August 3rd, 2022 was a remarkable day in Saint John as Port Saint John, together with our partners at DP World, welcomed Maiden, a 58-foot aluminum ocean racing yacht, and her all-female crew to Saint John. The inspirational story of Maiden centers around Tracy Edwards, a young charter boat cook, and how she became the skipper of the first-ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989. Despite the opposition from male competitors, the Maiden crew completed the race and finished second in their vessel class size, also winning 2 of the 5 legs.
In 2022, Maiden, refurbished and modernized, with a new crew, embarked on a 3-year world tour aimed to raise awareness about the importance of girls’ education and women’s empowerment, motivate girls to go into STEAM, and fund girls’ education through the Maiden Factor Foundation.
Maiden visited Saint John for nine days as part of the world tour. During this time, Port Saint John and DP World organized the following activities with the help of volunteers to enhance Maiden’s message with our local community:
- Day sails and boat tours with the crew members
- Fundraising dinner where Port Saint John and DP World together raised $25,000 for the Maiden Factor Foundation, with 50% going to local non-profits working on girls’ education initiatives and the other 50% to global non-profits with the same goal
- A public event where women in traditionally male-dominated industries like the Canadian Border Services Agency and police services interacted with the community and discussed job opportunities for females
- Public viewing of the Maiden film, an inspirational documentary about the 1989 world race, with a live Q&A with Tracy Edwards
Overall it was a very successful visit with hundreds of local citizens, and significant local media attention, engaged with Maiden’s important message.