Since 2008-09, Volvo Ocean Race teams have carried a multimedia reporter onboard, armed with state-of-the-art technology, years of experience in the media industry, and a simple brief –give the fans on shore a taste of what life at the extreme is really like, warts and all.
Dubbed the ‘toughest job in sports media’, it’s a unique role that certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. No other sport features dedicated multimedia journalists embedded within teams of athletes and the mental and physical pressure faced by these world-class storytellers as they capture the ups and downs of one of the world’s greatest adventures in the form of video, photos and text is immense.
But it’s all worth it. More people have been to the moon than have been Onboard Reporters in the Volvo Ocean Race, and to be a part of this special squad is a badge of honour for any media professional.
That’s why the work of our Volvo Ocean Race Onboard Reporters is regularly featured across some of the world’s most recognisable media outlets, such as The Daily Telegraph, the New York Times, Red Bull Media House and, in 2014-15, on over 242 broadcasters, across 83 television channels around the globe.
And they get to work with some pretty cool gear on a daily basis, too. After all, to push content from the world’s oceans to race fans takes some serious technology. Every boat is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment, remote-control cameras, microphones and custom-designed media stations.
Cutting-edge communications support, provided by Inmarsat since 2005, delivers daily multimedia content to serve a global audience of tens of millions - via high-speed satellites - from each of the super-charged 65-foot racing boats while at sea.
In 2017-18, fans can look forward to more access to the boats than ever before. A social media ban – previously put in place in order to avoid outside assistance onboard – has been lifted, meaning that OBRs and sailors will have the opportunity to stay even more connected to shore.
Onboard Reporter bios
Konrad Frost (Britain)
Having honed his onboard shooting and eye for detail in the Clipper Race, Konrad’s step into the Volvo Ocean Race world is a natural progression – and he admits that he has dreamed of stepping onboard in the Volvo Ocean Race since he was a little kid. When he’s not at sea, he is a respected cameraman in the adventure sports industry, and he knows the Race inside out having worked as crew on recent Volvo Ocean Race TV series, as well as the likes of CNN Mainsail.
Jen Edney (United States)
Jen is one of the most renowned water adventure photographers in the business, and has previously appeared in international publications like National Geographic magazine, which recently named her as one of ‘Nine Female Photographers Who Push The Limits’. Despite coming from the landlocked US state of Nebraska, Jen has clocked up over 50,000 offshore miles in preparation for the ultimate sailing media job.
Jeremie Lecaudey (France)
Jeremie joins the Race is new to sailing, but arrives with a fresh perspective – and bags of extreme sports experience under his belt. He arrives with a background in the kitesurfing industry producing all the video content for the Kitesurfing World Championships, and more recently 5 years for the International Ski Federation covering all the behind the scenes action for the FIS.
Martin Keruzoré (France)
Martin grew up around the ocean and the world of sailing photography and has almost a decade’s experience as a director, photographer, cameraman and editor. Starting out early, Martin has logged thousands of miles in French races and has been involved in projects including L’Hydroptere’s first speed test, sailing onboard the Multi 50 with Erwan Le Roux and with the IMOCA class before the last Vendée Globe.
Sam Greenfield (United States)
Sam is one of only two Onboard Reporters from the 2014-15 edition to return to the racetrack, having worked with Dongfeng Race Team last time. He caught attention by becoming the first OBR to successfully fly a drone from a moving Volvo Ocean 65, revolutionising the use of drones across the sailing industry in the process. Since the end of the 2014-15 race, Sam has been based in Bermuda as part of the Team ORACLE USA media crew.
Ugo Fonollá (Spain)
The youngest member of the 2017-18 Onboard Reporter squad, Ugo grew up around sailing on Mallorca, close to the Palma sailing scene. Having studied engineering, Ugo then switched his focus to fulfilling his life’s dream – to become an OBR in the Volvo Ocean Race. Six years later, and armed with a camera and some wet weather gear, his wish has come true.
James Blake (New Zealand/Britain)
James has carved out an impressive reputation in nature and documentary world for his shooting ability – and has worked for the likes of the BBC and Discovery as a filmmaker before deciding to follow in his father, Volvo Ocean Race legend Sir Peter Blake’s, footsteps and jump onto a Volvo Ocean Race boat himself. He’s also a natural born adventurer who completed a transtasman row in 2012 as part of a four-man team, and is planning new exploits after the race’s completion, including a new angle on a transatlantic record.
Richard Edwards (Britain)
Richard grew up with a natural affinity for the ocean and water sports – and in 2015, he made his passion a profession, by joining the Clipper Race as a cameraman and producer. It was this round-the-world experience that inspired him to push for the ultimate media job – a Volvo Ocean Race Onboard Reporter role.
Tom Martienssen (Britain)
They say that the Volvo Ocean Race Onboard Reporter role is one of the most extreme media roles in the business – but for former soldier turned reporter Tom, it might be a welcome change of pace from his recent vocations. He has completed two tours of Afghanistan as a medic and an RAF gunner, and has reported for the likes of the BBC and CNN live from Mount Everest. Nevertheless, he still claims that working onboard the Volvo Ocean Race boats is the toughest thing he’s ever done.
Brian Carlin (Ireland)
Having made his name as the Onboard Reporter for Team Vestas Wind in 2014-15, Brian returns to the race as OBR Team Leader, and will be keen to make it the whole way around the world after a challenging Volvo Ocean Race debut which saw his team ground on an atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean just days into Leg 3.