Charlotte and Georgie joined the Maiden crew for the Caribbean 600 – Maiden first race after her restoration. They share their reflections on the race, and thoughts they had whilst onboard below…
Charlotte Drummond Chew
Being able to join the Maiden Crew and race in Antigua and follow in my dad’s footsteps means the world to me.
There’s only so much you can imagine before doing a race like the Caribbean 600 on Maiden. But after a couple days of training last week, I couldn’t believe that we were finally off. As the least experienced member of the crew, most things were new to me be it the 4-hour watch systems, finding the perfect angle to sleep in your bunk without getting chucked out or adjusting your eyes to operate at night with only the light of the stars.
It was a race of variable conditions from squalls to silences, big reaches in the rainy nights and getting tactical in the days. We met dolphins and whales and were lit up in the evenings by the phosphorescent in our wake. In a race like that, you need to be able to learn a lot quickly and I couldn’t have done so without the incredible support of the Maiden crew who coached and encouraged me through every tack, gybe and sail change (all 76 of them!). Definitely a memory I will hold with me for a lifetime.
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!
DAY 4 REFLECTIONS
The sun is now setting on day 4 of The Caribbean 600 as we reach towards Barbuda. We are chasing down Libélula and Kinship, with True just behind us and Taz along our windward side. It’s been an amazingly close race, there have been so many unavoidable light patches compressing the fleet hugely. We have seen a massive variation in conditions! 0-25 knots of wind speed with lots of rain squalls. So we have definitely seen what Maiden can do in all weather.
Life on Maiden is a little different to life aboard the Swan 90 that is my office and home! However, it has been really rewarding for me to be part of the deck team instead of in the galley all day cooking for everyone be it permanent crew, guest or race crew. I spent a lot of my teenage years racing and cruising in the Solent and along the South Coast of the UK, so it has been great to prove to myself that I can still remember how everything works on deck!!
Liz, Belle, Erica, Mali, and Courtney have been so welcoming to us guest and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to go sailing on such a historical boat that is doing so much good around the world.
Find out more about the Caribbean 600 crew here: https://blog.themaidenfactor.org/2020/02/26/meet-maidens-guests-onboard-the-caribbean-600/
Photographs: ©The Maiden Factor/Amalia Infante