There has been some discussion recently about the use of camera’s mounted on the boats during races as a tool to help your case in the protest room.
When it was raised at the AGM, the comments were that they have limited credibility amongst judges due to camera angles not getting the right perspective in an incident. I agree to a point, while it may be hard to judge mark room or whether someone is 2 boat lengths to leeward from a fixed camera, they can give credibility to your case, provided everything else is equal. Not only that, but in the unlikely chance of a prang, then it may help with your insurance claim.
The best part of course is being able to play back your “heroic moments” and observe the graceful disintregration of crew work in that chinese gybe!
We use a Go Pro black edition which has a wi fi on/off controller, but that’s not really neccessary, the most basic models have the same sensors and optics for less money and it’s all you need. Go Pro is the most well known model of sports camera, but there are plenty of competitors that may be just as good and provide the utility for less money, that said the Go Pro is well proven and has good back up and excellent resources available to help you get the best out of it. If you are considering camera then it would be well advised to do your research and which ever brand you choose, make sure it has a range of accessories for mounting on your boat as well as good local back up. Provided the video quality is good enough then the main consideration in my opinion is a long battery life, by that I mean at least 1.5 hours which should cover a Monday night’s racing.
I am by no means an expert on how to set up a Go Pro, but fortunately the web is full of braniacs like Abe Kislevitz go to his site for a detailed explanation on setting up a camera, but for the short version, I can tell you that even though the Go Pro black edition has 137 different filming options you really only need to use the 1080 30 Wide Mode which is one of the cleanest modes in the camera and gives less wide angle distortion, ideal for the protest room.
We hope to have a few more boats with cameras in the coming season, and we look forward to getting some great shots of the fleet in action. For the most part, video footage of the boat sailing is reasonably dull, it’s only the mark roundings or close racing with other boats that provide the context and depth to a movie. So dont expect to become the next youtube star with an hour of downwind sailing in 5 knots, but for those moments of “interesting” crew work or close racing with other boats, a camera can give a lot of post match enjoyment!