I’ve become a huge fan of Dongfeng on-board reporter Yann Riou. At 40 he’s by far the oldest OBR in the fleet; Brunel’s Stefan Coppers is 32, while the rest are 30 or younger.
Partly I think it’s my fantasy of sailing on the boats myself, and my recognition that at 52 I can’t credibly picture myself working the foredeck (which I did in my competitive sailing days) or navigating (which I also did, and for which being 52 actually wouldn’t be a disqualification, except I lack the extensive experience in long-distance offshore navigation that I’d need). And since I’ve spent most of my professional life doing media/Webbish-related things, my subconscious tends to slot me in as OBR.
So Yann is the closest thing to a “me” viewpoint character in the race, and I probably like him more than I otherwise would because of that.
But mostly I like him because he’s awesome. At least for me, his videos are consistently the most interesting and engaging.
He has a point of view that he gets across, but as a director he’s mostly invisible. Other OBRs are more obviously present in their video segments. Corinna on SCA feels tentative. Her viewpoint is frequently anchored in the hatchway. it feels like the point of view of a novice trying to stay out of the way. Brian on Vestas makes himself the star, pushing the Irish wit and charm in a way that is fun, certainly, but which doesn’t work as well for me as Yann’s serious, self-effacing documentary work.
More than any other OBR, Yann is out there in the action. He puts the camera in the right spot, getting close to the sailors as they’re doing their jobs. For their part they seem used to it; they just ignore him and go on with what they’re doing. Which works great for someone like me who cares more about what’s actually happening than about jokey things like how much the OBR’s boots smell.
It’s not all action shots, though. Yann also does a wonderful job capturing the human stories on the boat, as he does in this video about Dongfeng’s newest, youngest crewmember, Black (Liu Xue).
Reposted from http://ift.tt/1rjWt0D.