Regattas Technologies

Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12: Moving media


Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race

In part II of his interview for Thrane & Thrane’s in-house newsletter, Race Director Jack Lloyd discusses the role of the Media Crew Members and how such satellite equipment helps them to perform.

The SAILOR FleetBroadband antenna supplied by Thrane & Thrane will be onboard every Volvo Open 70. This not only gives the crew access to internet at sea, but it allows the Media Crew Members to send heavier contents off the boat faster.


Can you tell us about the role of Media Crew Members (MCM)?

The sole job of an MCM on board is to record, edit, and write media in all forms and then transmit this back to Race HQ so it can be distributed to the world. MCMs are an important part of each team as they capture everything that happens aboard, which is exactly what the millions of fans following the race want to see. This has been especially true over the last few years as more and more online outlets cover the race.

Media Crew Member Gabriele Olivo uploading video, onboard Telefonica Blue, on leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Gabriele Olivo/Equipo Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race

Before we made the MCM a dedicated role, there were one or two crewmembers who would be trained in how to use a camera and would write the stories. The problem we identified was that although one of the crew members would take on the responsibility of providing the media, they were first and foremost a crew member. They were therefore performing the tasks we wanted to be captured on film, instead of filming these actions.

The addition of the MCMs means that for the first time, we are seeing crew manoeuvres and other sights that before, were mere memories of the crew members.

How does SAILOR FleetBroadband support the MCMs?

We need to be able to get the video and other content off the boats. The video is in HD and the only way to do this is with FleetBroadband, because of the size of the files.

It allows the videos to be sent within a reasonable length of time. It also gives us better voice quality and allows us to have video conferencing, which is something that we want to move forward with.

Media Crew Member Guo Chuan editing video, onboard Green Dragon, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro. Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

I think any publicity of yacht racing will help, but to have quality products like Thrane & Thrane SAILOR 500 FleetBroadband is a huge asset to us. We have so much high quality footage that even the footage we’re not using is still of good enough quality to publish. We know that everything that comes back is usable in terms of content and visual/audio quality.

We’ve got a pretty sophisticated system with our media desk and the quality of our cameras. We’ve put a lot of effort into all of those areas so it’s quality from the beginning to the end, including the transmission method. Soon every ocean going boat will use a FleetBroadband system of some sort since it is able to provide data so quickly.

How has SAILOR equipment performed for the teams and organisers in previous Volvo Ocean Races?

SAILOR equipment has a very good reputation and in particularly, we have found the reliability to be quite outstanding in harsh environments. I think it’s partly the back-up service Thrane & Thrane provides to its customers.

They run an information line for the teams and ensure the equipment is installed according to the manufacturers requirements, even though our environment is probably even harsher than what they anticipate.

So, the backup and dedication to making the product better sets Thrane & Thrane apart. It’s very special.

Part I of his interview can be found here:



About the author


Norberto Moreau is co-founder of the Allied Management Ltd Consulting Group (Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Spain). The group and his associates have activities in Yachting, Properties, Events and Online Services.
Activity with own Projects (70%) / Consulting (30%).

Norberto Moreau is available for Consulting worldwide at Fairs, Regattas etc.

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