Featuring Tracy Edwards, Jo Gooding, Nancy Harris, Angela Heath, Marie-Claude Heys, Sally Hunter, Jeni Mundy. Directed by Alex Holmes. (97 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
Review by Fluffy the Fearless😸
I didn’t know the Whitbread Round the World Race was even a thing. Held periodically since 1973, crews of yachtsmen participate in a grueling months-long endurance race. They circle the Earth, sailing tens-of-thousands of miles while stopping periodically at various ports. And until 1989, it was a boys’ only club.
That’s when young Brit Tracy Edwards assembled an all-female crew, bought & restored a boat – which they named Maiden – and found enough sponsorship to enter the race. While the novelty of an all-girl crew provided plenty of superficial media fodder, they were actually competitive, much to the surprise – and occasional consternation – of their male peers.
|"We're gonna need a bigger boat."|
Maiden is a great documentary that assembles a huge amount of footage from the actual race, mostly shot by Tracy and her crew. Interspersed throughout are interviews where she and various crewmates recount their perilous voyage (we’re made well-aware that death is always a very real possibility). As exciting as the race itself is, the viewer’s particularly invested in Tracy because the film takes time to provide her backstory, which was no picnic. Overcoming a miserable childhood, marginalizing-sexism and financial obstacles, she pretty-much leveraged everything she had for this one shot.
All of which makes this the type of feel-good sports story Hollywood loves making movies about. I’m actually a little surprised no one ever did. However, Maiden manages to be just as engaging and inspirational without any dramatic embellishment, so maybe we no longer need one.
FEATURETTES - “Women Making Waves” (mostly sums-up the movie, with a few additional crew interviews); “An Evening with Maiden” (post-screening discussion with Tracy Edwards, producer Victoria Gregory and director Alex Holmes).
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS.