Capturing the Action: Rich Edwards, Equator Crossing

10 February 2016


Twenty thousand miles into the race and there are five months down, six to go. The numbers may be simple, but they alone cannot tell the entire story.

Airlie beach represented the most substantial crew changeover so far as we embarked on the Asian Pacific leg of the race. Documenting that change was of significant interest as 'leggers' offer new blood to power the experienced minds and weary limbs of the round the world crew.

Crossing the Equator was symbolic of a team coming together, forging those who had crossed previously with those fresh to middle earth. The camera captured all the silliness, the grand costumes, and people being showered with discarded food supplies. More tellingly, I also captured a genuine enthusiasm for the race which translated far beyond the court of King Neptune.

Excitingly, the story of the race is really beginning to unfold, especially for the 'round the worlders'. Every documentary maker has the ultimate goal of understanding their contributors without becoming part of the story, which is extraordinarily difficult to achieve, but a challenge to inspire the mind.

To live with the crew, to witness them at work, and to experience a proportion of their hardships offers an intriguing insight into their thought processes. You breathe the same air, endure the same heat, and ride the same waves.

The interviews are astonishing, and even offer some representation for the documenter. I called them the 'half way home interviews', and encouraged the crew to reflect on their emotional experiences from the first half of the race, how they felt about repeating that extraordinary feat for a second time, and how they wished to feel when they arrived at race finish at St Katharine’s Dock on the 30 July 1016.

Themes of pride, endurance, achievement and doubt are revealed. A dogged determination shines brightly, and unforgettable moments are relived, not least Da Nang - Viet Nam's popular Sydney to Hobart victory under Australian Skipper Wendy Tuck.

You see the emotion, believe the sincerity, and witness the tears. People always tell me 'how they feel' but unless you provide context behind the question, answers can very often just be words.

The people I have interviewed this week are genuinely undertaking a life changing experience, and the camera is simply a way for capturing an honest conversation between two people.

Pleasingly, this all makes for a forever-evolving and compelling story of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. The team are excited to be racing into their home port, and I'm excited to capture their story into Da Nang, Vietnam.

Rich Edwards is part of the 1080 Media team documenting the Clipper 2015-16 Race for the TV series, 'Race of Their Lives 2'. Click here to view the trailer.