By Louise Brown
The day started with the Maiden crew arriving at Pier 66 shortly after 8:30am. We were treated to coffee and bagels before the welcome introduction given by Denisie and Andrea, which was followed by a group ‘get to know each other’ session. Before we went out on the water in our group, Skipper Liz spoke about the iconic story of Maiden and how she has evolved into The Maiden Factor. She then introduced the crew, so the club members got to know them individually. We were so excited about the day ahead!
It got to 10:30AM, and we all put on our lifevests, walked down the dock and were ‘dingy’d out’ to our J-80’s moored up on the river. There were a total of 8 boats with 4-5 crew onboard. 7 of the boats had a Maiden crew member onboard, Liz, Ami, Junella, Heather, Marie, Aren and myself. We all had a chance to swap positions, so everyone had a chance to helm these great little boats – whiles dodging barges, jet skis, ferries and each other! It was enormous fun!
We played a game of follow the leader and made a snake of boats going up the Hudson, jybing one behind the other. The sun shone and it was a perfect morning with a gentle breeze. We all moored the boats up and radioed in for a lift back to the club house for lunch. Afterwards, Tracy came to give a talk, and to introduce one of Maiden’s newer crew members, Junella to tell her own story. Junella did such a wonderful job; standing up to talk in front of strangers is hard enough but doing it in front of your own crew and boss makes it a lot harder! We were all so proud of her.
The workshop discussions then took place. We were given questions to go through with the team members and it was very interesting hearing such a variety of different approaches to the same questions. Before the afternoon sailing began (hooray – more sailing!) we walked up the dock for a group photo taken by Michele, who kindly volunteered his services for the day. We all went back out on the water in different crews to race a distance race up the river and back. Tactics and local knowledge started to show and it all got pretty competitive! It was my first proper time racing in a small boat and I loved it.
I’d like to give Wildcard’s skipper, Alice, a big shout out for being such a fantastic leader, not to mention an excellent tactics coach. The day finished with a big group circle and thank you from the amazing Maeve and we were all given a chance to say what our best takeaway moment was. Mine was, that the helm asked so politely when needing anything done on the boat, I just adore sailing with women. This was such a brilliantly run event and so great for all of the Maiden crew to have a chance to be involved in a leadership workshop that will no doubt have inspired all who sailed with HRCS today.