An 'ecstatic' Tracy Edwards has announced "Maiden is ours – really, really ours!"
Trail-blazing British yachtswoman Tracy Edwards is celebrating after securing the funds to bring the famous ocean racing yacht Maiden home.
Edwards won international fame in 1989 as the skipper of the first all-female crew to sail around the world in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.
In her Maiden Rescue blog, Edwards has announced today that she is ‘overjoyed.’
Explaining the background to the long-running campaign, she said: ‘After the amazing Crowdfunding campaign in 2014 we ready to buy Maiden but less than 24 hours later we had been told that the two largest ‘backers’ had cancelled their Direct Debits just after the campaign closed.
‘They were anonymous and Crowd Funder could not tell us who they were. Mischief makers or maybe second thoughts – anyway, it was devastating. We spent some time pursuing it but in the end had to chalk it down to experience. The remaining funds did however, allow us to keep the project going for two years and place a deposit on Maiden to secure her.
‘We have been fundraising ever since and with the help and support of some extraordinary people we have now, finally, raised the funds to complete the purchase. So, that’s what we did today.
‘Maiden is ours – really, really ours! Howard Gibbons, our intrepid and long suffering project manager is currently in the Seychelles looking at the logistics of getting Maiden home.’
Edwards added: ‘We are hoping to have Maiden home in the UK by January 2018 and we will be restoring her at Universal Marina, Sarisbury Green, Southampton. More details on this and other developments to come. The plan is to have Maiden back in the water by September and in London for her re-launch and 30th anniversary celebrations (yes it really will be 30 years since we rescued her the first time!)
‘The timetable has obviously changed (apologies again but you know how it is with boats) and that will be posted on Thursday 24 November when we make our next big announcement. There will be a further announcement the following week. I know, I know, you wait ages for one announcement and then three come along…..
‘We are currently looking for sponsorship for Phase Two of the project so any ideas or contacts always gratefully received. We cannot wait to have Maiden back in the water and working as an Ambassador for The Maiden Factor, raising funds for Girls’ Education.
‘My sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you for support, help and encouragement – we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you and onwards!’
Tracy Edwards will sail the 58ft yacht into the Solent on the 25th anniversary of its Whitbread all-girl voyage
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