Please select your home edition
MySail Crew

Maiden's Kiwi girls on board for next leg to Hawaii

by Libby Mudditt 13 Jun 2019 07:41 PDT
Maiden departs Auckland escorted by the legendary Steinlager 2 © Amalia Infante

What have these four Kiwi women got in common? A 38 year old mother of two; a much-travelled gourmet chef; a one-time shop-assistant, waitress and deckhand; and a New Zealand amateur golf rep, turned US Army sergeant, turned lawyer?

Answer: 'Maiden', the first yacht with an all-women crew to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race, which first arrived in Auckland 30 years ago to a rapturous welcome after capturing a second leg win in its class.

The legendary boat has been back in Auckland, the City of Sails, for a month as part of a two and a half year voyage around the world to raise awareness and funds for girls' education and left on Sunday 9th June with four new Kiwi crew for the next leg to Honolulu.

All four were inspired by the against-the-odds achievements of the original crew led by Tracy Edwards, Maiden's skipper and founder of the Maiden Factor, who arrived back in New Zealand for the first time since her triumphant arrival in 1989.

During that Auckland stopover Sir Peter Blake presented Tracy with the UK's Yachtsman of the Year award, the first female winner in its 34 year history, as the male-dominated sailing media ate huge helpings of humble pie.

On Sunday she oversaw the departure of Maiden, with renowned Kiwi Olympic and round the world race sailor Sharon Ferris-Choat, co-skipper alongside Australian Wendy Tuck, first female winner of a round the world race, with the four new Kiwi recruits.

Natasha Fickling is the mother of two who grew up cruising on sail boats with her family around the Hauraki Gulf and has sailed on and off ever since. The Maiden experience is part of her future plan to sail around the world with her husband and children.

The much-travelled gourmet chef is 55 year old Jo Ivory; she has worked on a huge variety of yachts all over the world and is currently a First Mate with the New Zealand Sailing Trust on Sir Peter Blake's Steinlager 2 - which famously took line honours in all six legs in the 1989-90 Whitbread - and Lion New Zealand alongside which Maiden is moored. Both boats provided an escort when Maiden left the Waitemata Harbour.

Rebecca Gmuer Hornell from Northland has an extraordinarily long and varied resume for a 19 year old. The graduate from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's renowned Youth Training Programme has raced a huge range of boats and is now a sailing coach herself and a rigger.

Completing the quartet is 36 year old Natalie Bratkowski, the golfer, lawyer and armourer now looking to add Yachtmaster to her CV using the 3,800+ sea miles on Maiden to Hawaii to reach the target.

The leaving ceremony was held at the Viaduct Harbour in Auckland involved school children from all over New Zealand; a traditional Maori 'Karakia', a prayer, read by 8 year old Annabelle Kline from Mercury Bay; the Maiden Factor "Message of Hope" handover and the New Zealand Sailing Trust who arranged for the school children to be on board Steinlager 2 and Lion New Zealand to escort Maiden from the dock.

Related Articles

Maiden wins the Ocean Globe Race 2023-2024
First all-female crew to win a Round the World Race On Tuesday 16 April 2024, in a brisk northerly breeze the iconic yacht and her young all female crew from around the world crossed the finishing line at 1152hrs completing the 4th and final leg of the Ocean Globe Race. Posted on 22 Apr
Maiden comes full circle!
7 months, 28,674 nm sailed and 154 days at sea Over the past 7 months Maiden has sailed 28,674 nm and 154 days at sea, crossing the finish line in Cowes at 1152hrs on Tuesday 16th April 2024. Posted on 20 Apr
Maiden starts Ocean Globe Race Leg 4
Sal's overview of the start in Punta del Este It was far from plain sailing for some of the crews of the boats taking part in the Ocean Globe Race as they started their 4th and final leg from Punta Del Este, Uruguay to Cowes England. Posted on 6 Mar
Maiden finishes Ocean Globe Race leg 3
Two female skippers take 1st and 2nd place in line honours in Punta del Este Maiden arrived safely in Punta Del Este just after midnight local time on the 16th January 2024 after 33 days at sea. It was a nail biting finish. Posted on 16 Feb
Maiden and her all female crew make history again!
Another first as the team round the notorious Cape Horn during the Ocean Globe Race Thirty-five years ago, the yacht Maiden, with the first ever all female crew rounded Cape Horn in the Whitbread Round the World Race and secured their place in the history books. Posted on 8 Feb
Maiden to race in the Ocean Global Race 2023
Up against other historic Whitbread boats from the 70's onwards Tracy Edwards MBE and title sponsor of The Maiden Factor World Tour, DP World, the global logistics leader, are delighted to announce that the iconic yacht Maiden and her all-female crew will enter the 2023 Ocean Global Race (OGR). Posted on 20 Feb 2023
Maiden arrives in New York
Met by a flotilla of boats at the Statue of Liberty Maiden sailed into New York on Wednesday 1 June and was meet by a flotilla of boats at the iconic Statue of Liberty at around 1700hrs and escorted in to One 15 Brooklyn Marina. Posted on 3 Jun 2022
Iconic yacht Maiden to arrive in New York
Empowering girls through education The iconic yacht Maiden and her all-female crew will arrive in New York on June 1, with a mission to raise awareness and funds for girls' educational projects around the world and change the narrative around what a girl can achieve. Posted on 1 Jun 2022
Maiden sets sail on three-year world tour
All-female crew departs from Dubai Maiden's eagerly awaited departure on the 2021-2024 World Tour took place today when the iconic yacht left the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club on her 90,000nm journey, skippered by the legendary Marie-Claude Kieffer Heys. Posted on 15 Jan 2022
DP World title sponsor of Maiden's new 3-year tour
Aimed at driving education and empowering young women globally The Maiden Factor are delighted to announce their new title sponsor, DP World, the global logistics leader ahead of the launch of a World Tour aimed at driving education and empowering young women globally. Posted on 6 Oct 2021
North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERMackay Boats 728x90 BOTTOMArmstrong 728x90 - Wing FG Board Range - BOTTOM