And so it begins…

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing the Clipper RTW Race for yonks. I saw adverts for it on the London tube once upon a time and started following their online channels around 5 years ago. For so many reasons, it just never seemed to be a good time to do it – finances, home situation, work situation… As with anything in life, there are always obstacles in the way of something you want to do. Last year, life changed and doing this race became the thing that gave me focus and another reason to get the f*** out of bed. For more on that, read this.

The entry process seems pretty simple – you pays your £100 and you goes for an interview. Provided that you are demonstrably not a psychopath or a complete asshat, you get a callback to pay a deposit, sign a contract and get yourself booked onto Level 1 training. Seems easy, no? Well, it kindof is but let’s face it, even getting to that point is a bit of a self-selecting process. You’re not going to pay £100 and take a day off work unless you’re fairly serious about getting involved. The way you get serious is to understand that your minimum outlay for training and doing any 1 of the 8 legs available is roughly £10k. Gulp.

The interview is a 2 stage process. First, they’ll spend half a day talking to you about what the race entails, how wonderful it is and then all of the reasons that you shouldn’t do it. 21 people on a tiny boat in the middle of a pounding ocean. Sleepless nights. Cooking in the boiling heat of the tropics or shivering on deck at 3am in minus temperatures. Hoisting 350kg sails when you can barely see for the waves pummelling you in the face. I presume that this is done to dissuade those who turned up at the interview under the incorrect assumption that this would be something like chartering a boat in the med during summer. Well, Dave, message received. You have no business being on that boat unless you mean business.

The second part of the interview is a short interview to understand why you want to do this and what sort of person you are…which legs you want to do, etc etc. This is the bit where I guess they’re checking your psycho/asshat levels.

So…you’ve made it this far. The next and final “selection” step is to complete your Level 1 training. If Clipper are now assured that you’re unlikely to kill yourself or someone else on the boat and you’re comfortable that the ravages of sailing, sleepless nights and sea-sickness don’t put you off, you’re through.


One last thing. Just before I went on the Level 1 training week (8-14 July 2016), my friends/colleagues at Thinking Fox surprised me with the gift of this website. At exactly that point, everything that had happened before crystallised into something REAL. It was no longer a conceptual trip that I might be making one day maybe but an actual real thing. The gravity and joy of the adventure I’m embarking upon became something tangible. I cried (bah…it happens). I’m so so so grateful to them for throwing their support behind me on this. Also, I cannot recommend them highly enough as accomplished professionals in the web space. I’ve been in this industry for many a year and they’re top notch. Fact. They also happen to be amazing human beings. Another fact.

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