Earlier this month, the annual Round the Island yacht race took place. 1,533 boats set off from Cowes to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight.
It’s a spectacular sight, literally a sea of sails. Rather excitingly, I had the opportunity to shoot the race from the air, from a helicopter owned by Phoenix Helicopters, Goodwood.
It wasn’t my first time shooting from a helicopter without doors so I wasn’t phased when we took off and headed out over the Solent. I love flying in helicopters!
Phoenix had obtained a low fly permit for me so we were able to fly fairly close to the yachts, although there are of course limits and I was glad to have my 70-200mm zoom with me.
Using two cameras, the other one with my 24-70mm lens, enabled me to capture wider views as well.
I had particularly wanted to photograph the yachts rounding The Needles, arguably the Island’s most iconic landmark and certainly one that looms large in my memories from a childhood spent sailing the Solent.
In addition to the big ‘race’ shots, I hoped to capture some closer pictures that would work in black and white for a more timeless feel.
In addition to all the many yachts on the sea, the RNLI lifeboats were kept busy attending to boats struggling in the challenging conditions on the day.
It was an exhilarating experience, and one I hope to repeat. Many thanks to Max from Phoenix for his excellent piloting.