If you watch the video linked above, then you will have a chance to gain a perspective on what it is like to be an on-board reporter in the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR for short).
The VOR has been revolutionary in many ways, but one way for sure is that it has revolutionized what on-board media can and should be in the context of a modern round-the-world sailboat race. If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, as the popular saying would ask, then did it really fall? The same is true on board a corporate sponsored racing yacht. If a bunch of fast bots raced from Point A to Point B, or a record attempt was under taken, but there was no real media coverage from their time at sea, then did it even happen? Of course it did, and that’s what the on-board reporter is for. Using high-quality images, audio, video, written articles, etc, the OBR shoots out media content for the race to utilize, while the boats are offshore racing. After shooting and capturing content, the OBR will spend hours editing and uploading using a high-speed (relatively speaking) satellite uploading system, called an INMARSAT broadband unit.
In my career as an amateur sailor/ professional sailor/ delivery captain/ race boat preparateuer, etc, I always dreamed of getting onboard the fastest boats on earth. While I have been privileged to sail on some incredible boats with everything from Olympians to World Champions to America’s Cup winners, I have now done enough sailing to recognize that i’m simply not that good. I can make a boat go faster than most people, but I am simply not at the level of your Olympic/ America’s Cup/ top professional sailors. And I certainly don’t have the account balance to be the one writing the pay checks. Therefore, if I am to ever achieve my dream of rounding Cape Horn or crossing the Atlantic onboard a very, very fast racing yacht, it is likely going to be as an on-board reporter (OBR) or Media Crew Member (MCM). This career ambition, combined with my extensive background in offshore racing, sailing media, journalism and more is what made me decide to go back to school for Integrated Multimedia.
I will be sailing in the Transpac race this summer, from LA to Hawaii. It will be my sixth race from CAlifornia to Hawaii, and my 13th Pacific Crossing under sail. I will be covering the race for at least three print and online publications, but will undertake a personal/ professional development project on the side. I hope to make a 6-minute (ish) video of our race that I can use as my ‘calling card’, so to speak, from a videographer point of view.