Ever wondered what happened to the driving force behind the Maiden racing campaigns? Listen to her talk about the past and describe her new challenge
Whatever happened to Tracy Edwards?
The inspirational round the world sailor and feisty creator of the all-girl Maiden Whitbread crew went to ground when her attempt to move into sailing event management unravelled spectacularly in 2005.
Now she’s reinventing herself in a completely different field with the aim of making her mark working with children.
Edwards exited sailing ignominously when she was declared bankrupt. She had borrowed over £8 million to fund the Oryx Quest round the world race for maxi multihulls on the promise of a massive £38 million rolling sponsorship deal from Qatar.
The race was run with four boats but she says that when it was completed none of the promised money was paid. The venture went under amid acrimonious claims, counter-claims and threats of legal action, and Tracy Edwards disappeared completely from the sailing scene.
Edwards’s life has been full of ups and downs since being expelled from school as a tearaway teenager of 15. But whatever her mistakes she was always gutsy, energetic, enthusiastic, hard-grafting and well-supplied with peppery determination to get enormously ambitious projects off the ground when all the critics were circling.
She couldn’t possibly have lost those qualities and it was hard to imagine Edwards bowing down for good.
It’s great to hear that this is categorically not the case.
Since 2005 Edwards has been working for the NSPCC and the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre. She has been encouraged to go back to studying and is working for a degree in psychology and criminology so that she can progress further in the field of child protection.
She told her story earlier this week to BBC Wales. The programme is still available to listen to online (click here) and I thoroughly recommend it.
Her detractors can say what they like, but hats off to Tracy, she’s a legend in sailing and it’s great we’ve had fighters like her in the ring. I’m sure she’ll make valuable waves – and a difference – in her new career.