Volvo Ocean Race to test the power of Inmarsat FleetBroadband


Three competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 are
using this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race as an opportunity for their media crew
members (MCMs) to practice broadcasting high-definition television (HDTV) and
rich multimedia content to the world’s media via the Inmarsat satellite


Inmarsat is providing communications throughout the
round-the-world challenge with its FleetBroadband service, the leading voice
and broadband data service used by vessels from pleasure cruisers to super


Competitors in the upcoming race will be the first to
have access to the new ‘red button’ safety service on FleetBroadband.  In
addition, the race is endorsing IsatPhone Pro, Inmarsat’s new global satellite
phone, by including it in the boats’ safety kits.


Groupama 4, skippered by French sailing legend Franck
Cammas, UAE entry Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing with a core of Volvo Ocean Race
veterans led by Ian Walker, and Chinese entry Team Sanya skippered by 2008-09
winner Mike Sanderson, will all be treating the Rolex Fastnet Race as if it
were a short leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, making it the perfect scenario to not
only show off the boats but their equipment too.


“The DNA of today’s Volvo Ocean Race is increasingly
based around moving images.  The role of the Media Crew Member is to be
able to transmit images as well as commentary from the boats and build a strong
story around the race. The opportunity to put the equipment to the test, as
well as my preparation as a broadcaster and photographer, in the Rolex Fastnet
is invaluable,” said Yann Riou, MCM onboard Groupama 4.


In recognition of the role broadcast media plays in
bringing the excitement of the race to billions of spectators and delivering
millions of dollars in valuable media coverage for race sponsors, Inmarsat will
again present its Media Crew Member (MCM) Award of 1,000 Euros (US$1,358) on
each leg of the race, plus a 10,000 Euro (US$13,585) prize for the best overall
contribution to race coverage.


“In so many ways Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband has
revolutionised the sport of offshore sailing. It has given a flawless
performance in tough conditions delivering reliable and high-quality material
off the boats and to the world’s media,” said Chris McLaughlin, vice
president of External Affairs, Inmarsat.


Each Volvo Open 70 race boat will be fitted with a Thrane
& Thrane Sailor FleetBroadband 500 terminal, providing voice and high-speed
data communications. Also onboard will be a compact Sailor FleetBroadband 150
for crew voice calling and IP data, plus two Sailor Mini-C systems for constant
positioning data and global safety communications.


By Team
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