Today we’re going to take a look at a new documentary that chronicles the first all-women sailing crew to race around the world. This film has received rave reviews and if I find out where it’s playing at some point, I will definitely plan to see it.
The all-female crew aboard the Maiden in 1989 – Photo courtesy of Marie Claire magazine, July 2019
RACING 33,000 NAUTICAL MILES IN 1989
The regatta is named, “The Whitbread Round the World Race” and is a grueling journey that takes almost an entire year to complete. It starts in Southampton, England, goes down to Uruguay in South America and then to Australia, New Zealand and beyond, over the course of six punishing legs.
IT BEGINS WITH 24-YEAR-OLD TRACY EDWARDS
The film follows Edwards from the 1980s when she worked as a cook on charter sailboats. When she applied for work on a crew preparing to enter the Whitbread, she was told that, “girls are for when you get into port.” And, when she asked a skipper if she could join his crew he replied, “We’re not going to be the only racing team in the world with a girl.”
STARTING WITH MONEY TO FULFILL A DREAM
She spent her early twenties in a sea of men and observed that, “There’s 230 guys in this race having the time of their life and four gals. How can I change this?” Where there’s a will, there’s a way – so at the age of 26 Edwards took out a second mortgage on her home to help buy a 58-ft. boat that she named Maiden and staffed with a 12-member all-female crew.
The Maiden crew – Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair, Summer 2019
NAMED “YACHTSMAN OF THE YEAR IN 1990”
This remarkable voyage is chronicled in Maiden, a documentary from Sony Pictures Classics that was released this past summer. Edwards notes that, “I wasn’t just fighting the fight for me, it was for the next generation.” This wasn’t an easy task. One journalist described the crew as a “tin full of tarts” (that’s a class act) and others speculated they wouldn’t even finish the first leg. But, after notching some early victories in the race, fans greeted them at the pier chanting, “Maiden! Maiden! Maiden!”
NOW IT IS THIRTY YEARS LATER: IN A DIFFERENT WORLD
“What this documentary has done is allow us to be very proud of what we achieved,” says Edwards, now 56. “Define your own course and you will absolutely end up where you need to be.”
A Terrific Limited Series on TV
I’ve been meaning to mention this for weeks but could never seem to fit it in anywhere. So apologies for skipping from water to land – but here goes. In April/May of this year I watched all eight episodes (some more than once) of the Fosse/Verdon series on Tuesday nights and thought it was the best thing I’d seen in years.
Michelle Williams plays the actress and dancer, Gwen Verdon. She was nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie.” At the 71st Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 22, 2019 Williams won an Emmy for her performance and we all cheered – she was wonderful in the role.
Sam Rockwell as Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams as Gwen Verdon – Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair Awards Extra, 2019
Sam Rockwell plays Bob Fosse and he is spellbinding. I’d seen Fosse in person back in the day and when I first started watching Rockwell in his role – it was almost eerie – he really captured him. (He was nominated in the same category under “Outstanding Lead Actor”.)
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I just read an article that sounded – to me at least – like “a canary in a coal mine” or an early warning of danger. This piece, written by Joe Pompeo, appeared in the May 2020 issue of Vanity Fair magazine with the title “The British Tabloid Invasion” and a subtitle that read, “How the Daily Mail is conquering American gossip.”
The paparazzi horde, La Dolce Vita, 1960 – photo courtesy of Vanity Fair
Apparently the good old U.S. is a nation of “not great” sleepers. Really? And I thought I was the only one! According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it was revealed that one out of three Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. Yikes!
I think we’re all taken by the incredible mystique of the famous French fashion house, Hermès that has been with us for two centuries and is still owned and operated by the same family. From its beginnings in fine equestrian leather goods, they are – in the tumultuous year 2020 – best known for their handbags and many other items.
My image of Hermès has always been rarified products at equally rarified prices so imagine my surprise when I recently received a very stylish publication of theirs in the mail.
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