Exclusive: Volvo Ocean Race Chief Appeals to Human Nature to Attract a Wider Audience

By Community | October 24, 2012

Knut Frostad, prostate Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race is looking to highlight the “human” element of sailing to help spread the sport to a new fan base. 

Judging by the 30, case 000 daily spectators that turned out the last time the race casted their anchor on Brazilian soil, discount the sailor can take comfort in knowing that they have made steady progress.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, the Norwegian yachtsman said: “What we focus a lot on is the human side of the event and the fact that this group of people have achieved so much at such a high level. Most people can relate to the fact that these people are inside a locked environment, where you cannot escape over a very long period. 

This is one of the last human challenges, where it’s man against nature, using technology to overcome. It’s fascinating. What we can do to improve that is make the life on board more accessible to people.” 

Two years ago the Volvo Ocean Race made the choice to introduce a media crew member, operating as a journalist and a cameraman, on board the crafts in an attempt to provide the audience watching at home with a greater insight into life on a boat. The decision is just the first step of a bigger plan. 

“We are now working on a project with biometrics, where we are able to display what is happening with the human body on board, so you can watch that via iPad and see if people are sleeping or awake, if they are stressed or if they have a cold,” smiled Knut. 

“We don’t know how far we can take that for the next event, but we can transmit that information and give non-sailing fans an interesting experience because they like watching these people fighting this battle out in the ocean. When there is a storm hitting them, you will be with them when it happens. 

“The human side of the event is what really drives the interest from non-sailing fans. You can’t do that in soccer, for example, with one person interviewing the players while they are playing!”