Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Race Commentary and Coverage

Watching sport on television can be very frustrating when the director chooses camera angles that miss the important action and the commentary is shallow and ill informed . Sadly this was often the case with the Olympic sailing coverage and the early Americas Cup coverage which often missed important moments such as the boats crossing. And there is the inevitable on air tension between the  golden tonsils of the professional announcer with little knowledge of the sport and the guest expert. The experts are regularly cut off and the director fails to back them up with the right shots.

When it comes to covering sailing, in particular match racing, there is a simple alternative which is to put the commentary and the camera on the umpires boat and hook into the actual commentary by the umpires. This way you cover the action right up close and you see and hear exactly what the judges see and think.

MatchRaceVideoDotCom’s channel on YouTube has done just this with their coverage of the 2008 and 2009 Knickerbocker Cup match races.

Each boat has its own judge who calls the racing rules as it applies to their situation.  “I am port give and tacking” ;”I am entitled to room”. For club racing sailors its a non stop lesson and refresher on the racing rules of sailing especially at the start and mark roundings. It is also a great insight into match racing which for many of us, sailors and non sailors, was the highlight sailing event at the London Olympics. What a shame it has been dropped. .

Here is one of the videos and you can see them all as part of a play list off this link.