A Year on the Water - Article

Expedition Studios photographer Cherie Bridges is currently circumnavigating the globe with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race for 40,000 nautical miles as an on-board camera reporter.

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For the second consecutive edition of the Clipper Race, it’s an all-female media team on board the yachts; Cherie Bridges, who will be doing the full 40,000 nautical mile circumnavigation; fellow Brit Daniela Devine, who will be doing Legs 1, 2, 7, and 8; and Frenchwoman Maeva Bardy, who will be on board for Legs 3, 4, and 5.

There’s no typical day in the life of a Clipper Race On Board Reporter (OBR). No matter the weather, sea state, or time of day, the three talented cinematographers will cover every moment, the highs and the lows, of the 40,000 nautical mile race around the world. Through Official Satellite Communications Supplier AST, the OBRs send back images and vision daily in order to show what life is really like racing across the world’s oceans.

IMAGE: OBR Cherie Bridges on Punta del Este in the Doldrums.

IMAGE: OBR Cherie Bridges on Punta del Este in the Doldrums.

Cherie, the round the world OBR, is currently crossing the Atlantic Ocean on board Punta del Este, after racing aboard Unicef in the opening race from London to Portimão. The award winning cinematographer, who previously worked for Greenpeace, says of the adventure: “It’s definitely not easy having a Clipper 70 for an office! Living at a 40 degree angle makes even the smallest things an enormous effort. You are shooting, editing, sleeping, eating, in a very compact space. Keeping your kit dry, working and in the same place you left it... can be a nightmare.

It becomes even harder in rough weather! We recently skirted a cyclone off the coast of Senegal, and the crew were seasick, soaked through, and sleep deprived. But your office is still your office, even whilst being blown around in 40 knots of wind. I love the challenge of it all, and the beauty of not knowing what will happen next.
IMAGE: Cherie captured the approaching Tropical Storm Lorenzo on board Punta del Este.

IMAGE: Cherie captured the approaching Tropical Storm Lorenzo on board Punta del Este.

While documenting the adventures of the 700 non-professional sailors taking on the race of their lives has its challenges, Cherie wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

I have an endless love for the ocean, and the freedom that comes with living on it. The weather rules all, and you can go from cat-napping on a sail bag to fighting reefing lines in the middle of a squall within minutes.
You also form such meaningful connections with the other crew members. There is no wifi, no tv, no 21st century distractions interrupting your conversations. You very quickly become a family, helping each other out in any way you can. Being able to capture these incredible people develop into fantastic sailors is a pure privilege.
IMAGE: Big conditions captured by Cherie during Unicef's Bay of Biscay crossing.

IMAGE: Big conditions captured by Cherie during Unicef's Bay of Biscay crossing.