Tracy Edwards MBE

Round The World Yachtswoman

Tracy Edwards won international fame in 1989 as the first skipper of an all-female crew to sail around the world. The boat won two legs and came second overall in her class. In 1990 Tracy was awarded Sportswoman of the Year and an MBE. She was the first woman to achieve acceptance by the British yachting community and paved the way for other women to follow. Tracy overcame chronic sea-sickness to become a professional Sailor in 1980 and embarked on her first Whitbread Round The World Race 1985-86 as a crewmember on Atlantic Privateer which came 1st on the Cape Town – Auckland leg. Following her success with Maiden, Tracy set to consolidate her position as one of the world’s top sailors by entering Trophy Jules Verne in 1998 again with an all-female crew.

This yachting trophy is for the fastest circumnavigation around the world with no stopping and no outside assistance. She was well on course for the record for more than half of their route, but was thwarted by treacherous seas off the coast of Chile and her mast snapped in two. During the attempt Tracy and her team broke 7 world records. Tracy retired from round-the-world sailing two years later when pregnant with daughter Mackenna, and published her second book Living Every Second. She then decided to turn her attention to organising round the world sailing events, and the development of a formal governing body for Multihulls with championship tables and rules.

In 2003 she set up Quest International Sports Events and signed a £6million sponsorship deal with the Crown Prince of Qatar to create two round-the-world races and a marina complex. HSBC sponsored the first event to the tune of £3million. The Oryx Quest 2005 was a huge success and created $46m worth of press coverage for the gulf state. However, Qatar refused to pay Tracy the £8million she had borrowed to facilitate the event and pay the teams to enter. Qatar also refused to pay the $1million prize money. Quest consequently went into receivership and Tracy was forced into bankruptcy in September 2005.

Having been discharged in September 2006, Tracy has spent the past eleven years rebuilding her life, consulting for companies doing business in the Middle East, motivational and team-building presentations and pursuing legal action against Qatar. She won her first case in Qatar in 2006.

In 2007 and 2008 Tracy worked for CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection) as Project Manager for their International Youth Advisory Conference. Working with the UN she assisted in the creation of the 2009 Resolution to the UNCRC. Upon completion of her contract Tracy enrolled at Roehampton University taking a 3 year degree in Psychology and graduating with an upper 2:1 In March 2013 Tracy founded Safer World Training Ltd which spent a year researching the impact of Online Reputation, Sexting and Cyber Bullying upon young people. This research is now being utilised in the development of an App which will be launched in September 2016.

Tracy then created The Maiden Rescue charity in 2014 in order to rescue Maiden and bring her home to the UK. Maiden is an iconic piece of British Maritime History and once refitted she will become Maiden Ambassador for Girls’ Rights working with UN Women, The Girl Effect and Girls Network. Maiden will promote and fundraise for girls’ rights to education in the UK and developing countries.

Tracy is a unique speaker having experienced not only the upsides of winning but also the devastation of taking a calculated risk that resulted in financial ruin. She speaks eloquently and is disarmingly open about success and failure. The biggest lessons in life are learnt when things go wrong and Tracy’s story of battling against the odds to survive is poignant and truly revealing. There are many lessons to be learned from Tracy’s experiences of massive successes and devastating failure. In addition, Tracy has lost none of the sparkle and humour that audiences warm to and make her one of the most inspirational speakers of today.

To book Tracy Edwards as the motivational speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a boooking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Tracy is known to cover the following topics:

  • Teamwork & Motivation
  • Drive & Determination
  • Peak Performance
  • Yachtswoman
  • World Record Breaker
  • Inspirational Speaker