Adventure tourism is big business, whether it’s climbing Everest, or sailing around the world. But it can come at a cost. In this piece, Sally Williams investigates the death of Simon Speirs, a customer who was swept overboard while on the Clipper Round the World yacht race. Exploring the investigation into his death, along with first-person testimonies from other crew members, Williams meticulously uncovers the flaws in the Clipper operation.
Simon Speirs is exactly the sort of person Robin Knox-Johnston, the veteran sailor, had in mind when he founded the Clipper Round the World yacht race more than 25 years ago. At that time, the only people who got to race boats around the world were professional sailors. Clipper was designed for ordinary people: offering training and the opportunity to join a mixed-ability crew, it would enable customers to achieve the ambition of a lifetime.