Manganelli Events in the driving seat at Enduropale with Blackmagic Design

Enduropale du Touquet Pas-de-Calais is a famous off-road motorcycle and quadbike race that takes place annually on the beach at Le Touquet in northern France. It has now become the largest enduro race in Europe and the longest sand race in the world.

This year’s edition enjoyed extensive media coverage, with broadcasts on L’Équipe 21, Automoto La Chaine and France 3 Régions alongside an international feed made available to broadcasters globally.

The race draws hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over the world who converge on this unique event. Competitors on enduro and cross-country motorbikes tackle a rugged course featuring sand, dunes and more technical sections.

“The town of Le Touquet is the event host, with our support as executive producers. We co-ordinate all technical aspects of the OB and event AV, as well as manage the discussions with the broadcasters,” reveals Jean-François Petit, broadcast director at Manganelli Events.

“Our commitment spanned five days, including three days of filming. Each year, we navigate significant logistical hurdles, as the event attracts close to 600,000 spectators to a town with a population of about 4,000.”

To meet this challenge, Manganelli Events recently transitioned to a state-of-the-art 4K OB truck tailored to Enduropale’s demands.

John Lotten, CEO of Manganelli Events, explains the transition to 4K. “First and foremost, there was a need to modernise our mobile control room, which had become outdated, and to embrace 4K technology,” he notes. “Moreover, considering the expectations of our clients, offering a HD only production unit was not a viable strategy for the future.”

He adds: “Likewise, with an increasing number of tenders now specifying 4K as a minimum requirement, the decision to upgrade and expand our capabilities was crucial if we were to remain competitive.”

“Each year, we navigate significant logistical hurdles, as the event attracts close to 600,000 spectators to a town with a population of about 4,000”

Petit conceptualised the truck, overseeing the design and fit out. The project was realised over three months, from design to delivery. Transitioning from a van to a truck format allowed for an expanded control room, which now accommodates a much larger production crew with 13 workstations.

“An OB van of this capacity means we can accommodate a larger number of camera operators when needed, which was essential for this year’s edition of the Enduropale. We had dozens of operators scatteredaround the circuit, necessitating a fleet of URSA Broadcast G2 cameras for acquisition. The main camera positions all relied on 4K box lenses from Fujinon, including the 14x, 23x, 46x and even 107x, and Blackmagic Studio Viewfinders,” explains Petit.

Due to the distances involved, the OB ran on a SMPTE fibre backbone, which provided power, video, tally, including a program return feed, and camera control using the Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter and Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converters. “With some of our operators up to 7km away, we also employed wireless RF video transmission to cover some aspects of the race,” he adds.

The OB truck also features a dedicated space equipped with two ATEM Camera Control Panels, each supporting up to four cameras, for remote shading and colour calibration.

“This was our first Enduropale with the URSA Broadcast G2, and I have to say we were delighted with its performance. It’s a demanding race for the riders and operators, given the challenging conditions, including sand, wind and low temperatures,” says Petit.

“We’re also impressed by its versatility, supporting both B4 and PL lenses, which makes it a real workhorse for production companies like ours who also do a lot of live events and studio-based work.”

Manganelli Events runs two ATEM Constellation 4K live production switchers inside the truck, controlled and operated using the ATEM 2 M/E Advanced Panel 40. “We’ve effectively doubled up our vision workflow to provide a layer of redundancy while also allowing us to combine the power of both production switchers where and when larger productions need it,” explains Petit.

Each rack is equipped with its own Blackmagic Videohub 40×40 12G for signal management and distribution alongside multiple HyperDeck Studio 4K Pro broadcast decks, which capture all video sources. “In essence, we route all our sources to both switchers, producing a backup mix independently to augment the master PGM stream,” confirms Petit.

“Using the HyperDecks, we can capture all video feeds, allowing us to replay any part of the event or even the entire production afterward. Additionally, having access to the 16 audio tracks is incredibly useful for projects where we have to record foreign versions or separate audio elements, enhancing our ability to meet diverse project requirements.”

“Another benefit of employing a Blackmagic control room solution was that many technicians and operators, particularly in the regions, are now fully trained in the brand’s switchers and other products. This familiarity, coupled with the end-to-end offering, reassured us in our technical choices for the OB truck,” concludes Petit.

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