26 févr. 2010

Waves, Wind and a kiteboarder...

We had a high level weather warning on west cost in France this week.
Meteo France was predicting wind 110km/hour, and 8 meters waves.
Last year in February I did some photos with french professional kiteboader Jeremie Eloy in spot called " Ile aux vaches" , near Audierne. So when storm was annouced I contacted Jeremie who was on his way to Brittany.
First day waves were not organised , making impossible for Jeremie to ride.
Second day , we did met for lunch and had a look on "cote sauvage" near Quiberon (FRA).
At 13:00 it was high tide , making ride far too dangerous. After a cofee we came back and Jeremie decided to try. For 50mn he sailed big waves, which were very powerfull. Some cloud came and light was not nice as it was around 13:00.
Result is not too bad, as you can see on my website.

Next week I will be in a warmer place for 2010 Moth Worlds in Dubai...

Jeremie looking at playground...

Windy and clear sky around 13:00

Full of tourist (13:00)

Sign near spot... no comment !

Water on the beach...

15 févr. 2010

33AC logo... nice one!

America's Cup on display , on stage before presentation ceremony

So, 33rd America's Cup is now over. We saw two fantastic maxi multihull, and USA 17 is for me a must in high tech sailing. Multihull are very fast machines.
Valencia consorcio did an amazing job. Media center have been set up in 3 days.
Logo of 33 AC is a beauty.
Organisation on shore have been very good and helpful for all media.
The presentation of The Cup to GGYC and BMW ORACLE Racing team have been nice and well done. Not easy to organise this event by night.
As photographer we had some issues on the water. The race committee who set up rules , even for media and photo boats positions, had made or life very hard.
I do multihull photos since a long time as in France we had many of these great boats. I understand that safety is important , we never have to be actors on the water , we never have to disturb racing. We are only witness.
But as witness or job is to report , and to show sailors in action. I do not think it was possible to do a single photo of a sailor during Race 1 and Race 2. at mark 2 on Race 2 we have been asked to be at 800 meters from the mark ( what can you expect to photograph, even with 840mm lenses as I do ?) at that distance, you are not able to read what it's write on the mark! It is simply ridiculous.
Saftey is priority, but I do not think that should be an excuse to push us so far away from action. We respect sailors and by our images we are totaly part of the sailing world.
Race commitee should take care more about the way we work, and speak with us.
Let see , how next Cup organisation will understand our job.

14 févr. 2010

cold job! but cool photos

Photo ©Carlo Borlenghi with my Canon G10

Valencia, 33AC, Race 1.
It's not often I publish photo of myself, but just to show how cold it was in helicopter during race 1 on 12th Feb in Valencia.
4 hours in 2°C, with transit at 100 knots doors open, I can tell you it's not very cool , but very cold. I had thermal underwear on, and 2 fleeces plus weather gear jacket, hat and gloves , and I was still cold.
Our job is a great one, but not always glamour as people think.

Going on water soon for I hope race 2.

11 févr. 2010

33AC Valencia...how to learn to be patient...

Feb 2010... Valencia - Spain.

Here we are , after few years of legal actions in the New York court.
Sport is taking back place in spotlight but , there is a but, weather conditions are not really what Alinghi Catamaran and BOR (BMW Oracle Racing) Trimaran are made for.
This America's Cup is a very different one , if compared to what did happen in Auckland (NZ ) in 2000 and 2003, and Valencia in 2007. Boats were monohulls and race course around 3NM from start to top mark.
This time boats are much faster and race course much longer. Distance from start line to top mark is around 20NM.
Racings have been scheduled by NY court for 8,10 and 12 feb 2010.
On 8 and 10 feb, weather situation was not correct and racing has been abandoned. First race could be on Friday 12th feb ( tomorrow).
On 8th Feb I was ready with Carlo Borlenghi (Alinghi's Team photographer) and Pedro from AFP , for the Big day. We did take off a bit late as heli was not ready on time. Starting line was 27 NM from heli pad ( which is next to AC Village). Air temperature was 8°C.
With no doors (on left) it took us 17mn to arrive to starting line. 17mn is very long when you are flying at 80knots . It was freezing cold. and when we arrived, no wind...
So we did try to do some images with the 2 boats together . Race was postponed. but we had to stay on place and turn, waiting in case race committee started the race.
After 20mn we got a radio message from one of the 4 other helicopters working on the race , that we better to go back to land.

Gilles Martin-Raget (FRA) BOR's photographer and Carlo Borlenghi (ITA) Alinghi's photographer

Not easy decision, as you need around 20mn one way , so if you got information of starting on the way, you do not have time to come back on time. That monday we had to wait all afternoon at helipad and the race 1 has been abandoned. On Wednesday , we did waited in the Media center. At midday race has been abandoned , again.
It's winter in Spain, and a specially cold winter in Europe this year. To wait it's part of our job, and in sailing race, it's often that's a race cannot start on time due to weather confditions. In France we had Vendee Globe, Transat Jacques Vabre, Mini Transat , etc... portsponed for bad weather conditions on day of start. So it's not rare in sailing to wait.

In Valencia we are learning the meaning of the word PATIENCE !