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Tracy Edwards MBE - Round the World Sailor and Social Activist.

Tracy Edwards MBE - Round the World Sailor and Social Activist currently running The Maiden Factor Foundation fighting for the rights of all girls to an education

Tracy was expelled from school at the age of 15 and with no exams or qualifications she left to travel the world. She began working on charter yachts in Greece at the age of 17 and learned how to sail. Tracy took part in her first Whitbread Round the World Race as cook aboard ‘Atlantic Privateer’ in 1985/86 becoming the first woman to race around the world on a Maxi. Upon completion she decided to enter the first all-female crew in the 1989/90 Whitbread and ‘Maiden’ crossed the start line on 2nd Sept 1989 and sailed into the history books. ‘Maiden’ went on to win two of the legs and came second in class overall. The best result for a British boat since 1977 and the best result for an all-female crew ever. Tracy was awarded the MBE and became the first woman in its 34 year history to be awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy. Tracy founded The Maiden Factor in the process of rescuing her beloved yacht Maiden. In 2016 she decided she wanted to do more than just restore Maiden, she also wanted to make sure she was used for something special. Tracy is Patron of, fundraises for and supports a number of small but effective charities who facilitate the education of girls around the globe. New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Make sure you hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out. The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out


Listen to Tracy Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Tracy

  • Growing up in Reading and losing her father at 10 years old

  • Being expelled from school at 15

  • How she fell into sailing

  • Saying yes to opportunities

  • Female role models in sailing

  • Having amazing male mentors

  • Learning how to navigate

  • Fighting for gender equality and against injustice

  • Deciding to race around the world in the 1985/86 Whitbread Race

  • Taking the first steps into sailing as a cook

  • Gaining new skills and learning as much as she could

  • Finding out that she was tough enough

  • Wanting to prove that women could sail around the world

  • Turning the dream into a reality

  • Dealing with the negative pushback

  • Struggling to find the money

  • Getting Maiden to the start line!

  • Competition and collaboration

  • Why women are STRONG TOGETHER

  • The power of women working together

  • Dealing with the pressure of performance

  • Having to prove that women could sail around the world safely

  • Using the fear to motivate

  • Struggling to deal with stress

  • The Maiden Factor Foundation

  • Finding Maiden and getting the boat back

  • Starting a 3 year world tour on Maiden in 2018

  • Inspiring the next generation of girls

  • The impact of Covid on the charity

  • The process of making - Maiden The Movie

  • “Girls have got to see success in it’s raw form”

  • “Success can be messy”

  • The impact of Covid and having to cancel the American part of the tour

  • Doing a tour of UK and Ireland in April 2021

  • Missing people

  • Final words of advice


Social Media

Website Twitter @TracyEdwardsMBE The Maiden Factor - The Maiden Factor's mission is to continue Maiden's iconic legacy and inspire the next generation of girls through education Website - Twitter @maidenfactor Facebook @TheMaidenFactor


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