Photos: Volvo Ocean Race Arrives in Newport.

I’m in Newport, Rhode Island, where I’ve been shooting a stopover of the 6th leg of the famous worldwide sailing race, the Volvo Ocean Race. 

My job was to shoot the arrival of the boats into Newport Harbor. I’ve never professionally shot sailing before, but it sounded pretty straightforward, at least in theory. With sailing, though, you just never know, and I think learned that the hard way last night. 

Heavy winds out at sea pushed the arrival of the boats significantly ahead of schedule, which meant that a sunny daytime arrival quickly turned into an overnight one. 

Teams DongFeng and Abu Dhabi Racing were the first two to arrive, going neck and neck in a historically close sprint to the finish line. 

I was assigned to shoot from a tournament chase boat, and being out on the water for this close finish was thrilling. It happened just before midnight, though, and four more boats still out at sea meant for a long night. 

At about one in the morning, we headed back out on our boat to meet the American team, Alvimedica. With about 2 nautical miles to go, their wind died completely, leaving them to crawl their way to the finish line at an excruciatingly slow pace. After three hours of sitting, waiting, and a bit of soul searching in the cold and darkness by myself and others in the chase boat we were working out of, the team crossed the finish line at 4:30 in the morning. At 6 A.M. I was in bed, only to be up and back at it again at 10am.

That’s the life of a sailor I guess! You’re at the mercy of the winds. These were really tough shooting conditions, so I’m proud of these pictures, not so much because they’re incredible to look at, but because I was able to work through a variety of adverse circumstances.

I’ll be back next weekend to shoot the in-port race here! For now, I must sleep.