Tracy Edwards will sail the 58ft yacht into the Solent on the 25th anniversary of its Whitbread all-girl voyage

Trail-blazing British yachtswoman Tracy Edwards is bringing the famous ocean racing yacht Maiden home after raising
£44,215 through crowd funding.

During the final hour of fundraising, Edwards described her blood pressure as being ‘through the roof’ and told PBO: ‘I feel absolutely exhausted but VERY happy we made it. A very good friend of mine came in with the final amount but wow he left it late!!!

‘I cannot wait to get on with the project now.’

She added: ‘Thank you so much to everyone who has pledged and made this dream a
reality. Maiden is coming home.

‘Please do follow our progress on’

The £215 raised over the £44,000 target will go to Maiden Youth Sailing.

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.

The 17.7m (58ft) Maiden won two legs and came second overall in her class. The best result for a British boat since 1977.

At the end of the Whitbread, Edwards, who was awarded an MBE and the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy for her achievements, was forced to sell her beloved boat.

Twenty-four years on, Maiden was located abandoned and left to rot at a marina in the Indian Ocean.

The Maiden Rescue Project proceeds will cover the cost of transporting Maiden to Cape Town for a refit, ready for Edwards, four of the original crew and seven guest sailors to sail Maiden home to the UK. The aim is for her to arrive in the Solent at 11am on 28 May 2015, exactly 25 years after she crossed the finishing line.

Tracy said Maiden will spend the first year touring Maritime Museums around the UK, visiting Falmouth, Swansea, Glasgow and Edinburgh. She will also be involved with various youth charities including The Prince’s Trust and Regenerate.

The son of King Hussein l of Jordan, the all-women’s team’s original sponsor, has also got on board with sponsorship for The Maiden Rescue Project, with plans to
link the yacht with his Peace through Sport initiative.

Photo credit for the all-female crew pic: PPL