Monday, 2 July 2012

So much live coverage

Puma rounding the Fastnet Rock
Ian Roman/ Volvo Ocean Race
Live, now, instantaneous, straightaway, immediate.

No, I haven't just swallowed a thesaurus or am trying to design a crossword, I'm sitting here in Galway connected to the web, being inundated by the amount of live footage and content coming from the fleet and its every move.

We are witnessing the last leg of the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. It's so short the teams are treating this as a mad dash sprint.

No sleep
Puma's Amory Ross wrote in his last blog: "Sleep has not been a component of Leg 9 thus far. So here we are... last full day of the Volvo Ocean Race with close sailing, rough weather, short duration, and high intensity.

"With the top four positions still to be determined, each point remains crucial. Consequently, this leg's 30 points are valuable enough to make all of us spend the last night sitting (or lying) on the rail.

"That would be OK if we were passing the Bahamas or Fiji, but we're close-reaching through the English Channel in 25 knots of wind, rain squalls, and shivering-cold temperatures. It's just another lovely July day on the way to the Irish Sea. Ugh! One final bashing for us and the old girl."

See the action
So that's a view from Amory's laptop, so now for the list of ways you can see the action.

As well as the usual social media networks - Twitter and Facebook etc - live streaming footage is being hosted here with interviews, still images and video conferencing, all being updated as it happens. See

As well as the live crosses to the MCMs, Volvo has a helicopter flying over the Fastnet Rock, off the south coast of Ireland. The fleet has just gone around it in daylight.

Famous rock
I tuned in to see and hear Volvo's Rick Deppe speak to Mike Sanderson, the skipper of Team Sanya. In mid chat the camera panned round to reveal the famous rock and lighthouse that so many sailors have raced round before.

When this race is over and a "thank you" has gone out to all the teams and staff, one of the biggest must go to the team at Inmarsat for bringing this race to life!

When I set out to cover the race I truly didn't know how much Inmarsat has been at the heart of the race.

Something like 90% of all the footage has been channeled through their network and equipment. Impressive!

Puma in the lead
The fleet is due in tonight at 03:00 UTC, with Puma in the lead (at the moment…). Volvo is bringing you regular live video calls off the boats, rolling-text updates and live race tracking.

Here's the schedule for live calls, which will be broadcast at and

Monday July 2:

1800 UTC - Puma
1830 UTC - Abu Dhabi
1900 UTC - Telefónica
1930 UTC - Camper
2000 UTC - Sanya
2030 UTC - Groupama

Mark Covell

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