“As a storyteller I’m certain there is no greater challenge on earth. You are pushed beyond your physical, mental and creative limits."
The toughest job in media
If your number was up, and you were looking back at your life, would you have regrets?
Or, could you say you fell off the map, landed at the bottom of the world, breathed in the seasons, walked to the beat of your own drum, were in for the thrill, played hard, worked hard, smashed the bucket list?
We’re looking for multi-media storytellers with the drive and desire to become one of the few; to write their own story, by telling the Volvo Ocean Race story.
Get seasick in the bathtub?
This is your mission
More people have been to the moon than have performed the role of Onboard Reporter in the Volvo Ocean Race. Think you have what it takes? Well, you're in luck.
Applications are now CLOSED
Next application window opens 1000 UTC, Friday 22 July 2016
You’ll be immersed in the action, embedded among the professional race teams that, over nine long months, will battle to win the coveted Volvo Ocean Race trophy.
The role - fully explained
The role of Onboard Reporter (OBR) is a unique innovation to convey an incredible story. No other sport has a dedicated multimedia journalist embedded within the team of athletes, right in the middle of the action - the link between life onboard and the audience onshore.
Who are we looking for? The complete package. Experienced storytellers with proven track records, and the multi-media production skills to work solo. You must be able to film, photograph, edit, write, pilot drones – and all to a high standard. Filmmakers, sports journalists, war reporters, reality producer/shooters, adventurers with a storytelling gift – you get the idea. Your ability to convey a story in a creative, compelling and imaginative way is key.
For the pro sailors, this is the pinnacle event, their Everest, their Olympic Gold, their childhood dream. We take that seriously and are looking for the very best OBRs we can find to do their story justice.
What's the job description? Your key function is as an embedded reporter, but ultimately, we’re looking for fly-on-the-wall story producers to convey the extraordinary feat of sporting endurance these sailors undertake.
You don’t have to have thousands of sea miles under your belt to be considered (it certainly helps!), but to make the cut you’ll need to be able to cope in the highly challenging working and living environment of the Volvo Ocean 65.
We’re looking for candidates from all over the world, male or female. Fluency in more than one language is a plus, but a high level of English is a must.
And the time-frame? The race itself will run from the start of October 2017 until the end of June 2018, a nine-month, paid, full-time commitment.
Pre-race preparation could range from three to six months, meaning the overall project commitment could range from 12-15 months, dependent on team assignment and their commencement of activation. As a guide, a first wave of activity is expected from March 2017.
You’ll be pushed to your limit – and beyond. You need to be fit, agile, robust and be able to edit while the boat is leaping off six-metre waves and write when your brain is in sleep-deprived meltdown.
How about the rewards? Immense. You’ll discover new depths to your determination, fresh sides to your personality. It’s an adventure, a life-journey, something you’ll never, ever forget.
To push content from the world’s oceans to race fans’ TVs, desktops and smartphones takes some serious technology. Every boat is fitted with state-of-the-art equipment: remote-control cameras, microphones and custom-designed media stations - all of which enables our Onboard Reporters to transmit video, photos and text from the most remote corners of the planet, via satellites in geostationary orbit 37,000km above the earth.
Out here, there are no coffee breaks
Okay with that?
New to the race?
There’s no prize money at stake – it’s about rising to the challenge, working harder, and sailing smarter, to lay claim to a sporting trophy, which, to offshore sailors, is their Holy Grail. The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s longest professional sporting event and leading offshore sailing competition, which began life in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
It’s a 40,000-nautical mile marathon around the planet – crossing four oceans and passing five continents.
The boats are one-design, meaning the only way for the sailors to win is to out-wit, out-sail, and out-work the competition. For weeks at a time, they endure conditions ranging from freezing cold to searing heat, racing under relentless pressure to perform at their peak and gain the fractional advantages that can mean the difference between winning and losing. It’s about teamwork, determination, personal endurance – and it takes a special breed.
Read more here
Process and timeline:
First intake application window open: 0900hrs CEST - Monday, 6 June, 2016
First intake application window closed: 1800hrs CEST - Friday, 15 July, 2016
Second intake application window open: 1200hrs CEST - Friday, 22 July, 2016
Second intake application window closed: 1200hrs CEST - Monday, 19 September, 2016
Evaluation and administration period
Top candidates interviewed and evaluated: August – September 2016
Short-list candidates selected, informed of 2017 European sailing trials programme: September – October 2016
This year, 2016 – Applications: We’re aiming to identify top candidates to compete for the onboard positions in the 2017-18 race. No formal workshops or training are planned in 2016, and no sailing is scheduled to take place with teams. Instead, the focus will be on identifying talent for the OBR positions, and giving those candidates enough lead time to develop their craft skills and onboard experience.
Next year, 2017 – Training: Connect our top candidates with potential teams for training during the 2017 European spring and summer, gather the full squad in Europe to complete this, forge the group into one team through onboard experience and onshore workshops. Making it this far does not guarantee a place in the Race. Finding the right fit with a team is key to success. This is a chance for you to test your mettle on the ocean, and for us to evaluate your craft skills as well as your ability.
The commitment: The race itself will run from the start of October 2017 until the end of June 2018, a nine-month, full-time commitment.
Pre-race preparation could range from three-to-six months meaning the overall project commitment could range from 12-to-15 months, dependent on team assignment and their commencement of activation.
As a guide, a first wave of activity is expected from European spring 2017, with new teams coming on stream in the following summer months.
Applicants will be required to be based with their team in its country of choosing, generating media for team and Volvo Ocean Race consumption from the commencement of contract.
Remuneration: This will be a full-time paid position, on par with European media industry levels, however the period of commencement will be on a case-by-case basis, dependent on team activation.
Qualifications: This is a role for storytellers with a proven track record. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate an existing body of work, existing multimedia skills in use of high-quality video production, including filming, audio gathering and editing; photography and editing; writing and working knowledge of social media.
Most importantly, we’re looking for candidates with a strong sense of story, multimedia reporters able to engage their subjects and encourage them to share this extraordinary experience. Experience of working in media is a requirement. Sailing experience, particularly offshore, is viewed as a bonus, as is the ability to operate in more than one language, noting that a high-degree of English is also a requirement.
Fitness: The Volvo Ocean Race presents enormous physical and mental challenges. It’s an adventure, yes, but it will push you past anything you previously considered a limit. Long work days, difficult working conditions, sun, salt, seasickness, heat, cold, wet, sleep deprivation – you’ll experience it all. But, when balanced with empty horizons of nothing but sea, sunrises, sunsets, nature in all its splendour, teamwork, friendship, finding new depths to your determination, and new sides to your personality – it’ll all seem worth it! To cope, you need to be fit, healthy, flexible, both physically and mentally.
Training: The Volvo Ocean Race will conduct a training clinic for all OBRs, to share the experiences gained on previous Race editions, and to teach the specific skills needed to fulfil the role. You’ll be taught how to operate and troubleshoot the onboard media system; how to operate any of the boat systems that fall under the OBR's day-to-day jurisdiction (such as the watermaker); be given an overview of the background functions at Volvo Ocean Race HQ in Alicante; briefed on the race’s media strategy with a view to being fully informed on what to produce and when while at sea; be trained in ocean safety techniques, such as use of flares and deploying liferafts.