by Sam Kennedy
Our New Zealand team recently had the opportunity to invite some of Pivotel’s customers aboard the iconic yacht Maiden; a boat with an inspiring history that now acts as a beacon for helping young girls around the world gain access to education.
The Maiden is currently on a three-year voyage around the world, but the boat carries a historic tale as heroic as any great novel. In 1989, the Maiden boarded the first all-female crew embarking on the world’s toughest ocean challenge, the Whitbread Round the World Race. The crew, led by 23-year-old school drop-out Tracy Edwards, were faced with many obstacles and prejudices, with few believing the crew would finish the race.
Surviving icebergs, minus 30-degree temperatures, frostbite and satellite signal failure, the crew persevered to win two of the hardest legs of the race and place second overall in their class.
In 2014, Tracy embarked on a campaign to restore the abandoned Maiden to her former glory. Maiden is known to have inspired a generation, and now the yacht has a new mission – The Maiden Factor; to raise awareness and funding for charities which enable young, underprivileged girls to gain access to education.
Pivotel was provided the opportunity to board the Maiden through Inmarsat, one of our four satellite network operators. Inmarsat has sponsored the Maiden, providing all connectivity required for the vessel’s epic three-year voyage.
The Maiden has been equipped with Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband 250 antenna to enable voice and broadband data communications as well as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System-approved Inmarsat C service to ensure the boat remains safe and connected throughout its journey.
The Pivotel team sailed from Maiden’s base at the Viaduct Basin to the Waitemata Harbour and around Rangitoto Island before returning home. The crew of the Maiden were very hospitable and our customers were left feeling inspired by the vessel’s history and charm, commenting on what a valuable experience it was.
As a woman who had open access to education growing up with two daughters enjoying awesome education, it troubles me that 130 million girls around the world don’t have the same opportunity. I’m thrilled Pivotel has been given exposure to this fantastic initiative.
The Maiden left the United Kingdom on her three-year world tour on 7 November 2018. Still early in her journey, Maiden has now started the fourth leg of her 29-stop voyage, departing Auckland on 9 June to sail for Honolulu, Hawaii.