Port Ghalib International Marina was honored to be a stop at the famous Maiden sailing yacht world tour. The Maiden Factor is a charity foundation which was set up by captain Tracey Edwards with the support of Princess Haya, the late King Hussein of Jordan’s daughter. The main principal for the foundation is to raise funds and awareness for girls’ education globally.
The Maiden Yacht was re-launched in Summer 2018 and in September 2018, they started their world tour from Southampton boat show with a new crew of women, to promote for their principal worldwide. The yacht’s captain is Nikki Henderson and we were glad to meet her and the crew during their stay at Port Ghalib.
“Tracey Edwards is a world famous sailor in the UK, and she captained the first all-female crew yacht in 1989, in around the world race, and they became the second, and that was a massively round breaking through thing to do for that time.” Capt. Nikki explained.
From stormy seas to scheduled delays, Tracey and the crew faced many obstacles and prejudices, but they insisted to succeed and to complete what they had started. “The boat is a symbol for women empowerment and really what has been done, 20 years ago, was very symbolic for empowering women, and one way to empower women is to educate girls, so we’re going to sail around the world to promote for our aiming principal.” Nikki said.
The Maiden is scheduled to stop off at 25 Ports during its voyage. The yacht arrived in Malta on 13th of December 2018 and the first scheduled stop was at Kerla, India. They were headed for the Strait of Gribraltar on 26th of December 2018. “The tour should take at least 2 years. The plan at the moment is to head down to Australia and New Zealand and then across the pacific via Huawei and we’ll be sailing around America for a while and then heading back again to Europe in a European tour and we’ll finish in Asia in a tour around India. The next stop will be in Siri Lanka.” Niki mentioned.
The Maiden yacht was fallen to a disrepair state in 2014, and Tracey secured funding from queen Haya to re-fix the boat and refurbish it in 2 years. “The boat itself is about 60 feet low and is made of aluminum. It’s an old racing boat, so it’s very simple inside. There are no cabins and we all live in the same room. The joke is we all eat, sleep and even go to the toilet, all in the same bedroom.” Niki said.
The Maiden factor foundation is sponsored by 4 charity channels: Anything is possible, Visit Jordan, Cathelco, Inmarsat and a group of supporters: Bell Yard, Vadoo, The Female Lead, Royal Ocean Racing Club, Voice at the table, CDS Mayfair, Morgan Lewis and Peters&May group. “We are partnered with 6 charity groups called the Maiden Factor who are involved in helping girls get educated. We’re doing a big fund raising events in different stops of the boat all around the world an we’re taking a couple of crew positions paid and we’re selling a couple of crew positions. We’re spreading awareness highly where we go and it’s a quite dynamic operation.” Niki added.
“We’re raising money and awareness for girls to be educated as millions of girls don’t get educated and there have been studies to prove that the more women are educated, the best way to escape of poverty and build a sustainable society.” Niki highlighted the aim of their world tour.
The Maiden 9 crew members will be rotated through their tour. “We have a very international boat, so at the moment, on board, we are 1 Australian, 2 Americans, 1 Finish, 1 Fiji, 2 Ukrainians and 2 British and all of them from different backgrounds. Any female wants to join our tour, she has to go to the website and she can send an email and we’ll get back to her. “Niki mentioned.
The Maiden crew spent 4 days at Port Ghalib before heading to their next stop. “Port Ghalib is so lovely place, everyone was so friendly to us and the port and the docks are so clean. The water is gorgeous and definitely maintained to a high standard. Why we don’t stay in such a gorgeous and nice place. We sure are going to recommend it to everyone on our tour as a place to visit.” Capt. Niki highlighted.