Series 2 - Ep 12 - Tracy Edwards Part 2

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Shirley Robertson talks through an amazing sailing career with one of the sport's pioneers of professional sailing, the legendary Tracy Edwards. Edwards is well known as the force behind the first ever all female crew to complete the gruelling Whitbread Round the World Race of the 1980s, a wonderful story that Edwards and Robertson discuss in Part 1 of this pair of podcasts.
In this Part 2 of the interview, the pair start by talking about the recent documentary film released in 2019, about Edwards and her 1989 Maiden crew. After discussing the film themselves, Robertson talks briefly with Alex Holmes of New Black Films, the Director of Maiden, about the inspiration behind the project, and the making pf the documentary.
Moving on from the Whitbread, Robertson then talks to Edwards about her all female attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy after she bought the record holding multihull "ENZA", renaming her Maiden 2. A broken mast stopped their attempt, off the coast of Chile. Edwards' imagination was fired by the potential of racing multihulls, and she went on to establish the Oryx Quest around the world race, starting and finishing in Oman. It was ground breaking race, attracting four of the word's biggest multihulls of the time. But financially for Edwards, it was a disaster, a fact that she and Robertson discuss as she looks back on how the traumatic time effected her and her confidence.
The pair also discuss Edwards' current project, running the inspiring Maiden Factor, a foundation using a now fully restored 'Maiden' to raise awareness and funding for girls' education around the world. Inevitably Edwards and Robertson look back on the thirty years since Edwards finished the Whitbread and discuss how opportunities for women in the sport have changed as a result. It's not a very positive conclusion as they reflect on how, despite all of Edwards' accomplishments and efforts, the sport still remains a very male orientated environment.
"I don't think we've done ourselves any favours with getting women to the top and...at the top of our sport there's a group of men paying lip service to...equality. It's not hapening, I find it incredibly frustrating that I'm having the same conversations with young women that I was having thirty five years ago....You know, when World Sailing is making decisions, women need to be there and I know often they are not, so lots of changes have to happen."

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