Grand Harbour Marina was lucky enough to host Sailing Yacht Maiden and its crew of courageous women as they kick started their 2 year round the world voyage to raise awareness for girls education.
The Maiden Factor is a non-profit organisation founded by Tracy Edwards whose iconic yacht Maiden crossed the finish line of the 1990 Whitbread Round the World Race and secured Tracy and her crew into the history books as the first all-female crew to sail round the world. Maiden was made possible by the belief and support of one man, HM King Hussein I of Jordan and it was he who funded the project. He told Tracy “With faith, honour and courage, anything is possible.”
The crew of Maiden now take to the seas to promote the message of hope which will be carried around the world being passed from country to country. 25 year old skipper Nikki Henderson, the youngest skipper in the 2017/2018 Clipper Round the World Race stated, ‘The next generation are how we can change the future. It is therefore our responsibility to educate and empower little girls and women worldwide to believe in themselves and create awareness to support equal access to education which is a basic human right.’
Maiden arrived on the 14th of December accompanied by the almost all female crew of young Maltese sailors from the Jarhead Foundation, who sailed alongside Maiden until safely berthed in Grand Harbour Marina, Malta.
As a marina we feel extremely privileged to host the crew and team of MAIDEN throughout their stay in Malta. Their presence on the dock and mission to empower women’s education around the world has inspired the whole marina team as well as fellow yacht crew.
On arrival, the crew where welcomed with festive Christmas drinks and mingled with fellow yacht crew who were eager to learn about their story. This team of influential sailors are precisely what the yachting community needs in order to inspire others to use their skills and knowledge within the industry for a greater cause. Whether it is for environmental awareness, marine conservation or in this case equality, the yachting industry and crew in particular have a very powerful voice which if used correctly can really make a difference.
Nikki continues, ‘ I hope that throughout my life I can show the world what an amazing place a boat is for learning about people, team dynamics and leadership.’
The sole purpose of the voyage is to empower and mentor girls worldwide and promote, facilitate and lobby situations which enable the education of girls not currently afforded education as a basic human right.
The enthusiasm and attitude towards ‘ helping others’ was definitely felt within the marina, especially on MAIDEN’s departure day, when a press conference was held within Grand Harbour Marina welcoming supporting press and officials. Her excellency President of the Republic of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca who endorsed the Maiden Factor stated, ‘This is more than just a passion for sailing. Two years at sea is a brave commitment which takes courage to stand up for inequalities. This journey could not come at a better time, with the United Nations commemorating its 70th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights’.
Nikki Henderson stated, ‘From the moment we arrived at GHM to the moment we left it has been a dream two weeks. Thank you to the fabulous team and brilliant facilities which have made our lives so much easier on our first leg of this tour!’
We wish the team a safe journey throughout the next few years and look forward to welcoming them back in 2020. For those interested in making a donation and learning more please check out their page https://www.themaidenfactor.org/Donate/MaidenFoundation.
For the Picture with the team could you add the following caption,
The Maiden team and crew presenting the GHM staff a signed picture of SY Maiden from Tracy Edwards.