Matt’s favourite pics

Captions by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing OBR Matt Knighton
A night to remember
It’s not all about winning
Matt’s favourite pics Captions by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing OBR Matt Knighton
The winner of the the Inmarsat Onboard Reporter Award, Matt sent incredible photos day in, day out. It's not easy to pick his best work - so we've asked him to do it himself. Here's his selection.

“This shot was taken just after we'd crossed the equator for the third time during Leg 4 on our way to Auckland. The stars were just starting to pop up after dusk and we were arguing over what planets were in the sky until SiFi showed up on deck with his constellation app on his iPad. He quickly put it all to rest. 

“This shot is one of my favourites because of the depth created between the galaxy on the screen and the huge sky overhead. I was sitting on the deck right below SiFi with a fisheye lens to get this shot; he had to hold it still for several seconds due to the low light.”


“When I saw this shot right after I took it I knew it was going to be one of my favourites from the race. This was taken two days out from Abu Dhabi in the Gulf of Oman where the bioluminescence was brighter than anywhere else we sailed. It was literally coming off the boat in bright blue waves that were causing the sails to glow.

“I was sitting on the end of the prod for 20 minutes to try and get a clean shot of the waves of blue when suddenly Justin shone the flashlight to check the trim on the sail. I fired off a burst of photos and was able to cleanly get this image although it was exposed for more than four seconds. The combination of lighting in this shot pulls it all together.”


“This shot was from the Southern Ocean just north of the ice limits. Parko had to swing out and put a gybing sheet on the FRO and my priority was rigging him up with a GoPro on his head to shoot video. Fortunately, I also had enough time to clip in and move forward with my water housing to look back and get this photo of him dangling over four-degree water in the most remote part of the world at sunset.

“I was very exposed snapping this, the leeward side of the boat in heavy seas while doing near 20 knots is not very friendly and I remember being worried a wave could wash my camera away. The colours in the sky combine with the wave action bouncing off the side of the boat to give energy to this shot while the sheets pull your attention in towards Parko in a crazy acrobatic pose.”


“I really wanted to get this shot at some point during the race and was really lucky to grab this in the Southern Ocean. This is SiFi moments before getting wiped out with this huge wave of cold water as he tries to trim one of the primary winches. Normally in heavy seas, anywhere in front of the helm is a dangerous place to be as the waves can pick you up and knock you down very violently. I quickly saw that SiFi was adjusting one of the sheets and ran forward before the wave to set myself up above him, right where the wave would come from. 

“I clipped in and then waited for the sound of the next wave to time my shutter. I set off a burst of shots right before I got knocked off my feet and thrown into the cockpit. The "V" of water forming around my body frames SiFi ducking to avoid the spray and makes this one of my favorite shots from the race!”


“A crowd favorite, this shot of Ian captured all of the race painted on his face in one image. For those who had followed our journey from the beginning, seeing this shot really brought the memories of the whole race back to mind so I was told. This was taken with a very shallow depth of field hours after we'd rounded Cape Finesterre in Leg 8 right when started getting beat up in the Bay of Biscay.

“Ian was exhausted and I was amazed how many wrinkles and stubble he had from less than 48 hours at sea. The fact that the focus plane lines up right with his eye makes this a really poignant portrait. Ian always looked like he aged 20 years during the legs - he poured himself entirely into winning this race.”


Check the selection of Dongfeng OBR Yann HERE.