Geneva Anderson digs into art

Maiden Yacht and its all female crew in SF now; free boat tours and talk Saturday, August 24

On Thursday, at the St. Francis Yacht Club, Angela Health stepped onto the Maiden yacht for the first time in 30 years.  “Sitting up in the bough, it was like meditating.  I felt all the memories rushing back.  I can’t remember the bad bits; I remember it as all good.”   Heath was part of the original all-women crew that raced the Maiden in the elite and grueling Whitbread Round the World race in 1989-90.  Under the leadership of skipper Tracy Edwards MBE, the women persevered through relentless obstacles, defied stereotypes and made headlines all across the world.   The Maiden has been entirely refurbished and, with a new all female crew, has embarked on the Maiden Project, a world tour to raise awareness for girls’ education globally.   You can hear Heath’s story on Saturday when she speaks at San Francisco’s South Beach Yacht Club. Photo: Geneva Anderson

If you haven’t yet seen Alex Holmes’ new documentary Maiden, which is screening all over the Bay Area, it’s high time to experience the extraordinary journey of world’s first all female crew to enter the Whitbread yacht race in 1989.  The film already has an Oscar nod and focuses on young Tracy Edwards MBE and her relentless quest to sail around the world in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and prejudice.  At the time of the race, women constituted just 3% of yacht crews; the sailing world was highly sexist.  Edwards, enamored with sailing and very good at it, was undeterred and started out as a lowly cook in her first Whitbread race in 1985-86.  After that stint ended, she set out to put together an all-woman team of her own and, as skipper, race around the world on her terms.  With pure grit, she battled to find sponsorship and mortgaged herself to the hilt to buy a dilapidated fixer-up boat and get it in sailing shape; she put together a crew and entered the Whitbread.  She kept her team together through 167 intense days at sea, won two legs of the race and proved throngs of chauvinistic naysayers dead wrong.  Watching these heroic and highly-skilled women put everything on the line…and succeed… is an adrenaline rush that lasts for days, inspiring deep thinking about finding purpose in life.  Aside from shots of men eating crow, some of the best footage is archival and it comes from Jo Gooding, the Maiden’s cook and Tracy Edward’s childhood friend, who manages to shoot steadily even when a life-threatening hole opens up in the boat’s hull.

Great news!  The same Maiden yacht that Edwards skippered to Whitbread fame 30 years ago is in San Francisco through August 30 at the St. Francis Yacht Club as part of its new project, The Maiden FactorThe yacht has been entirely refurbished and has a new crew skippered by Australian sailor Wendy Tuck.  With her spectacular victory in the 2018 Clipper Race, Tuck became the first female skipper to win a round-the-world yacht race and is a fitting ambassador for Maiden’s new mission.  Operating under the  Maiden Factor Foundation, the yacht and her crew are raising awareness and funding for girls’ educational organizations by circumnavigating the globe on a two and a half year worldwide tour that covers over 60,000 nautical miles and visits 30 far flung locales.


Maiden crew at the St. Francis Yacht Club, from L to R:  Courtney Koos (USA, permanent crew), Angela Heath (UK, original Maiden crew), Matilda Ajanko (Finland, permanent crew), skipper Wendy Tuck (Australia, guest skipper), Amalia Infante (Spain, permanent crew). Photo: Geneva Anderson

Maiden left the UK in November 2018 and, so far, has stopped over in Fremantle, Sydney, Auckland, Honolulu, Vancouver, Seattle, and San Francisco.  On August 30, it departs for Los Angeles and then on to Valparaiso and Uruguay via Cape Horn.

The Maiden and its all female crew as they competed in the Whitbread Round the World yachting race in 1989-90.  The 32,000 nautical mile race entailed 167 days at sea with a course that went from England to Uruguay to Australia to New Zealand and back, with a stop in the US.  Photo: courtesy Sony Pictures Classics

Details:  Maiden is in San Francisco August 19-30, 2019

Saturday, August 24, 11am to 3 pm, open boat tour of the restored Maiden at St. Francis Yacht Club, West Harbor G17 (a few feet from the Yacht Club building), San Francisco. Free parking.

Saturday, August 24, 6-7:30 pm: South Beach Yacht Club (near Oracle Park/Pier 40) Original Maiden crew member Angela Heath and present day skipper, Wendy Tuck, will speak about the Maiden Factor.  No host bar/cash only/ Happy Hour Cocktails 4-6 pm with a la carte menu available for dinner afterwards.

FILM:   Maiden, released June 28, is playing throughout the Bay Area.  See the trailer here.



August 23, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment