The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is primarily about participation and raising money for charity. As such, commerical return and media value for supporting sponsors is a secondary benefit.
Nevertheless, as one of the UK’s top sporting events in terms of paticipants, the 2010 Round the Island Race makes good TV. Like many mass-participation sporting challenges, watching 1600+ boats cross the line after 8 hours of racing would be quite tedious, but as a highlights package, this event has everything sports TV should have – competitition, high performance, a bit of techno-lust, but most importantly, human interest and thousands of stories to be told.
Channel 4 will broadcast a two-part documentary this month, that will give sailing a rare outing on terrestrial TV. 7:30am on a Saturday morning is not-exactly primetime, but the program should be popular with video recorders of all formats.
Part 1 will air Saturday 13th November 2010, at 7.30am on Channel 4 and Part 2 goes out on Saturday 20th November 2010, at 7.30am on Channel 4.
Produced by Sunset+Vine|APP in association with Channel 4, the stories of four very different personalities are followed. Each had special reasons to compete in the 2010 race. The first part of the documentary takes the viewer into the day-to-day world of each of the four sailors, as they prepare for the fourth largest participation sporting event in the UK. The second part is filmed during the race itself with onboard cameras showing the highs and the lows as they compete against a fleet of some 1,700 boats.
As this is a Sunset+Vine production you need to read the next paragraph with Richard Simmonds voice in your head.
“The first to feature is a professional multihull sailor, Loick Peyron. He is skippering the boat that crossed the finish line first in 2009. The team from OMAN SAIL are back to try and make it two in a row, racing one of the world’s fastest sailboats. Can Loick repeat the team’s success? The pressure is on!”
Other stories followed include; Welsh surgeon Paul Rhys-Davies, Cowes-based designer Jo Richards and Dennise Shepherd who is recovering from breast cancer.