Yachts from the Air

Round the Island-7
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.
Round the Island again again
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.
Round the Island-4
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!
Round the Island-5
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.
Round the Island-2
Using two cameras, the other one with my 24-70mm lens, enabled me to capture wider views as well.
Round the Island-9
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.

Round the Island-11

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.

Round the Island again-4

It was an exhilarating experience, and one I hope to repeat. Many thanks to Max from Phoenix for his excellent piloting.

Round the Island-6

Round the Island-12

Kite surfers do it in style

St.Ouen's bay jersey
While I was on Jersey last month I had a chance to watch kite surfers doing their thing. What an amazing sport.
La Rocco tower, Jersey
I wonder what the eighteenth century builders of La Rocco tower would think if they could see this scene.
St.Ouen's Beach, Jersey
I got chatting to one of the surfers and he told me it’s really quite easy. Not sure I believed him. The lighthouse in the background is La Corbiere, which featured in a couple of my earlier posts.
La Rocco tower
One of the tricky things I discovered about shooting kite surfers is that you have to choose between wide shots to get the kite as well as the surfer or close ups to capture the jumps and rolls the surfers do. The trouble with the latter is that without the kite the shot can look a little weird. Needless to say, however, I gave it a good try and some closer shots will feature in a later post.