As a "wee girl," our UK editor Gael Pawson remembers the inspiration of seeing Maiden and her all-women's team finish second in the 1989-1990 Whitbread Round the World Race. It's an achievement that hasn't yet been bested (though hopefully Team SCA will do something about that in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race).
I lived on the opposite side of the Atlantic, and I hadn't yet met Gael when Maiden sailed across that finish line, but I was inspired too. If they could do it, I figured, so could I. And now we have the chance to help skipper Tracy Edwards and the Maiden Rescue Team bring this classic back to the UK, 25 years after she created history.
Here's how Gael puts it: "When I heard that Tracy was trying to get the boat back to the UK, restore her and get her sailing again, I signed up as soon as I could… there was no doubt in my mind that such an iconic boat should be saved to help inspire future generations.
"It’s still not too late to lend your support, you can sign up for as little as £5 (about $8.50). There are even some replica t-shirts up for grabs as a thank you!" For a larger donation, you can go for a sail—there are a few slots left to help deliver the boat from South Africa or the Canaries to the UK, in the spring of 2015. But sign up soon: the Crowdfunder campaign ends on Thursday, July 3.
Read Why Tracy Edwards' Maiden Should Be Saved on uk.boats.com
Here's a video with more details:
Tracy Edwards says, “Maiden is as significantly important as any other boat in terms of her impact on sailing. [She] was so much more than a bunch of girls proving they could race around the world. She represented the will to succeed, the power of ordinary people when we come together to achieve something and how tenacity can overcome all odds."
For more information or to contribute, visit the Maiden Rescue website.