“Maiden” (Netflix DVD or U-Tube Stream)

In 1989, Tracy Edwards, a 24 year old British woman with limited sailing experience pulled together the first all-woman crew to sail in the nearly year long grueling Whitbread Round the World Race. This is a gritty, but inspiring film about that journey from idea to realization. It is definitely Anti Reality Show. The tensions are not among the women (who get along remarkably) but between the crew and the life-threatening reality of the ocean’s power. I learned from the Features section of the dvd that its making required two years of culling together footage taken by the cook (and childhood friend), news footage and other sources.

Maiden explores competition and failure. What drives some of us to compete? What is “failure”?

Another appealing aspect of Maiden is that the women are from working class backgrounds, some with troubled pasts, especially Tracy Edwards. there is no annoying self-congratulation of the privileged. I loved the contrast of the contemporary interviews with those of 1989. (Was 1989 really 40 years ago??!!) The older Tracy looks startingly like Judy Dench and her life-long friend is a separated-at-birth Emily Watson.

Watch Maiden and risk being annoying by insisting that your children, grandchildren or anyone else who needs a dose of uplift join you.


  1. Yes!! Really enjoyed this film!

    Alice Levine, CNM Cell 805.452.8681 Fax 805.272.9184 sbmidwifery.com sbbirthcenter.org



  2. “Maiden” is an amazing documentary. I saw it twice when it sailed into Vermont last summer. Women making history (herstory) on the high seas, in an era when anything a girl wanted to do except — I dunno, make coffee, or babies — was greeted with goodnatured condescending contempt. Hah, the girls showed ’em (but not without more than a little of drama). Catch it if you can.


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