What a fabulous weekend at St.Katherine Docks in London and a spectacular finale to an 11 month project with Clipper Ventures as the fleet of 12 race yachts returned home.
With thousands of spectators along the river Thames and packed into the docks itself, they were all there to welcome the crews and see this amazing sight first hand. As host broadcaster, we were asked to manage the live feed, news and footage requests from media around the globe once again. It was also quite a technical challenge given the location, restrictions and the scope of the operation involved. This began on Friday night when the GREAT Britain yacht crossed the finish line off Southend Pier at around 9pm to win Race 16, the final one of the Round the World Race having left London on September 1st 2013. Our crew were on board the finish line yacht, and also on three of the racing yachts from Den Helder in Holland.
Stalwart Brian Carling was on the GREAT Britain yacht, having sailed Legs 1,2,3,5 and 7 of the race; Ollie Clague was on Henri Lloyd having survived the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean crossings; and Tristan Perry was on Derry~Londonderry~Doire having sailed all the way from Singapore back in February (other on board camera operators included Dan Stephens – Legs 1 & 4, and Billy Holland – Legs 1-3. They have all had the most amazing experiences and met the most fantastic people along the way as the switched between yachts on each leg of the race to give the widest possible sponsor coverage. Having finished the race, the fleet then lined up next morning and paraded along the Thames in line astern formation.
Our live online coverage began at 11.45 am on the 12th as Presenter Hannah White greeted the global audience, streaming via YouTube and our bespoke Clipper Online player (so viewers in China could see it!). Hundreds of websites applied for the embed code of our player so they could offer the stream to their own viewers too including the Telegraph and other international websites. Commentary was led by experienced racing sailor Mark Covell, joined by Clipper’s own Dave Cusworth who recapped the crew’s experiences and adventures as they sailed the longest ocean race on the planet – over 40,000 miles. www.clipperroundtheworld.com
We were live for 4 hours and 20 minutes with a combination of helicopter images sent via RF link, and 2 x 3/4G back-pack transmitters on race yachts and chase boats, plus RF and cabled HD cameras in the docks area.
We uploaded news cuts through the day to enable news broadcasters to access the footage, and these were widely used around the world.
It was a wonderful conclusion to a year long project, but the work continues on our TV programming, with 2 different series in production – a Sports series 9 x 25 minutes and a documentary series called ‘The Race of their Lives’ 8 x 25 minutes, both of which will be distributed by BBC Worldwide in the coming months.
Thanks to all the Clipper staff and all the sailing crew for their help and assistance!