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Whack Jobs and Psychopaths Need Not Apply!

So once you are interested in a Clipper Race, what's next? What is the process and what happens?


In the Spring of 2019, when the Facebook 'teaser' caught my eye, I went out to the site at https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/ and took a look around. I was very intrigued by the fact that one could go around the world in one year, race (a little competition is certainly motivating, right!?), and that the teams were global in nature...anyone, from any background or experience could do this! All of this is amazing, and then you have Sir Robin Knox-Johnston egging you on...this guy is a legend in the sailing world, being the first person to single-handed, non-stop sail around the world in the Golden Globe Race (now called Vendee Globe Race as I recall) behind this scheme...what's not to like!


So I went ahead and applied for the 2021-2022 Clipper Round the World Race...keep this date in mind! The date was ideal: the 2019-2020 race was about to start, Katie would be a junior in college, we were zeroing on some key goals at work I was committed to achieving...2021-2022 would be perfect time to 'check out'. Now, here we are in 2023, about 4 years after I applied and we all know what happened in 2020!


The process is simple: fill out an application, get an interview, pass the interview, understand the contractual commitment ('yes', there is a contract and 'pay to play' element here), be prepared to physically, mentally, and financially commit yourself...and then the hard part: talk to your family! Got to have buy-in across the patch!


I completed the application and had my interview in the early part of the summer, 2019. The application and interview are all about you, your experiences, your motivations, what get's you jacked up, what brings you down...it is detailed and reflective! Remember, you are on a boat with 20+ people out in the middle of the ocean, where the closest humans, other than your crew mates are on the International Space Station (ISS)! Psychopaths and whack jobs need not apply!


Some may beg to differ whether I'm a whack job or not, but I'm fairly certain I'm not a psychopath! In all seriousness, I feel like I'm ideal for sailing: I've sailed on a lot of different boats/types and with many different crews and personalities, I've taught sailing, and I don't tend to get flustered easily when sailing. Even when shit hits the fan, it is recoverable, it just may take some time...don't panic! My career also lends to this type of sailing: working with a lot of different types of people, from around the world, usually who you don't know well, to come together to service out clients. I think one is most successful when you adopt a servant-leader model: focus on the overall objective, take care of your people, check your ego (don't fully check it, 'cause you need some to do this, remember!), and work hard for the overall objective, even if it means you need to do some scut work. This is what I tried to convey on my application and during the interview!


So you pass the interview and they send you the contract...now what? Deep soul searching time for me! "Should I do this?", "What would my family think?", "Can I/we afford it?", "Is it being selfish?" ("yes", most certainly, and I never forget that and the sacrifices I'm asking my family to make!).


Let's hit this directly, 'cause I know you are dying to know: What does this cost? Well, to go around the world, the "base" cost is about as much as a Tesla...and not the cheapest, nor the most expensive model either. Then you need to pile on all the other costs: all the flights for training, any equipment/gear you may need/want, hotels, visas, medical/vaccines, additional travel costs, lost wages and stock options left on the table etc. We are talking a significant financial commitment no matter how you look at it, as well as the 11 months of the race itself and the 40 days of training/travel you will need to allocate to pass all the training!


So the hard part comes next: having the 'talk' with my family! Actually, it was probably the easiest part because the response when I popped this little event out, was "Of course you have to do it, it is something you've always wanted to do!" It is with the love of my wife, Jean, and my daughter Katie that makes this all possible, along with the support of my immediate family who will help 'cover' for me while I'm gone. It truly does take a village and I am truly blessed.


"Thank you" and I love you both tremendously!


So I signed the contract...in the summer of 2019! The beginning had begun, with so much more ahead...


Thanks for reading...


Chris


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