Team Brunel in the mid-Atlantic / Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9,…

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

Team Brunel in the mid-Atlantic / Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9, 2018-05-25

Helm: Kyle Langford
Windspeed: Gusting to 30 knots
Boatspeed: 25 knots
Drone operator: Sam Greenfield

I gif’d this from the Season’s Greetings from The Ocean Race! video that came out on Christmas Eve. But if you like it you should totally check out the original raw-content video uploaded by Sam:

My partial transcript/commentary, entered as I was first watching the video, from my obligatory obsessive spreadsheet:

Sam: It’s blowing 30 knots outside, and we’re going 30 knots, so we’re gonna try to launch the Phantom Pro in these conditions. He launches the drone. Amazing footage of Brunel surfing in 30 knot winds from the drone. Major stuff of the bow. Title (as the picture goes wobbly): Finally the camera gimbal starts shorting out from salt and moisture. Drone comes in for the recovery, but the crewmember with a chest camera waiting to catch it misses it and it goes back aft toward Kyle, who makes a one-handed catch of it while continuing to HELM THE BOAT WITH HIS OTHER HAND. Thank you and good night.

Extra fun: Here’s a screenshot of the live tracker from that day showing the weather system they were riding:


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In the last edition of the race Sam Greenfield was the first…

Friday, May 25th, 2018

In the last edition of the race Sam Greenfield was the first person to fly a drone from a racing sailboat in the middle of the ocean. A few hours ago he uploaded this footage from the North Atlantic: The first time someone’s flown a drone from an ocean racer surfing in gale conditions.

It is to boggle. 😀

(Also, nice one-handed catch by Kyle WHILE CONTINUING TO DRIVE THE BOAT.)

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a-solitary-sea-rover:Drone shot of Team Brunel underway. Sam…

Friday, April 27th, 2018


Drone shot of Team Brunel underway.

Sam showing off. Here’s the youtube version:

Probably just a me thing, but I kind of wish he’d used the actual audio rather than dubbing in the soothing sound of the sea. I mean, I like this version fine. I just wish I could be right there with the actual whiny drone noise. But I understand why they rarely leave it in.

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Turn the Tide on Plastic gybes to starboard. Volvo Ocean Race,…

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Turn the Tide on Plastic gybes to starboard. Volvo Ocean Race, 2017-11-07 1740 UTC. Source.

I want to talk for a second about that guy in red at the back of the boat. That’s Sam Greenfield, the boat’s on-board reporter (OBR). This time around, for the first time, the output of the Volvo OBRs is being published immediately, without filtering by the team sponsor or the race organization. The OBRs shoot the video, edit it on board, uploads it via satellite, and it’s immediately available for viewing on the race’s Raw Content page.

I’m kind of obsessed.

When I saw this video show up in the feed today I immediately got excited. Because in the beginning of the video you can see that the crew is shifting the stack to leeward, which means they’re about to gybe. And as far as I know no one had ever used a drone to record a racing sailboat gybing in conditions like this in the middle of the ocean.

Well, someone has now. :-)

Sam pioneered the use of drones in the last edition of the race, and since then they’ve become common in coverage of sailboat racing. But he keeps pushing the state of the art forward.

The start of Leg 2 has been windy and rough, and a lot of the OBRs (and not only the OBRs) have been dealing with seasickness. Despite being one of the victims, Sam has been sharing amazing stories off the boat over the last two days. I can’t wait to follow him around the world over the next 8 months.

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a-solitary-sea-rover: A report from Turn the Tide on Plastic’s…

Monday, November 6th, 2017


A report from Turn the Tide on Plastic’s Onboard Reporter, Sam Greenfield. If he’s covering the VOR, he’d better add that word to his spellcheck.

(Here’s the video of the lifevest incident.)

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Volvo Ocean Race on Twitter

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Volvo Ocean Race on Twitter:

Liz Wardley on Turn the Tide on Plastic had a nasty accident during the Lisbon In Port race today. (Earlier in the race Ñeti on MAPFRE had a similar accident when a sheet pulled his legs out from under him and he landed on the back of his head.)

The foredeck of a racing sailboat definitely isn’t the safest place. I’m glad Liz wasn’t hurt worse. Also, good job by OBR Sam Greenfield, who switched quickly from his designated “watch but don’t assist” role to dropping the camera and helping to free her. (Another member of the crew ran forward from the pit area to help too, but I can’t tell who it was from the video.)

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Annalise Murphy on Twitter

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Annalise Murphy on Twitter:

tfw one sail on your new boat weighs more than your whole last boat. 😜

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Dongfeng’s leg 6 OBR Sam Greenfield got great footage from his…

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Dongfeng’s leg 6 OBR Sam Greenfield got great footage from his quadcopter drone while DF and ADOR were dueling off Block Island in the approach to the finish.

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I’d been a little anxious that Yann Riou no longer being…

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

I’d been a little anxious that Yann Riou no longer being the OBR on Dongfeng would mean a reduction in the quality of the videos coming off the boat; as anyone who follows me knows I’ve become a serious Yann Riou fanboy. But at least judging from this first video uploaded by replacement OBR Sam Greenfield, I don’t need to worry.

He’s doing something I haven’t seen in an on-board video before: Using a light-sensitive camera to shoot in color under the light of the full moon. It works better than I would have expected.

He also managed to capture the moment when the boat hit a fishing net, including reactions from Kevin and Charles. He cut it in with an interview on the bow with Kevin talking about his family members who are fishermen in Saint-Malo. It all works really well.

He also included a beautiful shot of Orion.

 A+ would recommend. :-)

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