Technology Uniting A Community: The Volvo Ocean Race

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Ocean racing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In the past, we could only imagine the towering waves, life-threatening storms, courage and adventure of racing a yacht around the planet. But thanks to the convergence of a collection of technologies, and the vision of the race organisers, the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race fully immerses its followers in the action.

For months now, they have taken a very inaccessible elite sport into loungerooms of millions of fans on a daily basis. Wipeouts, gear failure, spectacular sunrises and an enormous amount of seaspray make regular appearances on their daily YouTube videos, now totalling 1,170 with almost 10 million views. For us ‘wannabes’ there is even an online game where you can sail your own virtual ‘Volvo 70’ on the same course and compete for prizes – there are at least 200,000 players currently sailing in Leg 7 from Miami to Lisbon across the Atlantic Ocean.

Hats off to the production team, they have a finely tuned professionalism that keeps fans engaged and wanting more. So how do they do it…

Each boat has a dedicated Media Crew Member (MCM), most of whom are accomplished sailors in the own right. Using hi-definition, custom built cameras, and remote controlled fixed cameras, the MCM collects the footage and uploads using the yacht’s satellite uplink (FleetBroadband). Every day they have to supply two minutes of edited video, five stills and one minute of audio to media headquarters – oh, and they’re responsible for keeping the crew fed with snacks and preparing meals.

Here’s a video of the behind the scenes job of the MCM…

httpvh://youtu.be/Q9FQEokx3DA

All the footage becomes part of the PR engine that drives this massive event. Mobile Apps, Facebook Updates, Race Tracking, Twitter Updates and LIVE streaming of particular events are just a few of the channels the media team use to keep the fans engaged and the sponsors happy!

Check it out here…

Official Website: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/home.html

Game: http://www.volvooceanracegame.com/

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