The Maiden Factor Blog

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YES, we took Maiden racing! A blog by Liz Wardley

Photographs by Aren Hemmings

After an amazing month in New York, we headed through the East River towards Rye where we where met by a flotilla of junior sailors from our new host: The American Yacht Club.

We had a lovely arrival ceremony where we handed over the baton carrying the messages of hope. We were treated to a yummy dinner, where we introduced The Maiden Factor, followed by a screening of the documentary.  We had an lovely backdrop of the sun setting over Maiden swinging on her mooring.

The following day we joined in the junior sailing program by hosting STEAM workshops, before taking on the local racing fleet in the Friday night sunset racing.  YES, we took Maiden racing! 

It was only a 9 mile race, but such a picturesque location, a gentle 10knot breeze and smiles from ear to ear.  We had three guests onboard, one of which had sailed on the boat in 1980 before she was Maiden. She was upset to see that the gimbled 6 seater dining table was no longer in situ!

We had a great start and managed to sail through the smaller boats that had started before us. We went the right way up the windward beat, but sadly the turning mark was in quite shallow water so we had to miss the mark. But then we were off, reaching across the bay with only a few boats ahead of us!

The breeze picked up and Maiden was off, rumbling on her favourite point of sail, so we reeled everyone in and went around the last mark with only 1 boat ahead.  Downwind to the finish, and we were not allowed to use spinnakers so we got a little inventive with our headsail sheeting, but were unable to catch the first boat. We crossed the finish line as the sun set and were then treated to a wonderful BBQ on the yacht club lawn to finish the day.