02 April 2020: The Maiden Factor has suspended its round the world ocean tour but will continue to campaign for girls’ education rights online until the iconic yacht Maiden can return to the water.
Founder Tracy Edwards announced the “very difficult but sensible” decision in the light of the global response to Covid-19, adding that the health of their crew, The Maiden Factor team, supporters and the communities they were planning to visit was their highest priority.
“As you can imagine we are so sad to have to do this after everyone’s hard work, support and planning, but we believe that this is the most responsible thing to do given these extraordinary circumstances,” Tracy said.
Maiden will now be shipped back to the UK from Antigua, after it become impossible to get hold of parts for essential repairs. The crew are also heading back to their families around the world, but will continue to post videos and reports on their experiences to date as well as regular updates as new plans unfold.
Inmarsat is the Connectivity Partner for The Maiden Factor, which was halfway through a three-year voyage around the world promoting equal access to education. Our satellite communication services have enabled them to stay in touch with home, bring their message to life for a worldwide audience and maintain a constant link to emergency services.
Tracy commented: “The partnership with Inmarsat has been absolutely crucial for the success of Maiden so far and will continue. Inmarsat enables us to keep the website and social media updated for schools, teachers and the young people with whom we’ve engaged, and those who become involved as Maiden toured the world. Having this high standard of communication capability is also essential for the safety of Maiden’s crew.”
Inmarsat Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Alison Horrocks said: “We are proud supporters of The Maiden Factor, providing connectivity to help them promote female education and empowerment around the world, and so we were happy to step in to support Tracy and her team to help bring Maiden home when the tour was suspended. We look forward to the day when the voyage can continue.”
Since November 2018, Maiden – famous for being the first racing yacht to be sailed round the world by an all-female crew, skippered by Tracy Edwards – has travelled to 22 ports and hosted over 1,000 female students onboard, with many more meeting the crew on school visits.
At each stopover a Message of Hope baton started by girls in the UK has been handed on to another school to add their own aspirations and dreams. These will be presented to UN Women, The United Nations’ gender equality body, as a call to action for girls’ right to an education.
The tour has also raised nearly £75,000 for six charities helping some of the 130 million girls worldwide not in school to access education equally and safely.
Folllow The Maiden Factor at www.themaidenfactor.org
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