and came second overall, according to the government of Dubai’s website, which added that the result was the best for a British boat since 1977 and remains unmatched. 

The Maiden will return for a year-long restoration in Southampton, England, before setting sail to embark on a global campaign, called “The Maiden Factor”, to spread the message that every girl has potential and the right to an education. 

Edwards was quoted as saying:  “It’s shocking to me that over 61 million girls around the world are still denied one of the most basic rights; access to education. The struggle to get Maiden to the start line represents the barriers faced by so many, whilst also proving to the world that girls can overcome them, and achieve great things. 

“The crew of Maiden faced many obstacles and prejudices. Very few people believed an all-female crew could complete the race and not only did we prove everyone wrong, we won two legs and came second overall. Now, we would like to do the same for women around the world, who are being denied an education and the opportunity to reach their full potential,” the skipper continued. 

Princess Haya, daughter of His Majesty the late King Hussein and wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, said: “My father, King Hussein, would have been the first to offer his support and guidance to the new Maiden project announced this week. I, as a young girl, fondly remember his ‘hands-on’ involvement with the original project which made sporting history, and surprisingly feel how the issues of female equality and values he championed all those years ago seem even more relevant today.”

“Having the intrepid Tracy Edwards MBE back at the helm is something I know my father would have been so happy to learn and he would have wanted me to be part of this project,” the princess continued.

“As his daughter, I feel honoured and humbled to be involved with the resurrection of the Maiden project as it embarks on its new chapter of maritime history.  The knowledge that the Maiden will once again travel the seas, means not only will the memory and legacy of my late father live on, but we can all use this platform to highlight the need of equal access to education for girls in all corners of the globe, referencing something that he always believed in: ‘anything is possible’,” Princess Haya concluded. 

 

Speaking of the princess’ current support, and the past support of King Hussein, Edwards added: “To have support from HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan in honour of her father is incredibly special as I know that without His Majesty King Hussein,  Maiden would not have happened.”

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