Whilst Maiden does bring guests onboard for racing and certain legs, it’s not a holiday! Everyone is treated the same onboard and expected to work hard. Let’s meet the sailors onboard for this exciting race….
Agbeli Ameko is a co-founder of Ghana Ocean Racing which aims to become the first African team in The Ocean Race. Ag is working hard to build up strength and endurance capacity by participating in some of the world’s most challenging ultramarathons, ski mountaineering races and expeditions, and ocean racing. His participation in the UTMB and his planned ski expeditions marks the first ever Ghanaian/African-American participation in such endurance events. Agbeli is also an associate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Team Ghana very much admires The Maiden Factor’s history, skipper Liz Wardley, and its vision regarding diversity, education, and outreach. This is a very important vision, especially in the sailing world and it is well aligned with my goals of promoting ethnic diversity in sailing and other outdoor adventure sports.We are excited to partner with The Maiden Factor so to expose Ghana and Africa to the sport of sailing.-Agbeli
Claire grew up in South East England where she learnt to sail Optimists on a local reservoir when she was 5 years old. She has since sailed throughout her life, in roles ranging from assisting the running of a disabled sailing charity to seasons spent abroad teaching guests at Sunsail beach clubs. Claire’s interest in and passion for the ocean and the marine environment was instilled early on which led to her studying to become a Marine Biologist and subsequently working in the field of fisheries management. As a qualified Divemaster and freediver she continues to dive and explore the local environment whenever she can. With a love of sailing a move into the superyachting industry seemed obvious and for the last 7 years she has gained experience on both cruising and racing yachts. She is currently the Stewardess on Sail Yacht Sojana, the trophy winning Farr design racing ketch.
Claire loves to travel, explore and meet new people whilst getting involved in worthwhile projects, such as Maiden that make a difference to the local people and environment around her. Claire is currently working on a plan alongside Antigua’s local authorities to make recycling and waste management in English harbour an established and sustainable practice that will benefit the surrounding environment for generations to come. When she is not working or striving to be an ecowarrior, she can be found in her happy place – kitesurfing!
Charlotte Drummond Chew
Charlotte spent most of her childhood on boats: her Dad was a yacht skipper and they were based in Antibes. He passed away when Charlotte was 4 and the family moved to London. She spend holiday’s whizzing around on lasers in a murky Thames Basin down the road! During trips to visit Charlotte’s parent’s friends (who remained in the yachting world) she was able to experience helming larger yachts.
My career took hold of my life from when I was fairly young. I had always dreamt of organising festivals. After a huge amount of dedication and hard work, at 23 I was offered the dream job to run my favourite festival in the UK. Then, a couple of years ago I went with Mum to Antigua with for the Classics Regatta. I was so captivated by being back in Antigua, meeting all my dad’s old friends and visiting his plaque in Nelson’s dockyard that I knew sailing had to be part of my life.
After a lot of thought I decided to quit my job that I had worked so hard on getting and apply to be a stewardess on yachts so I could start working my way up. However, the day I went in to tell my CEO of my decision, before I had even told him he informed me that he wanted me to stay so much that I could write my own job description and he would give it to me. Understandably, I couldn’t turn the offer down. I am now incredibly proud to be running 3 of the UK’s most prestigious festivals however what it did mean is that my dreams of sailing fell by the wayside. Being able to join the Maiden Crew and race in Antigua and follow in my dad’s footsteps means the world to me.– Charlotte
I started sailing with family and friends as a teenager in Cowes and have been working on super yachts racing and cruising around the world for the past 10 years. I am now the chef on a yacht, I wanted to prove to myself (and my husband!!) that I can still remember how to sail. It is also a once in a lifetime opportunity to sail on Maiden, she is such a historic boat, to sail with old friends and make new ones!– Georgie