Chief cooks and bottle washers

Media Crew Members announced for the Volvo Ocean Race

Tuesday September 23rd 2008, Author: Lizzie Ward, Location: United Kingdom
Training begins again today in Alicante for the Media Crew Members - the embedded reporters who will, for the first time in the history of this race, sail onboard each boat in the fleet racing in the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts from Alicante on 4 October.   

Visitor numbers to the race village in Alicante over the weekend soared and at the last count were approaching 60,000 as the locals in Spain came down to soak up the atmosphere and watch the preparations.

To keep both the public and the media engaged in the race once it has disappeared over the horizon, each team has to have onboard a specialist person responsible for capturing all the action. Known as the Media Crew Member (MCM) this role is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs to carry out onboard and is pivotal: the world’s media will be relying on the action transmitted back from each boat by this key member of the crew.

Using the HD video cameras, both fixed and handheld, the MCM will record the rollercoaster ups and downs of life onboard - from the huge rush of elation when a crew is doing well, to the depths of despair when things are going wrong.  They will then edit the material and transmit it to Volvo Ocean Race Head Quarters (RHQ) in quantities ranging from 95 minutes for the longest leg and 10 minutes for the shortest leg.

In addition, they will:
  • Take high quality stills photographs and transmit 60 for the longest leg and 10 for the shortest leg back to RHQ.
  • Record audio interviews
  • File written stories and crew blogs
  • Collate all video footage and stills captured during the leg

What can they do?
  • Carry out all media duties
  • Carry out all environmental duties
  • Cook (meals, drinks and refreshments)
  • Empty the bilges
  • Placement of body weight where required.

What can’t they do?
They are NOT permitted to help in the sailing of the boat in any way.

Environmental Study

In addition to their main role as provider of the media, the MCM has an important environmental role to play.  At a pre-determined time each day, the MCM will take a seawater sample and test it with a ‘Luminometer’ which, after adding certain chemicals to the sample, measures the amount of life in the water.  This is recorded along with temperature, cloud cover, water temperature and the GPS positon of the boat and then this information is sent back the Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s laboratory in Goteborg, Sweden as part of an international study on the discharge of ballast water from ships.
Media Crew Members for Each Team

Delta Lloyd (Ger O’Rourke)                            to be advised
Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael)                              Guy Salter GBR
Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander)                       Gustav Morin SWE
Green Dragon (Ian Walker)                            Guo Chuan CHN
Puma Ocean Racing (Ken Read)                  Rick Deppe GBR
Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp)               Mark Covell GBR
Telefonica Black (Fernando Echavarri)          Mikel Pasabant ESP
Telefonica Blue (Bouwe Bekking)                   Gabriele Olivo ITA

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