We really enjoy following the Volvo Ocean Race and this year’s race has been phenomenal. In the past it’s always been a flurry of media coverage at the starts/finishes with the occasional live interview via satellite phone during the race. They’ve had the live trackers for a long time and they’ve had onboard cameras for quite a while but the coverage of the 2017-18 edition race is nothing short of jaw dropping. With a daily live show including analysis and interviews, and frequent video updates from the boats posted on social media you can watch everything as it happens. And with each boat having the ability to capture aerial footage using a drone (even while sailing at 20+ knots) the quality of coverage is unbelievable.
Putting aside whether you’re into racing or not and just thinking about the broader world of sports, it’s interesting to consider sailing and particularly yacht racing within that greater context. All recognized sports, especially the mainstream variety, share a sense of drama and competition, but none involve the elements of the outside world quite like sailing. Using the high profile Volvo Ocean Race as an example, it’s fascinating that a sporting event incorporates the quotient of all-out adventure that a competition like this does. NASCAR is life and limb for sure and surfing melds the natural environment into the rules of the contest, but nothing really compares to a 40,000-mile circling of the planet on a high-speed Volvo 70.