An Iconic Yacht, an Iconic Woman and a Great Team
When a description is fitted, by many, to a woman who sails on yachts the description could be one of an attractive woman in a bikini enjoying a dry Martini whilst the yacht is sailed by the male crew OR it could be of a woman who has some attributes of a man and she is sailing the yacht in the company of men.
It, then, comes as a surprise to view videos of the yacht Maiden, when a yacht of that name won the boat’s class in the Whitbread Round the World Race of 1989/90. Viewing the videos, it is evident all the crew are women, however, the exact person in charge of Maiden is not readily identifiable. It is only when the crew steps ashore and the interviews take place that the skipper is identified and she is a very slight, but perfectly proportioned, attractive brunette. That person is Tracy Edwards.
The link to the video of her Whitbread journey is shown below and, in the video, there are shown many of the obstacles that Miss Edwards had to overcome in her journey to become an icon in the International sailing fraternity.
In simple words, Tracy was victorious over all the hurdles and seas placed in her way and all the doubters who thought she was taking on a bridge to far. So it seems appropriate to place her in context to the very few who have achieved greatness. The following is the story of a woman named Victorious who shall live forever in the history of Britain. Her Roman name was Boadicea.
Boadicea (also spelled Boudicca or Boudica) was born into a royal family around 26 A.D. She married Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, a tribe located in what is now Norfolk, England. King Prasutagus was a client-king, meaning he ruled under the auspices of the Romans, who had probably put him on the throne in return for his assistance when they invaded England in the year 43.
Upon Prasutagus’s death around the year 59, the Kingdom passed into the hands of the Romans. The King had hoped the Romans would allow his two teenage daughters to keep half of his property, instead, the Romans took over completely. When Boadicea complained, she was publicly flogged and forced to watch as her daughters were raped.
Infuriated, Queen Boadicea, described by one Roman historian as a tall, terrifying-looking woman with fierce eyes, a harsh voice, and very long hair, became the leader of a violent uprising against Roman rule. The rebels destroyed London, Colchester, and other cities, slaughtering some 70,000 people.
But the Romans quickly put down the rebellion by defeating the undisciplined Britons in a ferocious battle (the exact site of which is uncertain). According to one account, Boadicea then killed herself with poison so she would not fall into Roman hands. Boadicea’s name means “victorious,” or Victoria, and in Victorian times she came to be viewed as a heroic symbol of Britain.
Most of the older coins of the realm of Great Britain show a woman sitting on a lion, clad in armour, complete with helmet and her weapon, a Trident. She is the personification of the Islands known as Great Britian. I believe that if there would be another Boadecia then Tracy Edwards would be the nomination made by all British Yachtees, that’s for sure. However, we would not wish, for her, the same ending.
Maiden was sold and has passed through a number of owners since 1990. I personally sailed on her in the 1990’s when she was available to charter on the South Coast of England. Recently, Maiden was found decaying on a beach in the Indian Ocean and this was brought to the attention of Tracy. She has now launched an appeal to bring the Maiden back to the coast of England. It is planned that the Maiden will sail up Southampton Water on the 28th May 2015 and thereafter, be displayed and used as a focal point to inspire countless people to sail.
The video shows an Iconic pairing of the Maiden with Tracey Edwards and her team aboard and ashore throughout the event. Note that Maiden and Tracy Edwards had two very significant sponsors. They were the Duchess of York and The Royal Jordanian Airlines.
The bottom line: The story of Tracy Edwards and her team is a great tribute to the triumph of the female spirit and long may we rejoice in that fact.