Sailing at Weymouth

This week it’s the turn of the sailors to run their Olympic Test Event at Weymouth in Dorset, on England’s South Coast. Discounting the odd football game taking place in Scotland and the North of England this is the most remote of all the Olympic Venues being some two and a half hours South of London.

Franziska Goltz (GER), Laser Radial, women's one person dinghy, Sailing Olympic Test Event, Weymouth, England, Photo by: Peter Llewellyn

Franziska Goltz (GER), Laser Radial, women’s one person dinghy, Sailing Olympic Test Event, Weymouth, England, Photo by: Peter Llewellyn

Nikon D3, AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 200-400 f4 lens at 400mm,
1/1600th @ f5.6, ISO 250, Aperture Priority Automatic, Handheld

The first few days of the test event saw a variety of  weather conditions and on Friday I managed to get out on the water to see how our RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) drivers were performing. Although not as windy as I might have liked we did get some sunny conditions which aids immensely as this is a very difficult sport to photograph. You are faced with trying to work from a small boat that is bouncing around in the waves, with difficult lighting, trying to focus on a subject that is also bouncing around while moving at quite high speeds while hand holding a long telephoto lens!

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR), 470, women's two person dinghy, Sailing Olympic Test Event, Weymouth, England,

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR), 470, women’s two person dinghy, Sailing Olympic Test Event, Weymouth, England,

Nikon D3, AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm  f4 lens,
1/1000th @ f6.3, ISO 320, Aperture Priority Automatic, Handheld
(yes, you can handhold a 500mm in these circumstances, just ensure your shutter speed is high enough and the VR is turned on)

This is a sport where you shoot large numbers of photos and keep a much lower percentage than you would normally expect. Often you think you have everything framed up nicely only to find that at the instant you pressed the shutter all you captured was the top of the masts. Additionally you are gong to spend a great deal of time straightening up your horizons. As a colleague of mine remarked as we were reviewing photos in the media centre when we got off the water, “no wonder they can all go so fast, the sea slopes downhill in all my pictures!”

Boarders pull aay from the start, RS:X women's windsurfer, Sailing Olympic Test Event, Weymouth, England, Photo by: Peter Llewellyn (Peter Llewellyn/Peter Llewellyn Photography)

Boarders pull aay from the start, RS:X women’s windsurfer, Sailing Olympic Test Event, Weymouth, England, Photo by: Peter Llewellyn (Peter Llewellyn/Peter Llewellyn Photography)

Nikon D3, AF-S VR Nikkor 500mm,  f4 lens,
1/1000th @ f6.3, ISO 320, Aperture Priority Automatic, Handheld

Tomorrow I am off to the World Badminton Championships at Wembley Arena, which is our test event for this sport – more shooting advice to come.

Peter L.