SailGP, the new harbour-based sailing league for national teams, has revealed how 1,200 sensors and state-of-the-art drone technology underpinned an ambitious remote production strategy for the series’ inaugural event in February.
SailGP – billed as a disruptive series that will boast “bold, cutting-edge technology” with in-shore racing featuring F50 catamarans that can travel at more than 60 miles per hour – used the production techniques to support its world feed for media partners covering 91 territories worldwide.
For the series’ opening race in Sydney, Australia, SailGP worked with Whisper Films to deliver the world feed. The project included drones and patented LiveLineFx technology for striking on-screen graphics, as well as information derived from a total of 1,200 sensors placed on the boats and athletes.
From its centralised production facility in London, where a team of 70 people worked across four control rooms to produce six feeds for television and OTT platforms, SailGP was able to distribute content in English, Japanese and Mandarin.
With support from SailGP global partner Oracle, tailored LiveLineFx graphic feeds were sent from Sydney to London. Alongside the individual remote camera feeds, 24 separate audio sources from the athletes on the water and the presenters on-shore were also sent through the broadcast compound on Sydney Harbour.
The coverage was supplemented by SailGP’s mobile application, which was launched days before the series-opening event and offered a multi-feed service that allowed viewers to watch the host broadcast via 11 feeds, including on-board coverage from each boat.
“This was a very ambitious project and we really pushed the boundaries of what is possible with remote production,” said SailGP CEO Russell Coutts, the New Zealand yachtsman who launched the league alongside Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in October.
“We could have looked at having all of our resources on site but we knew that in order to have a model that could work around the globe at each event, ensure consistency, standardise our product and deliver the output required, remote production was the best solution.
“Thanks to innovation from Oracle and our partners, we were able to achieve a project of this scale starting with our first ever event.”
SailGP’s Director of Technology, Warren Jones, added: “We are delighted that we have not only launched a new sport, but we used the latest remote production trends to do it.
“At the start of this project, we looked at all the deliverables with our partners, and determined that this was the best solution to satisfy our broadcast partners, deliver a complementary, state-of-the-art app and make SailGP available to a wide range of people.”
Teams representing Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States are contesting the inaugural series, with the next event taking place in San Francisco (USA) from 4th-5th May.
The annual championship then moves to New York (USA) in June and Cowes (UK) in August, before culminating in a $1m winner-takes-all race in Marseille (France) in September.