The Maiden Factor Blog

Maiden is a Global Ambassador for the Empowerment of Girls through Education

Blog Post – Alison Kent

What an exciting week this has been on board Maiden! I’m lucky to have been able to sail with ladies that are so in tune with a boat. The crew members that have been with the boat are patient in teaching the best ways the boat sails, techniques they have learned fit best in certain manoeuvres, and most importantly, they are consistent in keeping the chocolate stash full!

The opportunity this project provides to sailors like me are huge. Its not just the miles, but the time on the helm in big wind and swell, listening to mentors as they teach you small adjustments and skills that make the boat go. These are opportunities that I might not get sailing locally.

Every moment on board a new boat with new crew is a learning opportunity. Because of the weather we had on this leg – mainly reaching/downwind anywhere from 15-35 knots and large swells – it was a fantastic opportunity for me to hone in on skills. Learning moments are small and large, from perfecting the exact moment to bring the boat down the wave to catch the next one seamlessly, to snapping into action when your sail looses sheets and becomes a flag in 30 knots of breeze, launching the team into a well choreographed dance to safely bring it down. These moments are experiences that I’ve had on Maiden and will take with me on every boat I step on in the future. The learning curve never stops, and I will use this experience to share what I’ve learned and continue to grow the skills that I need to work on. 

When I’m not sailing, I have a full time job as a sailmaker and Doyle Sails NZ – I work on the floor in the downwind department. I will continue to learn every day in the loft – about sails, shape, loads, and new designs. I am lucky to be working in a loft that is full of great sailors, designers, and sailmakers – I learn something new every day. I hope to take the things I learn out of the loft and onto the water. I am also a part of the NZ Women’s Match Race Team, as their bow. We had an exciting first year as a team, and it looks like this next one is gearing up to be equally, if not more, exciting and full of potential. We are looking at regattas all over the world – Asia, USA, Europe, and Australia. Watch out for those up and coming sailors chicks – they’re tough and giving the boys a run for their money! I’m proud of be a part of it. Alongside that, I am always looking for new sailing opportunities as they come – I love the challenge of offshore sailing and becoming one with the boat as the days go by. Keeping her fast, safe, and in one piece all at the same time. I am hoping to get more of these gigs.

Thank you again to the amazing ladies of Maiden for taking me on, letting me become part of the team, and I cannot wait to cross paths with each and every one in the future. Sail fast and safe, we will be rooting you on all the way around! 

This leg, although one of the shorter ones, was both fun and challenging. The girls sailing this boat are fantastic – what a great combination of talent. Good luck to them as they continue their sail around the world and thank you for the opportunity! Go The Maiden!