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Available for motivational and after dinner speaking please contact for more information 01704 834493.
An inspirational, courageous and determined woman, Tracy Edwards spent her early years in Pangbourne, England, and initially dreamt of becoming a ballet dancer. However, after some difficult years following the death of her father, and her subsequent expulsion from school, she set off backpacking around Europe. This experience proved to be a turning point in her life when she was introduced to sailing after gaining employment on charter yachts in Greece.
With experience of many different positions including first-mate and deckhand, she entered her first Whitbread in the 1985 / 86 competition. She became the first woman to race around the world on a Maxi, whilst serving as cook on board Atlantic Privateer.
Traditionally a male dominated sport, Tracy was determined to enter the 1989 Whitbread with a crew made up entirely of women. Against all the odds she managed to recruit a 12 women crew and Maiden sailed into the history books when it finished in second position in its class, as well as winning two out of six individual legs. Regarded as the toughest yacht race in the world, they endured gruelling conditions and savage seas on the perilous ninth month journey. Tracy became the first woman for more than three decades to be awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy and was also appointed MBE in recognition of this remarkable achievement.
In 1998 she attempted to better the Whitbread accomplishment by assembling an all female crew to race a Multihull, in a bid for the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the world by sail. Unfortunately, this attempt was unsuccessful when bad weather broke the mast of her boat off the coast of Chile.
Since leaving sailing, Tracy has worked for the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), taught internet safety in schools and youth groups, run a successful life coach business and completed a degree in Psychology. She is also a published author - one of her books 'Maiden' tells the story of the struggles and challenges faced during the Whitbread Race.
Tracy is a sought after and highly regarded motivational speaker. She is able to draw on her many life experiences, including how she's overcome adversity both on and off the water (at one point she was made bankrupt when a sponsor failed to pay money owing to her), to deliver keynote speeches that inspire and entertain.