Groupama's Riou Scoops Inmarsat Media Crew Member Award for Leg 2
Groupama sailing team’s Yann Riou has won the second Inmarsat Media Crew Member Award for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 in recognition of his stunning onboard media output during Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.
Riou was chosen by a panel of judges from the race’s communications team led by director Jon Bramley and Inmarsat’s vice-president for external affairs, Chris McLaughlin, from a shortlist which also included Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Nick Dana, and Hamish Hooper of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand who won the first leg award.
McLaughlin said: “Once again it has been such a tough choice for us to pick a winner. The standard this edition has noticeably jumped from the previous race in 2008-09 and I thought the content in Leg 2 was even more compelling than Leg 1.
“With the help of our Inmarsat Fleet Broadband on board, these guys are able to keep fans up to date with the action from hundreds of miles away in the high seas with daily video and photo footage plus audio and text reports.”
Bramley added: “All six of our Media Crew Members (MCMs) are very talented individuals and without them we simply could not convey the drama of the best sailing event in the world.
“Once again, it was a very hard choice for the judges’ panel, not only to pick Yann as the winner but simply to whittle down the list to three finalists.”
Rick Deppe, Volvo Ocean Race MCM project manager and associate producer, said: “This has been another great leg for Yann. His team were really in the hunt on this leg and he did a great job of capturing the excitement.
“He always does high quality work and enables a lot of extra television live slots in France in a very efficient and professional manner.”
Thirty-seven year old Frenchman, Riou, who was presented with the award last night by Inmarsat CEO, Rupert Pearce at the Leg 2 prizegiving gala dinner in Abu Dhabi, confessed to being surprised to be chosen. “I was not expecting it and I was surprised to receive it,” he said.
“I think the jury noted in particular, the regularity and quantity of the work provided during this leg. But when we're on the water, I don't think about winning an award, it just comes naturally or not.”
Volvo Ocean Race partner Inmarsat provide the highly sophisticated satellite tracking technology which allows all the MCM’s content to be transmitted from the boats at high speed to race HQ in Alicante and then on to the world’s media.
Inmarsat also sponsor the MCM Award of 1,000 Euro ($1,358) on each leg of the race, as well as the 10,000 Euro ($13,585) prize for the best overall contribution to the race coverage.