Tracy Edwards MBE

Pioneering Sailor & Guest Speaker

Tracy Edwards embarked on her first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1985-86 at age 21, making history as the first woman to race on a Maxi yacht. She gained international fame in 1990 as the skipper of the first all-woman crew to compete in the 1989/90 Whitbread Race. Surviving icebergs, food shortages and sub-zero conditions, Tracy led her pioneering all-female crew to a hard earned second place. Their courage, strength and determination inspired thousands and made their vessel, Maiden, one of the most iconic yachts in the world. Maiden has since opened the door for a generation of female sailors, forever changing the world of sailing.

Tracy was awarded an MBE and became the first woman in its 34 year history to be awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy. She paved the way for other women to follow.

In 1998 she founded/skippered the first all-female crew to attempt the Jules Verne non-stop round the world record. They were on course for the record but were dismasted off Cape Horn. They jury-rigged the yacht and made it to Chile without assistance. During their attempt the team broke 7 world records.

In 2000/01, she managed the first mixed-sex professional crew, breaking the 24-hour speed record with Maiden II. In 2014, she rescued and restored Maiden, launching The Maiden Factor to promote the Empowerment of girls’ through Education.

In 2023, Maiden set off on her final race with the most diverse professional crew ever. By February 2024, Maiden had sailed around Cape Horn with the first three black female crew members and the first Afghan sailor. In April 2024, Maiden became the first all-female crew to win an around-the-world race, securing its place in yachting history.

Interested in joining her?

Join Tracy on In Shackleton’s Footsteps (ASH002S), departing 1 November 2025. Brace yourself for unforgettable adventures and experience the serenity and grandeur of the most remote place on Earth.

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