The yacht Maiden and her crew is sailing to 40 destinations in 20 countries around the world The Seakeeper’s Women for Ocean Advocacy are hosting The Maiden Factor Foundation Event on Monday, May 2, 2022, at Yacht Haven Grande Miami at Island Gardens to honor Tracy Edwards MBE and to benefit The Maiden Factor Foundation. This event will raise funds to support the organization that supports global educational programs for disenfranchised young women and girls who have little or no access to education.
While there is a growing initiative to proffer STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math), the Maiden fundraising tour is intended to inspire and empower women and girls to reach their potential through education, to increase gender inequality awareness, and to give them the fighting chance they deserve.
The Maiden Factor Foundation engages with, fundraises for, and supports communities and groups who wish to enable girls with education and to help them remain in education until 18 years old.
Tracy Edwards MBE ( at the age of 26) led the first all-female crew to compete in the notoriously difficult Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989/90 aboard the sailing yacht Maiden. The vision, values and courage of one man, HM King Hussein I of Jordan who brought in their sponsor, made the incredible story of Maiden possible.
Despite fierce opposition and sexism, Tracy and her team—in a much smaller boat than many of their male counterparts—fared very well—claiming two leg victories in Division D. It was a landmark moment for the sailing world and opened the door for competitive female sailing, inspiring a generation of women.
Edward’s achievements earned her an MBE. She also became the first woman to receive the ‘Yachtsman of the Year’ trophy. Sadly, she had to sell Maiden at the end of the race.
Fast forward to 2014 when Tracy learned that Maiden had been abandoned and was rotting in the Seychelles. She knew that she had to save this unique piece of maritime history and set about raising funds to buy her and bring her back to the UK. In April 2017, Maiden was shipped to Southampton where she underwent an extensive restoration. It was then that The Maiden Factor was born.
Maiden’s new mission has become raising awareness of the 130 million girls worldwide who are currently not able to access an education. The Maiden Factor interacts with, fundraises for and supports community programs worldwide which enable girls into education and supports them to remain there through their teenage years.
Maiden began her unique three-year world tour in November 2018, sailing with this world changing purpose. The main focus for the first year was to listen, research, learn and grow audiences and plan where and how Maiden would have the greatest impact on improving the rights of girls to an education around the world and identify opportunities for girls in STEM subjects.
“During this time, we worked with six charities who work globally within a particular area that break down the barriers that prevent girls from accessing an education and provide the solutions,” says Edwards.
“We learned that Maiden has the power to inspire and empower girls (and boys!); when Maiden arrived in port, she was already a star with her own fan club, not just with sailors and/or girls. Maiden has the ability to reach across genders, color, creed, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic backgrounds and generations.
The ‘Maiden’ story is relevant and relatable to everyone, again not just sailors, but to every human being who strives to reach their full potential; to succeed against the odds. Maiden is proof that with self-belief, grit, determination, relentlessness, anyone from anywhere can change the world”
Honorary Chair, Co-Chairs, and the Committee of Women in Yachting and Ocean Advocacy for the May 2nd Maiden Factor Foundation event in Miami.
Jennifer Valoppi, Honorary Chair
Host Committee Co-Chairs:
Sarah Newberry Moore and Norma Trease
The Committee of Women in Yachting and Ocean Advocacy:
Erin Ackor, Ann Avery, Antonella Bertello, Jill Bobrow, Diane Byrne, Pamela W. Cole, Patty Elkus, Ivonne Gamboa, Kitty McGowan, Abi McGrath, Claudia Potamkin, Laura Sherrod, Maggie Winchester, and Captain Sandra Yawn
Date and time
Mon, May 2, 2022
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
Yacht Haven Grande Miami at Island Gardens
838 MacArthur Causeway, Miami, FL 33132