Tracy Edwards won international fame in 1989 as the skipper of the first all female crew to sail around the world in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. The boat won two legs and came second overall in her class. The best result for a British boat since 1977.
In 1990 Tracy was awarded Sportswoman of the Year and an MBE. She was the first woman to achieve acceptance by the British yachting community and paved the way for other women, notably Dawn Riley and Ellen MacArthur to follow.
Following her groundbreaking success with Maiden, Tracy Edwards set to consolidate her position as one of the world's top sailors by entering Trophy Jules Verne in 1998 with the Royal SunAlliance boat, again with an all-female crew. This yachting trophy is for the fastest circumnavigation around the world with no stopping and no outside assistance. Tracy and her crew broke seven world records during their two-year programme. One of these, the Channel Record was the fastest ocean record in the world for three years. She was well on course for the record for more than half of their route, but was thwarted by treacherous seas off the coast of Chile and her mast snapped in two. Tracy and her crew managed to sail the stricken yacht to Chile. It took 16 days to cover some 2000 miles to shore, with no outside assistance.
In 2001 she acquired Maiden II, the fastest catamaran in the world and she and her team set about breaking records, including the Everest of sailing records, the 24-hour record, and their own Channel record.
In 2005 Tracy staged the first ever round the work sailing event to start and finish in the Middle East by putting on The Oryx Quest 05 in Qatar. Four of the fastest multihulls in the world too part and in another first were each paid $1million to take part in the event. Even though the Oryx Quest ended badly for Tracy and her team when they were not paid for the event, and the winners were not paid the prize money owed; the ground breaking project has opened up the Middle East to first time sailing events in Oman, Abu Dhabi and Dubai and has paved the way for sponsorship in those countries.
Tracy Edwards MBE dedicates a large amount of her time to charity. Her three main charity commitments are as Patron of Regenerate UK, a small but highly effective charity working in Roehampton with disadvantaged young people, to the NSPCC as an Ambassador and as an Ambassador to Gingerbread which gives free advice and help to single parents.
Tracy's tumultuous childhood has given her a unique way to contribute to the organisations she helps and she is passionately committed to giving youngsters a second chance. Sailing gave Tracy a future at a time in her life when things could have gone badly wrong and now she uses that experience to help others.
Theory about leadership and teams has its place, and countless articles and books have been written about the subject. However, Tracy Edwards prefers to focus on the importance of bringing examples of practical experience to her motivational talks.
With her charismatic and infectious enthusiasm Tracy enjoys being interactive with audiences and also relishes discussion groups and Q&A. She’s discovered over time that a practical and participative experience has longer and far reaching benefits to individuals and teams.
Tracy draws on her own experiences to inspire companies to develop their leadership and motivational skills. The indomitable spirit that has seen her overcome all manner of challenges is shared with passion and humour with audiences all over the world.
A number of key points form the core of Tracy Edwards talks and these are listed below:
• To identify the characteristics of an effective leader, develop personal leadership qualities and to implement these disciplines.
• To demonstrate how teams are led and motivated towards success by creating the right environment for those teams to reach full potential.
• To illustrate the different methods that leaders and teams can use to enhance individual and team performance with team action planning and personal development plans.
• To participate in a learning experience away from the work place that is unique, fun and with lasting benefits to all that take part.
• The team being aware of the 'phases of success' within the market place is fundamental to gauging their future performance, level of risk and happiness within their roles.
Tracy Edwards' dedication, professionalism and will to win, inspired everyone around her. While the records set in our colours and the media coverage generated gave the sponsor real quantifiable value, it was Tracy and her interviews, photo calls and staff presentations which really set the seal on the sponsorship's success.
We asked Tracy to come along to talk to our management team about her experiences, trial and tribulations she had overcome crossing the oceans of the world. Her insights into successes of teamwork and her examples of how she had to find reserve after reserve of courage and self belief were motivational and inspirational. Many of our team managers were refreshed by the talk. Most of all Tracy's bubbly personality which exuded enthusiasm and fun, gave us all a new perspective.
Great demonstration of good things to come out of tough circumstances showing it's down to you to lead and you cannot show fear in front of the team. Good feedback from the team leaders.
Tracy's presentation was extremely interesting, lively and relevant. Given the time restrictions Tracy was able to cover all aspects of team work, change and leadership in a very funny and rewarding way. Perfect for what we wanted. We would very much like to use Tracy again please.
Ten out of ten on every count. Tracy Edwards' enthusiasm is quite extraordinary and her articulation of the subject was quite frankly stunning.
Shaping the Future Conference – You gave a wonderful presentation which was funny and entertaining whilst delivering a serious business message, which was perfect for our audience. The feedback has been very positive with many delegates reporting that this was the best event they had attended in years!
Enthusiastic, passionate and energetic. Just right for the audience. Left us feeling inspired to face the challenges ahead and we are in awe of Tracy and her team.
Tracy Edwards' lively and somewhat irreverent leadership messages were brought alive by references to sailing, she made relevant and pointed comments, also lessons about leadership in practice. Thank you for your outstanding contribution to our HR workshop. The Team found you stimulating, the content fascinating and the messages highly relevant.
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