Camera Corps, based at Shepperton Studios in the UK, is covering the 2008 Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race on the River Thames for broadcasters 021 Television and ITV Sport. This will be the company’s fourth consecutive Thames Boat Race.
An estimated 250 thousand people watch the race live from the banks of the river in addition to 7 to 9 million people watching on television in Britain and an overseas audience estimated at 120 million.
The company will equip each of the competing crews with two miniature cameras coupled via wireless link to a controller in the follow boat. Prerigging starts Wednesday March 26, three days before the race, when they will install a Hitachi KPD8 on a 3ft mast at the rear of each boat plus another KPD8 serving as the “cox-cam.” An image stabilizer in each of the mast-mounted cameras will be used to offset the strong acceleration during each rowing cycle.
A Camera Corps interface unit will provide power to the cameras, the transmitter and a GPS receiver. The interface will also power an electrically activated air canister, which can be pulsed from the follow boat to blow rain or spray off the camera lenses.
Video from the follow boat will then be transmitted to receivers at various locations along the riverside and passed down a fiber receive system to the main production truck at Barn Elms.
The Boat Race is held each spring between the Oxford and Cambridge university boat clubs. It is rowed by a crew of eight from Putney to Mortlake, heading upstream on the incoming flood tide.
For more information, visit www.cameracorps.co.uk.