The Maiden Factor Blog

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

#MaidenInspires… Maria Matthews

My history with Maiden ironically started just after they had returned from the Whitbread. I was at home from college with a cold. Watching daytime TV I somehow stumbled upon a program about the Whitbread Race & obviously the Maiden journey. I had no idea about such things but it really did inspire me. 

I’d done a very small amount of dinghy sailing but now wanted to learn more. Obviously that was well before smart phones, catch up TV, etc. However Tracy did appear on some further TV programs and I was able to follow her other sailing adventures. For my own part, I completed my theory day skipper at night school and was able to participate in some crewing (paying events). I sailed Maiden on her delivery trip from London to Southampton in preparation for the Hong Kong Challenge. I then sailed on Creightons Naturally in the 1997 Fastnet race!

Finally I trained with a sailing school to complete my Yachtmasters. I had joined them for a series of RORC races & was employed by them. 

Unfortunately following an accident in late 1999 I broke my hand whilst sailing. Life & a lack of confidence has left me only sailing a handful of times since. I would like to return to it again one day – I was thrilled to see the recent documentary and all the news about Maiden returning to do such great work. The Maiden story is truly a pivotal historic event. Watching the documentary really re-opened my eyes to the fact that not so many years ago attitudes to women’s capabilities were so incredibly different…