Behind the Scenes, April 2018

Published on April 2nd, 2018

We are fans of the wall calendar, and the start of each month requires a flip on our calendars from J/Boats, Onne van der Wal, and Sharon Green. Here Sharon shares the behind-the-scenes story for the April image of her 2018 Ultimate Sailing Calendar.


Sharon with Carlo at 2017 America’s Cup.

This month’s image is a credit to Carlo Borlenghi – one of the foremost marine photographers in the world.

As many of you know, I came up with the concept of creating the Ultimate Sailing Calendar, and launched the first edition in 1983. For years I traveled the globe, searching out the ‘ultimate’ venues, yachts and composition of sea and sky, light and action. It has indeed been the ‘ultimate’ career!

It was 2006 when we first incorporated other photographers into the calendar, and it has been a blast ever since. Most photographers have a special focus, or location where they shoot. They may concentrate on dinghies, onboard shots, underwater housing, America’s Cups, Olympic classes, match racing, foiling cats, the Volvo Ocean Race, etc. – or a region: like South America, the Med, Europe, Australia, so on.

But not Carlo! Carlo is everywhere, and is an icon and legend in our field. We call him the Godfather. He is a true artist with a very unique style.

He sees things differently: photographing reflections in windows, very tight (close-up) clever compositions; he was the first to do different horizons, and use an underwater housing. It is always refreshing to edit his work and when we’re at the same event, it’s a real treat to get to work with him. In addition to his talent and dedication, he is always so happy, and hard-working.

For instance, we were in Newport, Rhode Island for the J Class Worlds, at the time of the solar eclipse. We were just coming in after the races and were at the dock, but Carlo was determined to get a shot with the sun and the moon.

© Carlo Borlenghi /J Class

He toiled and tried different ways to capture the image – all while the eclipse’ clock was ticking – and ultimately captured it with the aperture three stops down, using a 100-400 lense and 2D filter. He just doesn’t ever quit!

This April calendar image of Freya at the Rolex Swan Cup is an example of his enthusiasm and perseverance. You can see, and almost feel, the power of this massive 90-foot Swan as it roars through the beautiful waters of Virgin Gorda.

And Freya proved both visually stunning, and victorious. Winning three of four races in this series, she now boasts victory in the Swan Cup on both sides of the Atlantic.

We are already eyeing some of Carlo’s images for the 2019 calendar, which I’m editing now. Stay tuned!

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