Maritime Risk Mitigation: Solace Global Advises the Maiden Team

Maiden is the iconic ocean racing yacht, that made history with Tracy Edwards and her all-female crew in the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race when they became the first all female crew to sail around the world. Having won two of the six legs and finished second overall in their class, their triumph silenced their critics and inspired many more women to take up the sport.

Nearly 30 years later, Maiden has been fully restored and has embarked on a new journey – a world tour, raising awareness and funds for girls’ educational projects around the globe.

When sailing around the world, most would expect the perils of bad weather, big swells, vessel damage, illness or injury, but in certain areas there is also the risk of piracy, kidnap, and even terror related incidents. Due to the diverse risks the crew face, Solace Global helped Maiden to prepare and protect her crew during the high-risk legs of her epic journey.

How it All Began

The story of the 58ft Maiden began life in 1979 as DISQUE D’OR 3, this Bruce Farr designed ocean racing yacht was a “wreak with a pedigree” and would see Tracy Edwards realise her dream of completing the WRTWYR with an all-female crew! A race that saw them survive icebergs, 30 degree below freezing temperatures, a tornado, a near sinking and the final five days without food – their final position was 2nd place overall in their class; the best result for a British boat in 11 years and unbeaten to this day!

Following the race, Maiden was sold, and the girls scattered to the four corners of the earth. 27 years later, Maiden came home to the UK with the promise of a world tour and inspiring a new generation of girls!

Preparing for the World Tour

As any good scout will tell you, preparation is key, especially when planning something as epic as a world tour. Solace Global assisted with the preparation by conducting voyage threat and risk assessments; security summaries and advice on the risks associated with the route, including recommendations on where best to bunker, based on the localised threats.

In addition to risk assessments and recommendation, Solace helped to prepare the crew by delivering threat briefings and training on emergency response procedures in the event of a security related incident. Once Maiden embarked on her journey, Solace continued to track the yacht and monitor any incidents in her vicinity, particularly as she sailed through the ‘HRA’ – an area of the Indian Ocean where there is an elevated risk of piracy, kidnap and attack. Although the crew faced relentless bad weather, big swells and vessel damage, their transit through the HRA went without incident and Maiden continues on her Message of Hope Relay.

Message of Hope

The Maiden Message of Hope Relay is delivering messages of hope and solidarity written by girls in the UK, to girls around the world. The Message of Hope will be carried by Maiden, around the world and passed from country to country, presented in a ceremony upon arrival at each of the stopovers. Each girl will add their message of hope and solidarity.

An Incredible Crew

The awe inspiring all-female crew include record breakers, race winners, Olympians, with countless accolades (including an MBE).

During Solace’s time advising Maiden, the Skipper was Nicola ‘Nikki’ Henderson, who in 2017, at age 23, was the Clipper Race’s youngest ever skipper. Nikki had skippered three ARC races across the Atlantic, twice winning the Youngest Skipper Award.


About Solace Global

Solace Global is a market leading provider of maritime security services and anti-piracy operations, with extensive vessel protection experience; over 3 million man hours at sea, protecting over 5000 vessels for some of the worlds’ largest shipping companies, oil majors, cruise liners and super yacht clients.

As an ISO accredited maritime security company, we are proud of our operational excellence and professional reputation.

The Maiden Factor

The Maiden Factor’s mission is to continue Maiden’s iconic legacy and inspire the next generation of girls through education.  Founded by Tracy Edwards, The Maiden Factor works with and supports a number of charities which fulfil the following criteria:

Empower/teach/mentor girls and/or promote, facilitate, lobby for or provide solutions which enable the education of girls not currently afforded that basic human right.

The Maiden Factor promotes the rights of girls on the world stage through Maiden, an iconic reminder of what girls can achieve if they are allowed to realise their full potential.

Maiden Film

Tracy’s epic journey has been made into a film Maiden – twelve women, a race to the finish, a battle to be equal. #MaidenFilm