RaceTech and Vislink successfully deliver behind closed doors Cheltenham Festival and Grand National Festival
Two of the most important fixtures in the British horseracing calendar were successfully executed behind closed doors in 2021. RaceTech played a leading role in the live broadcast of both the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National Festival, providing pictures to satellite and terrestrial channels using Vislink radio link equipment.
Working with Racing TV (RTV) for the two festivals, RaceTech partnered with Vislink to supply remote race cameras and radio cameras to capture the detail and drama in horse races across the country. The pictures were broadcast live on RTV, Sky Sports Racing (SSR) and ITV Racing.
RaceTech used two of Vislink’s Radio Frequency (RF) remote race cameras and two radio cameras at each festival, as well as an additional RF remote race camera, to capture the action at the Grand National Festival.
During the All Weather Championships race at Lingfield Park on 2 April, RaceTech used additional Vislink technology to provide SSR with high-quality broadcasting. Specifically, an RF camera was used at the start of each race capturing horse and jockey close-ups in and around the starting stalls. Coverage for SSR was enhanced by a Vislink RF roving camera for interviews and close-up shots around the paddock and winner’s enclosure. Vislink’s Himo camera, which records at a higher frame rate to allow for higher quality slow motion replays, also brought high production value to the event.
Paul Newman, operations and engineering director, commented: “We have been very pleased with all our equipment sourced from Vislink. Our broadcast customers have benefitted from using the RF equipment from Vislink, as it allows the camera operator to rove around the course and capture a wider array of shots than from a fixed position.
“Throughout the COVID pandemic, racing has been able to continue behind closed doors and broadcasting has never been so important. RaceTech has been pleased to cover an increasing number of meetings for ITV Racing with the use of Vislink’s RF roving camera for coverage over the weekends since the beginning of the year.”
“Vislink’s technology, like our RF camera solutions, overcomes the challenges remote broadcasters and media companies are facing because of the pandemic,” said Mickey Miller, CEO of Vislink. “Our innovative solutions are easy to transport and provide high-quality, low-latency content at lower transmission costs, giving fans a seat at the heart of the action. We have genuinely enjoyed working with RaceTech and this event was extra special as Rachael Blackmore made history by becoming the first female jockey to win Britain’s gruelling Grand National horse race.”