The toughest media job in the world

17 June 2015: Inmarsat will be joined by a top panel of judges in Gothenburg to decide who will be crowned winner of the Inmarsat Onboard Reporter (OBR) Award for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 and receive a prize of €20,000.

Throughout the nine-month, 38,739-nautical mile offshore marathon, the OBRs have been capturing life at the extreme and sending back amazing footage, stunning images and compelling stories from the boats – made possible by Inmarsat’s connectivity.


Described as possibly the toughest media job in the world it is also one of the most coveted and the final nine OBRs were selected from more than 2,000 reporters who applied.

Journalistic challenge

Often working in rough sea conditions, the OBRs’ media desks for producing a daily flow of material and liaising with Race Control in Alicante is a very small, cramped area below-deck.

“Whoever wins should be very proud since this is such a unique journalistic challenge,” commented Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad.

“There are a lot of great sailors out there who would love to do this job, and a lot of excellent journalists, but very few who have the joint skills needed to provide great material from the boats day in, day out.”

OBR line-up

The line-up of OBRs vying for the honour of winning the award, which will be presented at a gala dinner in Gothenburg on 27 June, is:

  • Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – Matt Knighton (USA)
  • Team Brunel – Stefan Coppers (NED)
  • Team SCA – Corinna Halloran (USA), Anna-Lena Elled (SWE)
  • Dongfeng Race Team – Yann Riou (FRA), Sam Greenfield (USA)
  • Team Vestas Wind – Brian Carlin (IRE)
  • MAPFRE – Francisco Vignale (ARG)
  • Team Alvimedica – Amory Ross (USA)

The jury’s challenging task now is to examine the best examples of the OBRs media work and judge who will win the overall prize, along with two runners-up, each receiving €8,000.

Oscars of the Oceans

The panel will be chaired by Chris McLaughlin, Inmarsat Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Marketing.

A leading sailor in his own right, with 12 years at Olympic 470 International level plus multiple National, European and World Championship awards, Chris championed the introduction of media reporters on the Volvo Ocean Race boats. 

“Inmarsat is excited by the evolution of the Onboard Reporter Awards. From their simple beginnings, we hope these Awards will come to be seen as the ‘Oscars of the Oceans’,‎ recognising the skills and creative talent of the OBRs.”

Judging panel

Joining Chris on the judging panel is:

  • Johan Ronnestam – former top professional snowboarder, creative director, all-media guru
  • Andy Swiss – Sports Correspondent, BBC Sport with more than 20 years’ experience, covering events such as the Olympics
  • Brian Nevins – renowned action and adventure photographer
  • Wayne Yates – Senior Producer, Red Bull Media House, and BAFTA award-winning director who has also circumnavigated the world shooting the Clipper Race
  • Matt Sheahan – Racing & Technical editor, Yachting World, and one of the most influential sailing journalists in the world.

Inmarsat is the official Satellite Communications Race Partner for the Volvo Ocean Ocean, providing the connectivity to allow the work of the OBRs to be seen by millions around the world every day.

Volvo Ocean Race: