The Ocean Race is billed as ‘The hardest race in the world to win and the easiest to lose’, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary from Warner Bros. Discovery follows sailing’s toughest team test. The three-part documentary premiered from Friday, November 3.
The show is called ‘A Voyage of Discovery: The Ocean Race’ and is being shown across Europe through discovery+ and Eurosport before streaming on Max in the USA. It follows the crews of the IMOCA boats during the 50th anniversary race this year. The series was produced and directed by Robert Bevan and edited by Steven Douglas Blake.
“The sailors are battling the elements and each other in the ultimate round the world voyage, and Warner Bros. Discovery was granted an access-all-areas ticket to the 32,000 nautical mile, seven-leg odyssey,” the media owner explains. “Embedded within the crews competing, WBD’s cameras captured their unique perspectives of life at sea while following the sailors’ personal lives at home.”
The sailing race took in nine cities over a gruelling six-month test of endurance. The leading protagonists are: Charlie Enright – Skipper at 11th Hour Racing Team; Annie Lush – Crew member at GUYOT environment, Team Europe; Paul Meilhat – Skipper at Biotherm; Rosalin Kuiper – Co-skipper at Team Malizia.
“The lives of the world’s greatest sailors and most daring athletes will be uncovered like never before,” say the producers. The show includes the 38 consecutive days spent crossing the Southern Ocean leg. Broken masts, and being stranded at sea in a damaged boat, are among the dramas that were endured.
In 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery agreed a production, live coverage and distribution partnership with The Ocean Race to further expand its audience by harnessing the full scale of WBD’s portfolio of global brands, channels and platforms. The media owner points to its passion for storytelling across the natural world, ocean health, sustainability, technology, science and world-class sport as a natural fit for bringing this race story to the world.
Scott Young, SVP Content & Production at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, says: “This year was the first that WBD took on the role as host broadcaster, content creator and news distribution partner of endurance sailing’s pinnacle event. It gave us unprecedented access to the crews and athletes competing.
“Our objective beyond the live coverage was to create the human story within the race. We have taken fans on the journey, to meet the people who have a passion for their sport that is matched with their commitment. Our cameras were permitted access on board and on shore to places they couldn’t ordinarily reach, telling the stories of the athletes competing to capture a more authentic experience of what the crews face during their six-month challenge.
“We’re proud to have a long-term partnership with The Ocean Race which enables us to elevate the level of storytelling possible from this incredible sport, helping sailing reach new audiences between Olympic cycles. By investing in unprecedented levels of production and bringing its stars to centre stage, we are confident we can continue to support the growth of the sport beyond a traditional sailing audience.”
Rosalin Kuiper, Co-skipper on Team Malizia, says: “I shared my feelings and thoughts with the producer like I would with my family, and that was special. I had no filter, and really shared everything from my heart. It’s a really cool way to go behind the scenes and dive into a sailor’s brain. I'm excited to see the result, and I hope we can continue this in the future, showing the human adventure in addition to the sporting side.”
Annie Lush, crew member on GUYOT environment – Team Europe, added: “It’s a unique, amazing race. The fact we can now bring more people to see it is incredible. Sailing is something that can be very distant, which can be a shame because we see some amazing things. People can learn a lot from this documentary.”
Photo: Warner Bros. Discovery has been embedded with sailors for the six months of 'The Ocean Race'.