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America's Cup- King of the Foredeck becomes God of the GoPro

by Sail-World on 6 Dec 2012
Rob Waddell, James Dagg and Winston Macfarlane, wired with GoPro’s as Emirates Team New Zealand tows out for practice race drills with the team’s first AC72 on the Hauraki Gulf. Chris Cameron/ETNZ© http://www.chriscameron.co.nz

One of New Zealand's first, and most outstanding professional sailors, Joey Allen, is now the Emirates Team New Zealand sailing coach. He spends a lot of time in a chase boat, watching the AC72 sail. He also spends a lot of time shooting video.

Known as a demon on crew-work and doing it fast and right, when he ruled the foredeck on many top campaigns, Joe is still more than very interested in performance; boat performance and the crew work that produces it.

Could a tack or a gybe be slicker, smoother, more polished? Are all members of the sailing crew in the right place at the right time? Is everything coming together as it should be?

Joey also has fixed GoPro cameras placed strategically on the AC72, to assist in his chase for perfection. The small lightweight camera which is used to shoot video, was originally designed for extreme sports, and with the advent of waterproof housings and stick-on mounting brackets, the GoPro is ideal for use aboard the AC72 catamarans which will be sailed in the 34th America's Cup.

The crew-coach role is the latest step in Allen's sailing career which started in the Flying Ant and was followed by a solid apprenticeship in 18ft skiffs. Joey was on the foredeck in the 1981-82 Whitbread Race winner Flyer, before moving into America's Cup and many professional offshore campaigns, usually on maxi's and supermaxis, and always on a top boat.

Every sailing moment of every sailing day is videoed on a phalanx of GoPro's on the boat and crew of the AC72. The cameras miss nothing. Joey misses even less.

Back on shore, Joey finds the answers to the questions when he analyses the footage. He reports his findings to the sailing team and his footage is in great demand from the design team.

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