CAMPER's star onboard reporter Hamish Hooper saw nine months of hard work pay off as he was crowned champion Media Crew Member of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.
Hooper, 33, was presented with the Inmarsat Media Crew Member Award at a glittering prize giving ceremony marking the end of the race in recognition of his outstanding onboard coverage during the nine-month round the world marathon.
New Zealander Hooper's work constantly shone as he documented with skill and flair life on board runners-up CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand through daily photos, video reports, blogs and audio clips.
Highlights include his storytelling of CAMPER's boat damage and the monumental repair during Leg 5 and also capturing the moment helmsman Roberto 'Chuny' Bermúdez had to swerve while driving the boat at more than 20 knots to avoid a whale in the North Atlantic.
Hooper was also seamless in his role connecting global media to the boat from the depths of the world's oceans.
Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, the Volvo Ocean Race's official satellite communications partner, said: “Inmarsat congratulates Hamish on his well deserved winning of the Inmarsat Media Crew Member Award. Judges noted that his work was constant and of the highest quality throughout all nine legs of this global race.
“We are proud that our global network has brought this edition to millions more across the globe, demonstrating our seamless ease of use in the most remote environments.”
As well as a trophy, Hooper also won €10,000.
Groupama bowman Brad Marsh, one of the heroes of the 2011-12 edition, was presented with the overall Abu Dhabi Seamanship Award in recognition of the 28-year-old Kiwi's incredible contribution to the team's winning campaign.
On numerous occasions Marsh's work kept Groupama in the race, from helping patch a hole in the bow in Leg 4 to allow the team to win their first offshore win into Auckland to scaling the mast three times in storm conditions to free a jammed mainsail in Leg 8.
The overall DHL Shore Crew Award went to Team Sanya in acknowledgement of their amazing efforts to keep Mike Sanderson's crew in the race following a series of breakages.
Time and time again the shore team, led by Nick Bice, demonstrated their unfaltering commitment to the campaign, which was tested on the first night of the race when Sanya suffered hull damage after hitting an object hours after leaving Alicante.
The shore crew were also the driving force behind the repair to rigging in Leg 2 which saw Sanya pull into Madagascar, and in Legs 5 and 6 when broken rudders forced the team to pull out of racing and ship their boat to the US for repairs.
The final prize giving ceremony was held at the Global Village Arena in Galway and was attended by more than 1,400 guests including the sailors and shore crews, the entire Volvo Ocean Race team, sponsors, VIPs and media.
CAMPER picked up one of the most coveted prizes when each member of the crew was presented with an IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition 'Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12' in recognition of the best 24-hour distance run over the course of the race.
Chris Nicholson's crew racked up 566 nautical miles on Leg 8 to just beat the best mark of Telefónica.
The Hans Horrevoets award for Young Sailor of the Race, given in memory of the Dutch sailor who died after being swept from ABN AMRO TWO in the 2005-06 race, went to Sanya's David Swete.
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