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Match Maiden Heaven

Refitted ocean racing yacht's all-female sailing crew makes U.S. stops on three-year world tour to empower girls through education.

Students aboard the Maiden

Local students climb aboard Maiden during a May stopover in Annapolis, Maryland.

There's a nice goodwill tour making its way up and down the Eastern Seaboard this summer. The iconic sail racing yacht Maiden, which circled the globe with an all-female crew in the 1989–90 Whitbread Round the World Race, has been repackaged as a floating education ambassador for girls.

After crossing the Atlantic to Miami in late April 2022, the Maiden crew sailed north, stopping in Charleston, South Carolina; Annapolis, Maryland; then visits to multiple New York City venues. While in New York for the month of June, the crew is engaging with school children, charities, outreach programs, and organizations committed to inspiring and empowering girls through education, with a particular focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Maiden also hosts boat tours, fundraising events, and a screening of the documentary 'Maiden,' held at the South Street Seaport Museum on June 13. ("Maiden" is available for streaming on Netflix.)

"Maiden shows what a girl can achieve if just one person believes in her," said Tracy Edwards, founder of the Maiden Factor Foundation. Edwards captained Maiden when she was just 26 years old, spearheading the first all-female crew to ever sail around the world. Maiden's vision today is a world where every girl has access to 12 years of quality education, equipping them to choose their future and fulfil their dreams.

Stern view of the Maiden coming into Miami

The Maiden crew motored into Miami in April to kick off the U.S. part of the tour.

July finds the crew visiting ports in New York, Connecticut. August stops include New Brunswick (Canada), Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

Here's a video that shows some of the international interactions being made along the tour.

The Maiden Factor's mission is to work with, raise funds for and support communities around the world to enable girls into education and empower and support them to remain in school through their teenage years to reach their full potential and create better futures.

As part of a three-year tour that started last winter, this October will find Maiden sailing to the Azores and on to Dakar, finishing the first year of the world tour at sea between stopovers from Cape Town to Maputo, Mozambique. The tour resumes on America's West Coast on Kodiak Island, Alaska, in May 2023, bound for Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Author

Rich Armstrong

Senior Editor, BoatUS Magazine

A journalist by training, BoatUS Magazine Senior Editor Rich Armstrong has worked in TV news, and at several newspapers, then spent 18 years as a top editor at other boating publications. He’s built a stellar reputation in the marine industry as one of the most thorough reporters in our business. At BoatUS Magazine, Rich handles everything from boat and product innovation and late-breaking news, to compelling feature stories, boat reviews, and features on people and places. The New Jersey shore and lakes of lower New York defined Rich's childhood. But when he bought a 21-foot Four Winns deck boat and introduced his young family to the Connecticut River, his love for the world of boats flourished from there.