The Volvo Ocean Race has started again. This big sailing event is always delivering a lot of spectacular moments. Everything about the race is high tech: The sailing boats, the means of communication and the event reporting. I want to talk more about the reporting. Because I am missing this kind of reporting at windsurfing events.
The Volvo Ocean Race is in a lot of ways the complete opposite of windsurfing events.
Blog and website
Every part of the Volvo Ocean Race is well described in the event website. Footage from the races are shown. Even interviews with the crews from different teams are given. The organization also created a 3D viewer which makes it possible to really get a good view of the progression in the race. A lot of background information can be found from old races but also information about the teams and their equipment.
At windsurfing events reporting is much slower compared to the Volvo Ocean Race. The reporting is mostly done by windsurfing enthusiasts but the event organizer usually is kind of slow with updates. Lately, there is some improvement. The quality of reporting totally differs from event to event. Driven By wind had a great spectator which made it possible to see how the speed surfers were make there runs down the course. They should do something similar in the PWA World Tour. The Mission was also a good example. They created this cool online magazine with some great images.
The Volvo Ocean Race is an exception in another way. You are able to get updates on you mobile phone! But besides that, there is also a mobile version of the website: m.volvooceanrace.org.
I never saw an windsurfing event pages suited for mobile phones. Maybe we will see this in the near feature since mobile internet is not that big yet.
The broadcasting networks pay attention to sailing competitions, especially a big competition like the Volvo Ocean Race. But they hardly pay any attention to windsurfing events, except for the Olympics.
That is not easy to enforce on the broadcasting networks. The potential windsurfing viewers have to be big enough otherwise advertisers will not invest in advertisement and thus there will be no TV reporting for the event. TV event coverage costs a lot of money. So I don’t this kind of reporting will happen soon. Windsurfing is also a sport that is not easy to cover because of the high speeds and remote locations.
In my opinion is the reporting around the Volvo Ocean Race extremely well done. Lots of media channels are used to inform all the fans. Event organizers in the windsurfing world can learn a lot from them. Luckily we see an improvement at the events that were recently held.