This morning the Volvo Ocean Race held an In-Port race at Lisbon, Portugal. A replay of the race is available via Youtube or Livestream. Both are embedded here.
This race leg had a bit of everything.
On the way out teams tacked out on the river against the in-coming tide with perfect wind conditions for sail racing (16 knots). Seconds after the start cannon signaled the end of the prelude section of the race (no racing), Team Telefónica was penalized by race officials for sailing a vector that cut off Team Puma's line. They had to preform a 360 degree turn before they could re-join the race.
As such the race leg leaders off the block were Groupama and Puma.
As the race reaches the half way point Campa and Groupama lead. They each tack from one shore of the channel to the other cris-crossing in the cntre of the river - several times intersecting each other's paths so harrowingly close your sure they'e going to collide.
One tack from the outer harbour race turning gate markers, Team Abu Dhabi is 'attacked' by a flock of gauwking tourist boats, and have to temper their racing until clear. Perhaps the captain over-shot his line a little? The maneuver it turned out, lost them the race for first.
At the turning gate in the outer harbour, at the mouth of the Tagus River, teams threw up huge ballooning jinnakers called 'A' sails - that arch way out in front of the boats.
While the director of the live media happened to be live on board Team Telefónica's boat, with their A-Sail tight as a drum, something snaps! I jumped out of my chair at the sound ... instantly the crew were all running about. Seconds later the camera man has a shot of the massive sail in the water. The rigging snapped.
Shortly thereafter, Team Sanya is trying to lower their 'A' sail, but the rigging is jammed. They have to send a man aloft to try and un-stick it - and he ends up having to cut the wire right at the main mast. The captain abandons the sail in their wake.
These are primal earth elements these sailors are taming - prevailing winds, slicing through a column of heavy, dense water, currents at the mouth of great river meeting those of the Atlantic Ocean - sailors twisting their vessels' whole to just this side of the breaking point, and then ... BANG! :)
When watching a live event, this kind of stuff is gold. I watched live via my desktop computer.
The production featured great photography and direction. 'On Air' personalities (who's names I can't find anywhere on the site) deliver an energy filled audio only narration of the race that feels like an auto racing event and a Tour de France production mixed together. I liked it. It's one of the leading edge ways in which Television is beginning to morph into what it will be in the world wide web media set of vectors.
The Volvo Ocean Race is a network television quality, multimedia, integrated multi-platform eith month long 24 hour a day, live broadcast event. The production uses high end, full spectrum, media event production techniques, and note-ably - a leading edge live event web presence: with around the clock live race updates, state-of-the-art mapping and leading edge graphical interface vectors - that work really well as web interfaces.
The mapping visual interfaces are extraordinary, they show an almost, photo quality representation of the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet. The any-point-in-space POV that can helicopter (more like, bumble-bee) over the fleet at any point on the earth - in real time.
Here's the automatically rendered Youtube production of the Livestreamed event. After a long static shot of the harbou, at 23:40 a recap of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, and a set up for the Oeiras In-Port Race starts - live race reporting, out on the boats, starts at 30:20
Volvo Ocean Race : Oeiras In-Port Race Live Replay - 2011-12 (1:53:55)
Or watch this LiveStream Production:
(race recap and an introduction to today's leg starts at 14:14, first boat casts off at 22:00)
Volvo Ocean Race : Oeiras In-Port Race on Livestream (1:29:14)