After receiving thousands of applications for the On-Board Reporter program, and with a high likelihood that at least one of the seven OBRs would be knocked out of the race for one reason or another, you’d think that VOR headquarters would have a solid list of qualified replacements – but you’d be wrong. And when doctors diagnosed Dong Feng OBR Yann Riou’s wife with a life-threatening illness and he left the race two weeks ago, a mad scramble ensued in Alicante and Abu Dhabi to find someone to fill his brilliant shoes.
Thankfully, that lack of preparedness opened the door for a kid who we consider one of our own, and one of those talents who will help define the sport over the next decade: Longtime SA contributor Sam Greenfield was working in the video edit room for the VOR tv army – he was there, he was ready, and he was raring to go.
If you’ve read anything over the past few years here, you know we think Sam is sailing’s version of a young Warren Miller, and his work has the same potential to revolutionize the perception of a sport just as Miller did for backcountry and extreme skiing. Despite our hearty endorsement, there was a palpable fear from quite a few VOR and team staffers; Sam is undeniably talented, but he’s never dealt with the specific pressure of on-board race coverage, with all the obstacles it brings. We didn’t doubt him for a second, and after watching his first dispatch from the now-leading Dongfeng Race Team, we’re glad to see that, as usual, we were right.
This kid is money, as are the subjects in his first video – Kevin Escoffier and the hazards of fishing nets. Clicky the video above, and keep your eyes on the Leg 3 thread for upcoming interviews we did with all 6 OBRs just hours before the start, as well as everything else you need to know about the VOR.