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Old September 16th, 2013, 10:58 PM   #1
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America's Cub Race Videos - awesome!

The America's Cup races taking place on the San Francisco Bay have some really good video coverage. This is one short piece (don't know if they change the url so hope this is okay):

Given the high winds there are limitations to what can be mic'ed to avoid wind noise.

The salt water and salt air environment is really hard on equipment. I don't know how they managed to keep the camera lenses free of water drops and salt encrusted lumps on the lens surfaces.

The camera shots on the boat, under the boat, crew shots, shots from the helicopter or other chase boats, are awesome.

Oh, and those 72-foot boats traveling at the speeds they do .... that's a LOT of moving tonnage!
Talk about Hi-Tech! These boat have it.

The Kiwi's are really impressive. I just wished that Oracle (noticed I didn't say USA) didn't wait so long to get their act together. Dang!

Two more wins by the Kiwi's and it's all over.

main page: Races / America’s Cup
What a great place to have a race like this!
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Old September 16th, 2013, 11:59 PM   #2
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Re: America's Cub Race Videos - awesome!

About 25 years ago (or was it 35) I obtained my Captainís Coastal Cruising ticket with the American Sailing Association out of Saginaw Bay and thereafter, over the years, spent many happy if exhausting weeks, on and off, sailing a 41 ft Centurion around the islands in the Caribbean. And when another sailboat appeared one could pretend one was racing just like in the America's Cup on TV. I donít want to come across as one perpetually living in the past but I have to say the Americaís Cup back then was interesting, exciting and about real sailing.

Not now; sorry, these monstrosities donít interest me in the least.
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Old September 18th, 2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Re: America's Cub Race Videos - awesome!

John - After reading your post I can sympathise with you as I'm also a "cruiser" vice a racer. We've go an older Hunter 35 and it's loaded down to the waterline with gear and I've even got a watermaker sitting in the garage ready to install but that'd put it even further down into the water. However, there is a 65 gallon water tank in the bow that weighs 560 pounds when full so it is a trade-off.

In the olden days the big America's Cup boats had to have a fireplace on board and, I think, even a piano. These were definitely a rich-man's boat. Naw .... make that a super-rich man's boat. With that latter statement nothing has really changed. Larry Ellison has put, what, $100 Million + into his boat? Definitely out of our range. And some people think the one and two man Olympic class boats are expensive!

Oh, and back then they had "hired guns" (crews) of Norwegians pulling the lines and trimming the sails. And, there were no winches! It was all hand work.

The series now is down to the final two and the boats are really close. Kinda like watching the final two at the Reno Air Races. Also out of our league. It appears that Oracle may be a tad faster than the Kiwi boat now that they've got some things figured out but the Kiwi skipper is obviously better than the Oracle hired gun skipper. It's getting interesting.

Anyway, it's like tuning into the final quater of the Super Bowl but as a sailor, I'd say it's more interesting.

Great video.

That is one thing I'm trying to do is to take some good sailing video but it's tough with the movement of the boat and the wind noise. On our boat I'm both the helmsman AND the videographer. Each one is pretty much a full time job, even with the autopilot.

Races / America’s Cup

NZ came within a few degrees of loosing it. Talk about a white-knuckles!!!

Oh, and what are two sailboats on the water? A race! (even if they are cruisers)
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Old September 19th, 2013, 02:31 AM   #4
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Re: America's Cub Race Videos - awesome!

On a knife-edge, so to speak. Yes, scary stuff it is.

I can just imagine how you enjoy your Hunter 35, lovely sailboat that it is. I never did try shooting when sailing (early Hi8 days) however now with the latest sports and action water-proof camcorders with state-of-the-art image stabilization, the norm these days, on-board capture should be a just a breeze.

The Waikawa Bay Marina is but a few hundred meters from where I am right now and there are 600 plus boats contained within and many of those are sailboats. This area, the Marlborough Sounds, is a beautiful spot really and while not quite the Caribbean it is very popular with sailors local and not so local. If you are out and about and have a spare week or two you might consider heading off across the Pacific, stop in at Hawaii, and about twelve thousand kilometers later I shall welcome you with a beer at the Waikawa Bay Boat Club.

Maybe you might need more than a week or two!

Anyway, happy sailing and shooting.
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Old September 21st, 2013, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: America's Cub Race Videos - awesome!

Hey John! With this being Saturday (or is it different "down under"?) I can imagine what everybody is doing - watching TV, eh?

Thanks for the offer for a beer at the Walkawa Bay Boat Club but our Hunter 35 is really what is considered a coastal cruiser. I'm not going to say it couldn't make the trip to New Zealand with it but it certainly wouldn't be my first choice. Or even my second choice. Heck, just going on a week sail we run out of room on board to stow stuff.

Yesterdays Cup Race was another good one (depending on where one lives). Oracle was lucky, lucky, lucky. Maybe they were smart predicting the wind shifts, that is a possibility, but it is amazing how fast those boats go and how quickly the lead can change. Guess we'll see what happens today but if I was a bookie I'd still give really long odds for Oracle keeping the cup here but on the other hand I hope to see a few more races. They're real cliffhangers.

One would think that taking a video from a sailboat wouldn't be that hard but it really is. I've got a Glidecam 2000 that is a good match for my camera and a Stroboframe PRO-RL Bracket for mounting the camera and a Rycote Windshield with a Windjammer (to cut down on wind noise) but on our recent trip I forgot the Stroboframe so I had to use the Rode Stereo Video mic on-camera.

Lesson learned: the Rode mic with the Deadcat (my wife doesn't like what Rode calls their wind muff) in the high wind had some of the fuzz in the viewable area. I didn't catch this early on so some of the on-board videos have hair interference. Rather than give the, ahem.... deadcat .... a trim I'm going to rig up a small piece of cardboard and just tape it on top of the lens shade.

Anyway, back to on-board video. Forgot the Windshield and then I couldn't find a way to use the Glidecam system while under way. The balance that worked well on land didn't work well on the boat but I'm not giving up. There is too much boat movement for me to be able to keep a finger on the Glidecam and pointing it where I want while at the same time trying to keep myself balanced so I don't fall down.

For non-sailors, the deck is a constant moving platform with three degrees of freedom. When I try to look at the viewfinder (one that is difficult to see in the daylight) and at the same time keep everything balanced (me and the camera gear), it is not easy.

Here is a video I uploaded this morning of our crossing of the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Port Townsend, Washington, to Victoria, Canada.
The winds in August can really whip up in the afternoon and there were small craft warnings so the plan was to get an early start and hopefully make it across before things got too bad.

To put this video together I included a lot of grab shots as it wasn't the plan to make a video of the crossing, so please consider that.

Yesterdays swells generated from the gale combined with waves from todays wind to produce wave trains from two different directions so keeping balanced was made doubly difficult. Even though I've riden 40 knot winds across the Strait in the past, this trip was one of the most uncomfortable I remember taking.

For the on-board sailing shots I tried using "Stabilizer" in the video editing program but in several places it didn't do very well because of the back-and-forth movement in the foreground. You'll see some of this where the birds are sitting on the buoy. It would be nice to have the option to select a spot in the frame and have Stabilization use it as it's point of reference rather than allow it to decide what to use.

There is no doubt that I can improve the on-board video while sailing but it will take more work than I had realized.

Today's cup race starts, hopefully, in about an hour so I've got to get some work done.

Last edited by John Nantz; September 21st, 2013 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Forgot to include the video URL
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