In great epics, the hero faces tragedy around age ten. Scrappy, unruly, the hero overcomes great odds as they find themselves and their quest. In the best stories, the hero joins together with valued colleagues to conquer against great odds, risking death.
If Maiden was a fictional film, it would be a great film. But the story of Tracy Edwards and her friends is better than that. It is true.
Maiden is both a universal tale of an underdog making good and a specific tale of a woman proving gender should not be used to exclude excellence. No matter what your life experience, I project you will find that Maiden grips you, inspires you, and surprises you in all the best ways. To explain further why I am posting this to Millennial Star would be to post spoilers. And as much as possible, this is a story best told to an audience that doesn’t know what (exactly) will happen.
For those of us who have adult memories of 1989, watching Maiden is like looking back at a trailhead from a summit. It seems impossible that Tracy Edwards and her fellow female sailors faced such disdain and abuse. No businesses would initially back them, fearing negative press when the presumed fatal disaster inevitably occurred. When Tracy and her team arrived at the start of the race, the bets were not about where they would place, but how close to the start they would founder on the initial transatlantic leg.
This morning I was in a meeting headed by my Captain, a woman who was commanding officer of a US Navy Destroyer and now directs acquisition of military capability worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year. We who rejoice to see women able to achieve and lead in what were formerly male-only fields of endeavor owe a debt to Tracy Edwards. She did not excel through fighting in the courts or demanding a seat at the table, but by achieving a dream over which she had control, a dream for which she offered everything she had and all that she was.