Sailing is not a sport that attracts a spectator base from the general public. It is a sport that can seem to make no sense to those who do not understand the sport, making it difficult for casual sports fans to engage with it. However, major sailing events are using social media to further their reach and make the sport more spectator friendly.
Currently taking place is the Volvo Ocean Race, a 9-month long race around the globe with seven teams visiting 12 cities in six continents. Racing offshore for up to three and a half weeks at a time, the event is a significant feat. However, given that most of the racing takes place hundreds of miles from land, fans cannot go and observe the racing live until they reach nearer to land.
In a bid to combat this, each team has an on-board reporter who photographs events on board, makes video compilations for the Volvo Ocean Race media teams and relays information about life on board.
Martin Keruzoré and Sam Greenfield are two on-board reporters who post some of the most impressive images on their personal Instagram accounts. The use of photography and film allows fans to see what is going on in the event. Given that the racing is taking place 24 hours a day, if something significant happens in the middle of the night fans are able to view footage of it the next morning.
The event organisers also use a live tracker to keep fans updated as to the boats’ positions as they sail around the world (currently off the coast of South America on their way to Cape Town). Social media helps fans engage with the sport in ways that would otherwise be impossible. They regularly post very impressive photos and videos that are well worth viewing.
https://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos – Volvo Ocean Race YouTube Channel
https://www.instagram.com/volvooceanrace/?hl=en – Volvo Ocean Race Instagram Page
https://www.instagram.com/_samgreenfield_/?hl=en – Sam Greenfield Instagram Page
https://www.instagram.com/martinkeru/?hl=en – Martin Keruzoré Instagram Page
https://www.facebook.com/volvooceanrace/ – Volvo Ocean Race Facebook Page