Tracy Edwards

Copyright Chris Openshaw

Tracy Edwards gained international fame in 1990 as the skipper of the first all-female crew to sail around the world when they raced in the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race. After years of struggle, Maiden was only made possible by the support of her friend HM King Hussein I of Jordan. Maiden won two legs and came second overall in her class, the best result for a British boat since 1977 and unbeaten to this day. Tracy was awarded an MBE and became the first woman in its 34 year history to be awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy. She paved the way for other women to follow. Maiden was published in 1990 and was No.1 on the Times bestseller list for 19 weeks. Following her success with Maiden, Tracy set to consolidate her position as one of the world's top sailors by entering Trophy Jules Verne in 1998 again with an all-female crew. This yachting trophy is for the fastest circumnavigation around the world with no stopping and no outside assistance. She was comfortably on course to smash the record for more than half of their route, but was thwarted when her mast snapped in two in treacherous seas off coast of Chile. During their attempt Tracy and her team broke 7 world records.

In 2014 Maiden was found rotting in the Seychelles and Tracy began raising funds in order to rescue Maiden and bring her home to the UK. The Maiden Factor was consequently set up to promote and fundraise for the education of 130 million girls worldwide who are currently denied this basic right. Thanks to the generous support of HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, Maiden has been restored to her former glory. Now this iconic piece of British maritime history has embarked on a three-year world tour to raise funds for her charity, The Maiden Factor Foundation. The Maiden Factor funds projects that empower girls through education.

3 words to describe Nature?

Everything. Us. Oceans

3 things Nature taught you?

Human beings are so arrogant to think we can control Nature

Nature holds the secrets that we refuse to see

Our souls and mental wellbeing are dependant upon the health of nature

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Rhossili Bay on the Gower Peninsula

The Darwen Channel in Chile

Cape Horn

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Freedom and love

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Joy and peace

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Overawed and small

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?


When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Wild and exhilarated

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Happy and excited

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

The Ocean and the Desert make me feel the same. They are endless and wild. People cannot leave footprints and we cannot control them.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 – nature is everything

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Moving from Reading in the centre of the UK to Llangennith on the Gower Peninsula. The first time I stood on the sand dunes during a storm and understood for the first time how powerful nature is and how tiny I am and yet how fully connected I felt to everything around me. It was the first time I ever tasted salt water blown on my face little knowing that it would not be the last. It literally took my breath away. I fell in love.