34th America's Cup Media & Race Trials
Greetings from warm and sunny Valencia. There might be no updates until late in the afternoon as I willl, most probably, be following BMW Oracle's first day of trials off the Malvarosa beach.
On this first day of the trials, according to the official America's Cup press release, the two RC44 "high-performance monohulls" will be on Valencia's waters and James Spithill will be driving Boat 17. I don't know who will be helming the other yacht. Always according to the same release, the TV crew will have a total of 11 cameras, some fixed on the yachts, others held by cameramen.
Most probably BMW Oracle will not reinvent the wheel in TV coverage. For example, take the boom camera. Nico Martinez, the famous Spanish photographer, tried that almost 2 years ago on the exact same boats during the RC44 Gold Cup in Puerto Calero. I was there personally when he was trying to devise a way to attach his photo camera on the boom and I remember very well the resistance he encountered by some of the teams when he proposed his idea. In the photo below you can actually see Nico at the stern of the boat, pressing on the remote control to take the picture. Imagine what footage one can get with an HD video camera from that point.
What does the boom camera look like on an RC44? Well Nico Martinez did that almost 2 years ago in Puerto Calero
The mast cam and the bow cam are no novelties either, they have been used in the World Match Racing Tour for a couple of years now.
Still, I think that the best aspect of what BMW Oracle is trying here in Valencia is just the fact they are openly testing all those ideas with an open mind towards making TV coverage the best possible. Even if they are testing technologies and ideas that have already been separately tested before, making the combination of them available and, why not, compulsory in the next Cup is by far the biggest advance.
I find it absurd that in 2010 there can still be people in the sport of sailing that don't want onboard cameras and microphones. The best and smallest GoPro HD video camera costs less than 200 euros and can result in some incredible footage. If an America's Cup team think it's an expensive toy, they can cut one fancy dinner and get the budget for it.