Maiden: An Inspiring True Story

A still from Maiden by Alex Holmes, an official selection of the Spotlight program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. Photo by Tracy Edwards.

Maiden tells the inspiring true story of skipper Tracy Edwards and the first female crew who made history by entering the Whitbread Round the World race.

It comes as no surprise that the misogyny that Tracy Edwards and her crew dealt with in the late 1980s still exists today.  While the male competitors were asked the “sensible sports questions,” no reporters dared to ask the Maiden crew these questions.  Nobody gave them a chance.  As soon as they departed on the first leg to Uruguay, people took bets on whether or not they would finish the leg.  This was a crew that would prove their detractors wrong by placing third in the leg.

The moment that Edwards heard about the Whitbread Round the World, she did whatever she could to get on a boat.  This meant having to sign on as a cook in order to race.  A few years later, she decided to start a crew entirely made up of women.  Unfortunately, the sponsorship money was hard to find.  Thanks to a previous encounter with King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan, the funds were found.

This race wasn’t without a risk as we see in the documentary.  They could have lost their boat due to the pounding against the rough seas.  Or someone could have fallen overboard and be lost at sea.  If you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, anything is possible.  Not only did this crew of women persevere but the Maiden became an inspiration everywhere.  As well-made as Alex Holmes’ documentary about the Maiden may be, it’s honestly surprising that we haven’t seen a narrative feature tell their story.

DIRECTOR:  Alex Holmes
FEATURING:  Tracy Edwards, Jo Gooding, Marie-Claude Kieffer Heys, Howard Gibbons, Dawn Riley, Michèle Paret, Sally Creaser Hunter, Jeni Mundy, Tanja Visser, Mikaela Von Koskull, Claire Russell, Amanda Swan Neal, Nancy Harris, Angela Heath, Sarah Davies

Sony Picture Classics opens Maiden in theaters on June 28, 2019. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.