The [Pounds Sterling]8m Bankrupt; Round-the-World Yachtswoman Forced to Live off Her Mother's Benefits as She Sinks in Debt

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Byline: LAURA PEEK

THE round- the- world yachtswoman Tracy Edwards was declared bankrupt yesterday.

She admits having personal debts of more than [pounds sterling]8million and says she has been reduced to living off her 72-year- old mother's disability allowance.

Miss Edwards, who was 43 yesterday, expects to lose the [pounds sterling]1million Berkshire farmhouse she shares with her fiveyearold daughter, Mackenna.

She has also been told that her company, Quest, is under investigation by the Department of Trade and Industry.

The yachtswoman's fortunes have plummeted since she won fame and an MBE after skippering the first allfemale round-the-world crew in 1989.

She did not attend the ten-minute hearing at the London Bankruptcy Court and did not send lawyers.

Gregory Browne, who was sacked from his job as financial director of Quest last year, brought the petition.

Miss Edwards owes him [pounds sterling]60,000.

Asked what he thought of her, Mr Browne said after the hearing: 'I don't think you could print that.

'She traded on her fame and reputation to get people to work. She promised them the world and she didn't pay them. God knows if I will get any of my money back.' Sydney-born Mr Browne, 38, who now works in film finance, added: 'Every dog has its day and her day is over.' He and other former colleagues of Miss Edwards are now calling for her to be stripped of her MBE. Mr Browne said. 'I think the bankruptcy alone is grounds enough.' The yachtswoman, who gave up sailing after becoming a single mother, has faced financial difficulties before but always managed to repay her debts in time.

The night before yesterday's hearing, she gave an interview to a newspaper, saying: 'I've been made bankrupt on my 43rd birthday, but I don't have the strength to fight it. …