The Maiden Factor Blog

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



Hi all!

There’ll be a few people reading this blog who are just as surprised as me to see me on Maiden sailing to Sydney with 6 professional sailors, but sometimes in life, the wind changes in an unexpected direction (see what I did there?!) and provides you with opportunities that you must take; once-in-lifetime experiences. Two weeks ago, my partner, Simon was helping Maiden out with some of their stopover maintenance in Freo, and then suddenly he had the chance of coming aboard as a guest and I as crew! So here I am, a day away from Sydney…

Two sailors sit on the deck of the yacht Maiden. They are both working on winches. The deck has a lot of ropes everywhere, and it is clear there is a lot of work going on.

I, of course, am extremely privileged to be in this situation. 2 years ago, I had never sailed before and decided to sign up for the Australian leg of the Clipper Round the World Race. I ended up also doing the Atlantic glory leg of the Race last summer. It was without doubt the biggest mental challenge of my life. For me, offshore sailing is a constant mental battle between seasickness, fear of the unknown, boredom, tiredness and frustration at not being better (these guys seriously know their stuff). That’s coupled with moments of pure joy, excitement and relaxation. All part of life’s lessons, I guess. 

A shot of the yacht Maiden at sea. In the lower right corner, one sailor is holding onto a rope, attached the winch. She is standing behind the wheel, at the helm. In front of her, another sailor is walking towards the rig. On the rig, a sailor is a short way off the ground. She is holding part of one of Maiden's sails. They are taking the sail down, so it is bunched up at the bottom.

And this trip has been no different…Vomageddon lasted a full 24 hours this time and pretty much the first week of not feeling great when down-below – it wasn’t pretty and there were many times in that first week when I thought “what am I doing here?”. It’s very easy to become self-absorbed in those moments but many a stern word was had with myself after watching these 6 women work with such unwavering commitment to looking after Maiden and, most importantly, their passion to make the most of this opportunity to help those less privileged than themselves. I’m truly thankful to Wendo and the crew for being super supportive throughout and providing me with the opportunity to sail on Maiden. In the end, like most experiences of this nature, the lasting and overriding memories will be of the human experience…