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Conversations within the sport of sailing - Rick Deppe

It is often said how sailing is unique as a sport, where the opportunity is readiliy available to compete against the very best in the sport. Occassionally we get the chance to chat with them too.

Rick Deppe
(June 4, 2009) A new feature of the Volvo Ocean Race is the Media Crew Member (MCM), effectively an embedded journalist whose onboard duties are to provide images and video during the race. As part of the bid to promote the role, Inmarsat, the technology sponsor of the race, is putting up a cash prize for the best piece of footage coming off the boats on each leg. There is also an overall cash prize.

After seven race legs, PUMA MCM Rick Deppe has edged a lead in the competition with three podium wins and recognition on each leg. As an experienced British sailor and acclaimed videographer, Deppe’s credits include 'Deadliest Catch' on Discovery Channel and as the onboard cameraman for the Disney film 'Morning Light' that was released in October 2008. Scuttlebutt checked in with Rick following his win on Leg 7 from Boston, MA to Galway, Ireland:

  • What do you think is setting your work apart?

  • I think, going into the race, I had work experience on my side compared to the other guys. I have done this race twice before as sailor and been fortunate to have had a varied career in the TV industry as a cameraman, producer and editor. This has allowed my work to be consistent since the start, though I have learned a lot since I signed up with the PUMA program. I have to give credit to the other guys as well, because they have all been getting better with each leg, which makes me push even harder for my work to stand out.

  • Did your work with Morning Light prepare you for the VOR job? How would you compare the two assignments?

  • Of course. Working on a feature quality film has helped me set my benchmark higher. Working with Disney, and their professional operation was a great experience. But, the TransPac is much easier to shoot than the Volvo Ocean Race.

  • How do you see the MCM role evolving in the next race?

  • The media crew members have been a great addition, but it’s only the first time and there is always room for improvement. We have a long way to go. Technology is constantly being updated and that will be a huge help.

    My hope is that as the content grows and improves it will hit the public more and increase the interest in our sport. The goal is to bring sailing to a wider audience, both sailors and non-sailors. For example, PUMA is working on a reality TV show, which will tell the story of our team, both from the sailing and human perspective.*

  • What else would you like to capture during the remainder of the race?

  • PUMA and Telefonica Blue are in a tight battle. I want to capture the drama and emotion as it unfolds. I’d also like to find a conclusion to the entire body of work I have been working on since before the boat build in Rhode Island.

  • What have you filmed that will definitely not be released?

  • Well, there was this one time..…wait, I’ve already said too much!

    Rick Deppe capturing a typical moment onboard PUMA during the Volvo Ocean Race

    The PUMA Ocean Racing reality show is a series of 25 episodes, which are available on the and on Comcast On-Demand in selected areas in the US.

    Scuttlebutt partnered with Inmarsat to help showcase the work of the MCM, posting the award winning footage following each leg.

    Click here to view all the footage.

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