Thursday, May 21, 2009

In The Green Mountains Dreaming About The Irish Shore

Getting settled into my new home here in the Green Mountains of Vermont but seriously wishing I was in Galway to feel the excitement of the arriving teams. It feels like yesterday, the Stop-over team and I were camping out in the trailers, scoping out comfy places to sleep and dining on "non-SailTrim" approved snacks to stay awake waiting for Telefonica Black and Delta Lloyd's arrivals.


My feather bed is by far more comfortable than the sofas we found in the Grey Goose VIP tent! However, being tucked away from it all is bit of a culture shock. Anyone who's trained for a major event, planned a wedding or completed a large project that consumed your mind and body for an extended period of time understands this feeling. The feeling of emptiness and an eary calm.

It's crazy quiet too. The inbox is manageable. The phone does not ring. Skype is idle. There is no chatter about my desk. There is no silly UHF radio squawking in my ear and random calls from crew concerning a unique photo opportunity, "Jenn, photo op in font of Ireland Pavilion!!" Then me dropping what I am doing to find life sized bobble head U2 band members or catching a glimpse of Joe Fallon and Kenny Read practicing for their first pitch at Fenway.


I loved it.

I miss it.

We wouldn't love it if it never came to an end though and the Volvo Ocean Race is on it's last few legs. I remember while in Alicante for the start and all the Volvo Event Management crew (VEMUK) acquired their new kit and the jackets were fresh and crisp. Nearly around the world, the Race Official Orange is not nearly as bright. A weathered shade that shows hard work and experience.

The experience and looking to the future of the event. This excites me most. I didn't make it to all the stop-overs but I will eventually because the race will live on. I'm pretty mad about this event and though the history of the America's Cup is beautiful, I've yet to miss it. If the Volvo Ocean Race experienced a similar fate, I'd be devastated.

Granted it's not about me. The people involved with his event are special. The only other sailors I've worked with who really remind me of a Volvo Ocean Race Sailor or "personality" are those from the 18footer world. However, saying that cautiously as a couple very close friends are from my One Design Grand Prix days!

The people, friends you make working with or alongside this race are not casual. They stay with you even when time zones and oceans separate. The life is extreme and the nature of that creates tight bonds. There are personalities that will stay with me forever, even if I don't cross paths with them again till 2011.


The Boston Stop-over, though not without it's "bobbles," we did have a couple glitches on the tail end. Can't forget the tanker incident too quickly!


It all made for a good story, which will keep the Volvo Ocean Race at Fan Pier Boston in the history books.

Thank you to everyone who came down to the Pier, it's a great site to see so many people come watch a sailboat race. Was very impressive!


Ahh, the therapeutic effect of sitting in a little cafe and reflecting on a great experience. Hopefully this journey will see me sitting in a cafe at another stop-over before this show is over and we begin the countdown to 2011-12.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's About That Time

Just in from shooting the skippers parade and was thinking, "sure I have time to get a blog post off..."

It was a really lovely, short and to the point send-off which is actually not over..

The Teams are getting squared away on their respective boats, the crowds are impressive and the Irish Festival is turning out to be a lovely send-off.

Outside my trailer wet-teams are breaking down their temporary homes and when the clock hits 6:00pm and the last guest leave: the Race Village begins it's process of returning to an empty lot...

There are simply too many photos, tons of stories and not enough time to spit it all out. Do hope the folks of Boston enjoyed the Volvo Ocean Race. This has been one of the best sailing experiences in my life.

Time to scoot back out, the lovely Volvo TV folks aren't sick of me yet and should have a nice view of the re-start...this should hopefully entail some good shots!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day at Fan Pier Boston: Pro Am Racing!

The sun is shining, there is breeze and we have another afternoon of sailboat racing off Fan Pier. If I was a mom, this would be a nice place to come spend the afternoon with my kidos!

It'll be an improved visual from yesterday's In Port Race which was plagued with typical New England gray. However, this did not discourage spectators as both race village and Broad Sound were exceptionally fully of them.




Today's Pro Am Racing will be easily viewed from the Harbor Walk surrounding Fan Pier, this could be an interesting site to see. Heading back up to the 14th floor to view the racing, best seat in the "house!"



Friday, May 08, 2009

Baseball Caps For Hard Hats

One of the highlights to this Volvo Ocean Race experience is the random trip "next door." This entire site is actually a construction zone and behind us a "work-in-progress" which will eventually be a snazzy office high-rise.


What's enjoyable about these trips are the unique perspectives it provides from taking an aerial photo of the village, expansive views of Boston Harbor to providing big open space to measure massive Volvo Open 70 sails.




Today it was quite interesting to follow a few Puma and Telefonica folks up to the fourth floor where the guys cleared out nearly an entire floor for them to safely lay out their crisp new sails. I asked the guys if they'd had to wear hard hats yet and the answer was,"No," but they have measured sails in some interesting places.


The funny thing about a hard hat; it looks silly, does not stay on very well but when you are behind the lens walking about and don't see the electrical outlet weighted by a block of concrete and hanging randomly from the ceiling - it works!

The whack in the head changed my perspective once again as I thought about switching my eye to artistic over photojournalistic...



I was quite impressed with the space and having these sails fill it up!

It was quick and onward to the practice race, which is currently done with and first word from the "man" was it wasn't horrible! Hey, that is why there is a practice race. It's not just for the sailors but also for the team of volunteers to get their groove on. Stayed shore-side so sad to say no photos, do have a dock shot that eludes one to think they teams were leaving for the real deal!


The radio is chirping, boys are heading in...hope the crowds on the Harbor Walk make them feel like they are coming in from the real deal!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Time To Learn Spanish: Volvo Ocean Race Moves To Alicante Spain

Just announced in a press conference held at Fan Pier Boston, the future of the Volvo Ocean Race:

Thursday 7 May 2009 16:00 GMT

The Volvo Ocean Race is to move its headquarters from the south coast of England to Alicante, Spain. The Mediterranean city will become both the start port and the home of the race for the next three editions.

The announcement was made at a press conference today in Boston after the signing of an agreement between the Volvo Ocean Race and the Spanish regional government of Valencia.

This is a great moment for the Volvo Ocean Race,” Knut Frostad, the race CEO said in revealing details of the alliance. “One of our goals, as we’ve looked ahead to the next race, has been to establish long-term relationships with our stopover ports, and, for economic reasons, to base our headquarters in one of the stopover ports. But this only makes sense when both parties can make a long-term commitment. And that’s the partnership we are announcing today with Alicante.

“Spain has played a significant part in recent editions of the race. Spanish sailors outnumber all other nations in the current competition and Spain has shown consistently that it understands event culture, and how to organise sporting competition.”

Full Article...

Photo: Alicante Spain as viewed from the Wet Team Base/Jennifer Langille

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Gray Busy Days at Fan Pier Boston

We've had some nasty weather in Boston, making all things outside simply no fun! Life goes on though, boats all got re-launched, race village activities continue and preparations for this weekend's In Port race are down to final details.

Here are a few shots from the last two day's of activity:









The sun is working her way out, teams are on-the-water as sailors have returned to stop - In Port Race.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The "Kitty" Backs College Sailing

I'll be the first to admit being leary of Puma's intentions when they came into the sailing scene, even more so of the idea that Puma gear would provide serious protection from Mother Nature's wrath. I've been pleasantly swayed in favor of the kitty's support. Further more, impressed with the enthusiasm and last minute support to the ICSA National Semi-Finals here at Fan Pier.

To top it all off, looks cool!




So a shout out to Puma for embracing the sport. For all you folks still on the fence, I've put the gear to the test and DRY DRY DRY.

One last little thank you goes to Puma's marketing, creative media department and public relations. The video footage rocks the socks of anyone interested in a good story. Especially this collaboration with RipeTV:

Saturday, May 02, 2009

College Sailing, Live Music and Family Fun

There was something for everyone at Fan Pier today. My preference, the ICSA National Semi-Finals. It was impressive all the college sailors who completely overtook the Race Village and Harbor Walk.





The college kids were a welcomed addition to the scene, though the Red Sox Mascot Wally put a massive smile on my face. He went head to head with "The Duck" on the coffee grinders where he was the victor.



They reminded me what a family friendly event this is, drawing much of my attention to all the "little ones" running about, playing and clearly have a good time!




There's been some form of live music virtually everyday as well, street performers and the daily exhibits.


While all this is going on, the syndicates Wet Teams carry on with work as usual. It's nice to have them on "display."


Reviewing all the shots I just posted would say it was was a good day. We were not short on visitors! Between the college event and natural draw of Puma City, taking photos was a challenge at times.


We are all hoping for more of the same tomorrow. The college teams are back at it and I hope to be on-the-water to cheer on the Conn College Camels who I had the joy of working with last season. Yah!

Till then...have a stack of paper work to go through for one of the "hats" I wear: supporting operations and logistics for next weekend's In Port and Pro Am race. Dear me the details, ignorance was bliss! (It's actually been the best learning experience ever, it's better than a college internship!)