By Zaya Williams
In a remarkable feat, Junella King, a 22-year-old Antiguan sailor, is poised to make history as she joins the all-female youth Maiden crew for its maiden voyage in the Ocean Globe Race.
This adventure marks not only her own remarkable achievement as the youngest black woman to sail around the world but also a significant step towards furthering The Maiden Factor’s mission.
Commencing in September 2023, the Ocean Globe Race promises an eight-month odyssey that will test the mettle of dedicated sailors across the globe. Divided into four legs, the race will navigate around the world’s three iconic Capes: Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Australia’s Cape Leeuwin, and the formidable Cape Horn of South America. These treacherous waters have drawn a diverse and dedicated group of sailors, each seeking to etch their name in the annals of maritime history.
King’s selection as a crew member of Maiden UK (03) has brought her journey full circle, as she began her sailing endeavors at Antigua’s National Sailing Academy. Her enthusiasm for this monumental race and its implications goes beyond personal achievement, as she is committed to championing a cause close to her heart.
As part of The Maiden Factor’s mission, King aims to raise awareness about the staggering statistic of 130 million girls worldwide who lack access to education. Beyond awareness, the initiative also strives to fund and support community programs that enable girls to pursue education, thereby fostering brighter futures and greater opportunities.
Junella’s journey from novice to sailor par excellence has been nothing short of inspiring. Starting at the National Sailing Academy, she soon became competitive sailor and an accredited RYA instructor. Her journey took an exciting turn when she joined Philip Lotz, owner of Arethusa, for a rigorous six months of race training, laying the groundwork for her current endeavor.