In honour of its success in winning the Cutting Edge Sport Award at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019, we're re-running The Ocean Race's shortlist Q&A for The Southern Ocean RAW & Live.
The Judges admired the advanced use of technology to enhance the media coverage of sailing, making it a much more immersive and accessible sport. Find out more about the project in the winners' own words...
Tell us about yourselves…
The Ocean Race is one of sport’s toughest tests, with the best sailors on the planet – Olympic champions, pioneers and record breakers – battling it out over 9 months and 45,000 miles around the world.
With stopovers on 6 continents, the Race is a truly global challenge, and, with sailors racing through some of the most remote spots on Earth – at points closer to the astronauts in the International Space Station than anyone on land – it’s also a feat of cutting-edge technology and solutions in extreme conditions.
With the action often taking place thousands of miles from civilisation, The Ocean Race has carved a reputation as one of sport’s most innovative events. Each boat is built with media in mind – delivering 24/7 live content in real-time using onboard cameras, drones, POV cameras, and transmitting telemetry data back to Race HQ every 10 seconds.
Why do you think you won?
1. Our race coverage in the Southern Ocean is truly unique in the world of sport and a world first: Thanks to the latest video, satellite and multimedia content production technology millions of viewers around the planet were able to see the incredible never-before-seen drone footage captured from the boats thousands of miles from land in the Southern Ocean
2. Can you imagine what it’s like to surf down 10-metre waves at 50 knots?
With multimedia Onboard Reporters (OBR) capturing RAW, live video calls, immersive content like 360° video, aerial drone footage and live updates from the sailors via Crew Communicator, we brought our audience closer than ever to what life on board these racing machines is really like. 101TB of content was created based on footage sent back from the boats.
3. The technical challenges that come with a project like this are something that is not often seen in our industry. Cobham SATCOM supplied the satellite communications hardware onboard, while Inmarsat’s I4 fleet of geostationary satellites, in orbit 36,000km in space, delivered the communications technology and bandwidth. Together, they enabled an ‘always-on’ for teams racing around the world.
What made this project interesting to work on?
It is not everyday you get to connect athletes out in the middle of the Southern Ocean with fans around the world. The challenges that arise have to be solved in a team effort between The Ocean Race HQ and the onboard reporters embedded with the teams on state of the art racing yachts. The team effort required to achieve our goals was inspiring.
Who’s your MVP?
This was a total team effort, something that could not have been done by any single person in our team.
The Ocean Race, Inmarsat, Cobham, HCL, B&G, Vislink, Fluidmesh, Garmin, Canon