The Clipper Race changes lives–but at what cost?
Joining the Clipper Race is a serious step that leads a novice or wanna-be sailor on a long, very expensive path away from family and friends into an isolated world full of like-minded people all dedicated to the this life-changing experience. This requires several training classes onshore and on the water, and up to 10 months racing around the world on a 70′ yacht. Many crew members have never been on a yacht in their lives and must commit to paying around $10,000 for one leg or $75,000 for the entire race.
This sounds and looks like a cult to me!
So I looked around the web and found an “ethical contract” used by the medical profession that has been re-purposed into a mock contract for cult membership. It is used as a teaching tool for cult survivors, and I have re-written it to create a contract for participants in the Clipper Race.
Judge for yourself….
Contract for Membership in the Clipper Race
I, ____________ hereby agree to join THE CLIPPER RACE.
I know what I am doing and agree to all of the conditions:
- I understand that my life will be changed personally and financially by my participation in the Clipper Race.
- I agree to ignore my own needs and goals as I learn to sail a Clipper yacht and become a Clipper crew.
- My clothing, personal appearance and diet will all be dictated by the Clipper organization.
- My total mental attention will focus on learning the skills, language and rules of the Clipper race.
- My family and friends will be neglected as I spend more time and money on training and race legs.
- I will accept and cherish the skipper’s opinions and skills more than my own.
- My self-esteem will depend on my relations with the crew, the skipper, and the Clipper management.
- My fear of rejection will determine what I say or do on board a Clipper yacht.
- While at sea, I waive my right to maintain contact with the outside world.
- In port, I will follow the directions of the organization by attending official events and staying with the group.
Now you can decide if this a joke, satire, or a skeptical opinion piece. I look forward to your comments…….