Cobham reveals plans for 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race coverage

There is still just under a year to go until the start of the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race but preparations are well underway, with both the new class of yachts that will compete unveiled and the announcement of early details of how the broadcast coverage that will follow their progress from Alicante in Spain to the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

As reported by SVG Europe during August, RF specialist Cobham has been appointed Broadcast Equipment Partner for the 2014-15 race, which will be the 12th edition of this gruelling event in its current form. In parallel to this another division of the British company, Cobham SATCOM, is Satellite and Radio Communications Equipment Partner.

The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race had an official launch on 19 September, where the vessels that will be used by all competitors, the Volvo Ocean 65, were seen in public for the first time. Cobham has worked on previous editions of the round-the-world event, providing communications from the yachts to the chase boats, which would then take footage back to land.

During IBC Cobham’s broadcast sales manager, JP Delport, explained that in addition to this the company will now be working with Volvo to generate broadcast material from the Race Villages. The 12th edition begins on 4 October 2014 at Alicante, where the race organisers have their headquarters, and climaxes on 27 June the following year in Gothenburg, where Volvo is based.

The 39,379 nautical mile race will be stopping in Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya (China), Auckland, Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (Rhode Island, US), Lisbon and Lorient (France). In the past a single production company has overseen the broadcast programme making process. This approach is being changed; Delport said the intention is to use local production companies in each stop to get a more intimate flavour of each location.

“The requirement is still being identified,” he says, “but we will have our wireless cameras roaming round the Villages. The H.264 ENG transmitter will be part of this set-up. As the main broadcast equipment supplier we will be supplying wireless video, as well as satellite communications.”

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