Tracy Edwards launches MAIDEN II project
She has bought the maxi-catamaran Club Med
lundi 25 février 2002 –
The team’s attempt to create a new circumnavigation record Record #sailingrecord and win the Jules Verne will take place in 2003. The following year her team - a specially formed mixed crew - will compete in the newly announced second running of The Race.
This makes Maiden II the first project to declare its intention to enter the next non-stop, no limits race around the world which proved so successful when it was first run. The inaugural event was won by the boat she now owns, just over a year ago.
When Edwards sets out on the Jules Verne attempt, it will be unfinished business for her and most of her female crew following their dismasting in 1998 on Royal & Sun Alliance. At the time the team was ahead of schedule in their bid to break the round the world record Record #sailingrecord . That crushing disappointment will be set aside by a successful navigation this time.
Edwards, who first came to fame in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race leading the Maiden project, explained the reason why the team are trying again to become the first ever all-female crew to sail around the world non stop and to break the round the world record. "It was after we had lost the mast on Royal & Sun Alliance that I heard one of the crew members say "you know the next time we do this......" I was then reminded of the tremendous courage, fortitude and determination of my incredible and unbeatable crew. This is unfinished business for myself and all but one of the Maiden II team. We knew then that we had to go again.
"We have bought the best boat for the challenge and we have a tremendously talented and experienced crew. We’re confident that we could beat the current record by at least 10 days."
Maiden II has secured initial funding to allow the project to purchase ’Club Med’ but the project has now started a sponsorship search to secure the funding for the three year project. Negotiations are underway with a number of terrestrial television broadcasters, with an announcement expected within the next fortnight that will assist the sponsorship search.
Project Manager Howard Gibbons outlined the reason for choosing Club Med. "Club Med is the best boat available for a round the world record. She has a proven track record, having won The Race and twice broken the 24 hour run speed record. We’ve conducted an extensive survey and she’s in good shape."
Edwards, the Sailing Director of Maiden II, has assembled the most experienced international all-female crew ever. The following have already signed up to the project : Emma Richards (UK), Helena Darvelid (SWE), Adrienne Cahalan (AUS), Sam Davies (UK), Miranda Merron (UK), Frederique Brule (FRA), Miki von Koskull (FIN), Emma Westmacott (UK), Sharon Ferris (NZ), Hannah Harwood (UK) and Anne Monmousseau (FRA).
Five more women sailors will be recruited to complete the Jules Verne crew during the course of the next few months’ sailing programme.
The French multi-hull sailor Bruno Peyron, first holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, and founder of the Race, endorses the Maiden II project : "I am delighted that Tracy and her crew will sail again for the Jules Verne Trophy. She has a good boat and I am sure they will do very well.
"Now that we know they plan to be in The Race in 2004, I also hope that we will be rivals sailing against one another," said the skipper of Orange, sister maxi-cat to Maiden II, currently on standby to start a Jules Verne circumnavigation next month, and who is also planning a campaign for The Race."
March : Trans-mediterranean Record (Marseilles to Carthage) ; Route of Discovery (Cadiz to San Salvador)
April : Antigua Race Week
May : Miami
June : Miami to New York ; New York to UK
July 13th : St Catherine’s Dock for Level Playing Field/ Sport Relief Charity day
July / August : Cowes Week ; Channel record ; Round Ireland ; Round the Isle of Wight
August/Sept/Oct : Training and hospitality
November : Refit
December : On stand by
2003 : Jules Verne ; 24 hr record attempt ; New York - San Francisco New York - San Francisco #NewYorkSanFrancisco ; Transpacific E to W, San Francisco - Yokohama ; Transpacific W to E, Yokohama - San Francisco ; Transpacific, Los Angeles - Honolulu
2004 : The Race
Information Mark Bullingham / Craigie Taylor International
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