My final word on the rules of expeditions…

…As has been highlighted in the last few days, expeditions are subject to rules just like any other area of life. If every member of the community abides by the rules, then everybody including the sponsors know where they stand.

My discussions with Ken Crutchlow of the Ocean Rowing Society have brought home the potential consequences of breaking these rules. Honesty pays. Not always in the short term, but abiding by the rules is essential to integrity, credibility, and reputation.

The pursuit of the sponsor’s dollar is what causes the trouble – in the era of spin, it’s all too easy to yield to the temptation to sex up an expedition. It must be marvellous to be a Branson, to have the money to do something simply ‘because it’s there’, or ‘for the fun of it’.

I’d love to live in a world that regarded FUN as a perfectly valid objective – where we didn’t have to try to be the first or the fastest or the youngest.

Yes, some people (myself among them) find things more fun when we come first, but ultimately, if we take on a challenge and give it our best shot, and learn a few things about ourselves along the way, then we’re a winner whether or not we’re the first across the line.

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