Limitless Broadcast makes waves at the Aquatics GB Swimming Championships 2024 in London

Under the iconic roof of the incredible London Aquatics Centre and in front of sell-out crowds, the 2024 Speedo Aquatics GB Swimming Championships served up a host of dramatic finishes and nomination times for the athletes looking to make their Olympic and Paralympic mark this summer.

The event was also watched at home by record audiences of over half a million on both BBC iPlayer and the Channel 4 Sport YouTube site, while more than 1.5 million viewed Instagram content alone.

Limitless Broadcast’s editorial and production staff delivered six days of comprehensive live coverage in collaboration with sports presentation experts ELEV8 and Aquatics GB.

Claire Wilkie, Limitless CEO, explained: “We were approached by ELEV8 to join its bid to Aquatics GB, initially providing tech facilities for the poolside sports presentation element. ELEV8 needed a technology partner they could trust to deliver robust and innovative production facilities for this exciting marquee event.”

Having been successful in the bid the three parties sat down to plan the event and it became clear that Aquatics GB held much greater aspirations to showcase the event.

Aquatics GB director of events and marcomms Claire Davenport explained: “We had ambitious plans to elevate the Speedo Aquatics GB Swimming Championships to the next level and wanted to amplify this brilliant event. We secured two domestic broadcasters, which enabled us to showcase the competition and athletes to both traditional live television and social media audiences, with more than 550,000 streams recorded. We are thrilled that Limitless rose to the challenge and specified an editorial and technical solution that would meet the needs of our in-venue presentation and broadcast coverage.”

Limitless Broadcast provided a flyaway outside broadcast setup that was rigged on-site at the Aquatics Centre. The comprehensive facilities were based around 14 line cameras. Seven of these were covering the competitive race action in the pool with a mixture of big and small lenses. Cameras at both ends of the pool facilitated live augmented graphics provided by Sync to be overlaid onto the pool surface, linked with the Aquatics timing system. Two handheld RF cameras roamed poolside to capture athlete walk outs, close ups of the race prep and starts as well as the emotive post-race reaction. Multiple remote-controlled PTZ cameras were installed in the underwater viewing galleries bringing a unique view of the athletes’ race performance and particularly the critical tumble turns. A 35-metre remote track-camera with Furio head from Alan Wells covered the action up and down the lengths of the pool.

A pair of cameras were deployed at the poolside studio from where John Mason and Ellie Simmonds OBE presented the 36 hours of live shows across six days. A final camera captured the signing translator providing BSL for the live audience on the big screens.

Wilkie explained: “One of the great benefits of such an integrated approach was the ability to share resources between the sports presentation production and the TV production teams. For example, the RF cameras could work into both directors bringing extra value and efficiencies to both teams. In the same way all the footage captured was shared across all the teams including social, resulting in significant engagement.”

Limitless deployed an EVS XT-VIA server for the race replays and analysis. The EVS was networked to a SAN storage array that was managed by IP Director and enjoyed a tight integration with Adobe Premier. The edit team had access to all the live race footage as well as other ENG footage captured on DSLR. This was used to create TV openers, closers and highlights as well as the for creation of digital and social highlights in a range of formats included 9:16 portrait for Instagram.

The Limitless production team was led by seasoned director Richard Coventry.

Wilkie added: “We were delighted to work so closely with ELEV8 and Aquatics GB to help them bring this phenomenal event to life for both the in-venue and at-home audiences, integrating sport presentation, broadcast and a digital-first approach.”

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