By Bill Wagner
For those who cannot be on the water at Quantum Key West 2014 — either as a competitor or spectator — one of the coolest ways to follow the action is through the Virtual Eye coverage being provide by the 52 Super Series.
It is quite an elaborate production that involves a number of moving parts. Headquarters for the production is a townhouse in Truman Annex where lead announcer Dobbs Davis and virtual technician Alasdair Green are ensconced in a makeshift studio filled with five massive laptop computers and other production equipment.
Green oversees all the Virtual Eye equipment, controlling what viewers see on their computers in terms of the course and racing action. Davis, U.S. editor of Seahorse Magazine among myriad other roles in the sport, directs the commentary element — describing and analyzing what is happening during each race.
Andy Robertson is the on-water commentary, following the fleet in a powerboat and periodically providing updates based on his direct observation. Davis also occasionally interviews coaches for various teams via cell phone.
Every day during Quantum Key West 2014, the Super Series team provided live coverage of the 52 Class — closely following each race from start to finish. Green said sailors on each of the teams review the Virtual Eye coverage in the evenings to pick up performance information they cannot determine out on the water.
It is really neat to watch the Virtual Eye broadcasts, which are as close to live television coverage as a sailing fan will find.