The Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) has three National Championship regattas: Women’s, Team Racing, and Coed. Women’s is obvious, both skipper and crew are female and racing against 17 other boats at a time. Team Racing head-to-head with three boats for each team with any type of makeup. The course is much more compact and the races are won on strategy and boat-handling skills. It was by far the most fun to document because there were almost crashes, yelling, and very close finishes. Coed racing is the same as Women’s, but the team can be any combination.
There’s nothing better than being on the water. For a week and half, I’d wake up, set remotes, get a shot list, and then head out on the water to capture the top college sailors in the country go to work. At the end of the day I’d go back to my townhome on campus and edit. By the end of the assignment I had shot 250GB of photos between my hand-held cameras and remotes. This day-in-day out shooting and covering the same action, sailors, and teams forced me to really push to make different photos each day and not remain complacent.
ICSA was a dream to work with due to their immediate creative trust and super-nice staff. During the prep phone calls I talked with them about GoPro remotes, something I haven’t been able to do while working for Old Dominion, and they were completely on-board. I had three GoPros on different boats, 2 Hero3+ Black and 1 Hero2, and rotated different positions to experiment. I hung them on the mast, stern looking out, low-starboard stern looking back, and both sides of the bow. I’d work with sailors to ensure the GoPros were mounted safely and wouldn’t interfere with racing. The only one that was a problem was the stern looking out. It was my favorite because it took the most work to mount and provided a nice water-level view, but a team let their jib sheet go by mistake and it wrapped around it. After the race we pulled it on the water immediately, nothing scarier than hanging out of a boat, holding another and unscrewing a couple hundred dollars of gear and hoping nothing goes in the drink.
Here’s a few of my favorites and two quick production images. I can’t thank Mitch, Danielle, Adam, and the staff at St. Mary’s enough for their trust, hospitality, energy and sailing racing knowledge. I couldn’t have done it without them. Next year I’ll have a drone.