Kitplus - The TV-Bay Magazine

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CONNECTED CAPTURING THE ACTION: Ocean Communcations T he dream of any reporter is to be on the scene when a story breaks and the action and drama unfold. This happens to only a select few. Even fewer find themselves right in the middle of events as they happen. Brian Carlin knew he'd be getting good material reporting from onboard a boat competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, but not that he would end up recording how his crewmates dealt with the aftermath of their yacht hitting a reef, abandoning ship and then being stranded on a remote island. Carlin and the crew of the Vestas Wind, sponsored by the Danish wind turbine manufacturer, fell back on their training and instincts to ensure everyone got out safely and there was as little impact on the environment as possible. Modern technology played a part as well, with the boat constantly in contact with race control through Volvo Ocean Race partner Cobham's IP, satellite and VHF communication systems. This is Carlin's first Volvo Ocean Race as onboard reporter (OBR) and, like his counterparts on the six other boats taking part in the challenge, his main brief is to record life onboard. The OBR is not involved in the racing side of crewing the vessel but does prepare meals in addition to reporting duties. The 31-year old Carlin says he has had a passion for sailing since the age of eight, getting involved in the racing scene in his native Republic of Ireland. His 74 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 99 MARCH 2015 parallel interest in photography became part of this and took a different direction when he was asked to conduct interviews with race competitors for a YouTube channel. Up until 2012 Carlin had spent six years working as an architect, balancing the sailing and photography with his day job. Then he made the big decision to make what had been a hobby, his career. "I'd got a job as official photographer when the America's Cup World Series was in Ireland," Carlin explains, "and that made me think about quitting architecture. In 2012 I became an onboard cameraman for the World Match Racing Tour, although I didn't know much about cameras at that point." After this Carlin set his sights on the Volvo Ocean Race - along with around two and a half thousand other people. Just when he thought he hadn't made it through, Carlin got a last minute invitation for an interview to take part. Passing that, he went through OBR training in London and at the Race's headquarters in Alicante under Volvo Ocean Race senior producer Rick Deppe. "We also went to see Inmarsat, Cobham and LiveWire to get familiar with the equipment," Carlin says. Cobham is a technology partner to the Volvo Ocean Race, supplying IP connectivity through the NETNode Mesh radio system the Cobham Surveillance business, plus VHF radio systems and satellite antenna from Cobham SATCOM. While the OBRs are instructed in how to use the