Technology has always played a huge part in helping us showcase the conditions the crew face during the Clipper Race, whether it is the waterproof cameras used on board or the data used to track the yachts around the world on the Race Viewer.

At Race Finish we showcased our newest technology, the most immersive and exciting tool yet which actually inserts race fans into the heart of the race experience.

Visitors to the Race Village at St Katharine Docks were able to use our new Virtual Reality headset to find themselves on board a Clipper Race yacht during an ocean crossing.

The footage, shot on board the Da Nang-Viet Nam yacht during the Homecoming Leg of the race, allows the wearer to stand on board a powered up, heeled over Clipper 70 in the middle of the Atlantic and gives you the full 360 degrees view as you turn around and choose where to look.

Not only is this technology a good way of attracting interest in the race experience, but also for family and friends of race crew to get a real feeling of racing under extreme conditions

During the two and a half minute sequence you get to experience different views as you stand near the helm, in the cockpit, and even right out on the bowsprit where you can spot dolphins dive in and out of the water right in front of you.

“Filming with the 360 camera was a great opportunity and something I’m really proud to be involved in,” says round the world crew member Lara Sword who shot the footage on board her team’s yacht.

“Seeing friends and family, and even total strangers put the headset on, instantly transported onto Da Nang-Viet Nam in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is really satisfying. Watching them lean and try to hang on with the movement of the boat while exploring all the views shows they’re truly involved in it."

As the yacht races it is hard not to feel slightly wobbly on your feet or feel like you need to hold on as the experience is so realistic.

Crew Recruitment Manager Della Parsons says the technology has been a huge hit so far. “It has been incredibly popular and everyone who tried it in London was really impressed. You can talk to people about the experience as much as they want but to actually be able to put them into it is very powerful.

“Almost everyone tries to hold on to something as they get totally wrapped up in it, which makes it quite amusing to watch for those not actually doing it too!”

Matt Wallace, Owner of Janno Media Production, was part of the team behind the production of the final video.

“We initially discussed the opportunity of embracing 360 video as a tool for training the Clipper Race crew.

“The marketing team saw the broader potential and together formed the concept, working closely with the race team to deliver an outstanding quality product - a first for the Clipper Race and for Janno Media Production.”

The Virtual Reality headsets will be available to use during future crew recruitment talks and events. Click here for upcoming events.

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