The Volvo Ocean Race is sailing’s biggest offshore race and one of the most prestigious trophies in the sport. This 11-stop, 9-month race sees seven teams of eight or more crewmembers traveling nearly 40,00 nautical miles from Alicante, Spain to Gothenburg, Sweden. While fans and media used to wait for each ship’s arrival into the next port to receive news and progress, for the first time the race will be chronicled in real-time thanks to the work of the Onboard Reporters.
Each vessel will maintain a crew of eight sailors and one Onboard Reporter (OBR). While the teams are competing for pride, fame, and glory, the OBRs have already won one part of the competition – 2,500 applicants vied for the job that only 7 talented photographers, videographers, and multi-media professionals would ultimately fill. At the end of each leg of the race, one reporter will be selected for their work as the Inmarsat Prize Winner. Thousands of photos and hours of footage spanning nine months of travel will be judged.
OBRs must be a fly on the wall when it comes to life on the boat – the official rules dictate that reporters cannot help with any aspect of navigation or sailing. But relieve from sailing doesn’t mean their journeys will be easy. Reporters, alongside their crews, must weather stormy seas, extreme distances, dehydrated food, and little sleep while also producing and delivering daily three-minute lengths of footage, a minimum of five photos with accompanying text per day, and keeping their gear safe and dry.
Each vessel is equipped with a media station with full digital editing and other production capabilities as well as a small interview location with built-in microphones and minor protection from the elements. OBRs are connected to the Volvo Ocean Race Headquarters through Inmarsat Satellites. This connectivity allows news outlets to conduct interviews with crew members from the shore and have access to daily content that was previously unavailable.
Few brave the daring adventure that is nautical photography, and at PurePhoto we are lucky to have several premiere ocean and nautical photographers that have endeavored and perfected the craft. Their work captures the energetic and exciting spirit of sailing, and stands out in the field as creative and bold.