Behind the scenes: New York-Barcelona IMOCA Ocean Masters race

Published on November 21st, 2014

In June 2014, Pepe Ribes and Ryan Breymaier won the New York-Barcelona IMOCA Ocean Masters race, a 3720-mile, two-week-long transatlantic sprint for 60-foot yachts. But aboard the winning Hugo Boss boat was a third man, independent journalist Chris Museler.

Museler reported the day-to-day lives of professional sailors and relayed video back to Gabe Johnson, Taige Jensen and Matthew Orr of The New York Times, who condensed 14 days of raw footage into Strangers at Sea, a 17-minute documentary that is being co-published with POV.

Museler, himself a sailor, told POV more about how he was able to navigate his role as an independent documentarian while being aboard the extreme conditions of a ship in the middle of a high-intensity race. Chris Museler explains…

The truth is, nobody wanted to take an extra person on board, and I don’t blame them. They took me because they both kind of knew me, and they knew I’ve been across the ocean on a boat before, and that I have been in extreme sailing situations.

Even with that, it took most of the race for them to tune me out, and it took me most of the race to realize when not to be around. In this particular case, our objective was to capture the experience of two people having to sail a really crazy machine across the ocean and all that involves in terms of physical effort, intensity and interpersonal relationships, without them thinking about it. Real vérité style.

I think we accomplished that, which was wonderful, because I don’t think they are ever going do this again in double-handed racing. You will not see — at least in the near future — a journalist that can go onboard a boat and capture professional racing without the team or the sponsors or the event getting the first whack at it.

We got to do everything our way. So I think that’s one of the most unique parts of this experience. FULL REPORT

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