Sail-World.com - Updated NZ Contributor's Guidelines
by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com on 4 Apr 2011
Whether its information about yachts, catamarans or dinghies, or tales of your adventures on the water, there is always a story waiting to be told. Sail-World is happy to receive your articles - be it profiles of people and boats, techniques, safety or seamanship. Read on for the guidelines for submitting an article, including commercial articles - if the information is of value to our readers.
And don't forget, Sail-World.com and its two companion titles Powerboat-World and MarineBusinessNews have a large world-wide audience in more than sixty countries.
The Sail-World archives contain 40,000+ stories, it is one of the largest sailing news databases in the world. Our stories are indexed by major search engines including Google and Yahoo and news feeds like NewsNow and are routinely searched by mainstream and sailing media.
Sail-World is more than happy to receive your stories and images -be they profiles of people and boats, cruising destinations, tuning, tactics, techniques, safety and seamanship, reports on regattas or indeed just about anything to do with sailing. We are happy to review and publish appropriate articles and pictures.
Ideally, we need you to submit both copy and pictures via our special upload system, which ensures we receive your contribution, with correct titles, image captions etc. The reason for using the upload system and forms is that reduced our editing time dramatically - by a factor of 10 - so your chances of being published quickly are very high. Any story sent through the Submit feature is automatically advised to the editor of your region, and when the finished story goes online you receive an email back with the URL, and the regions to which it has been sent. You can email this to friends, club members, class members, or regatta competitors and use it to construct thank you notes to sponsors - with proof that they have been published.
They'll be keen to sponsor you again, if you can show them the value you deliver.
In the same vein, don't just leave it until the finish of the regatta to do a report - do a preview, and a report each day. Mention your sponsors in each and they will get many times the exposure they would, had you done just a single report. Also you'll build a following for your class, club and events - which will help bring new sailors into your fold - so your class or club grows. Look upon your reports as free marketing.
To submit News, Articles and Images into Sail-World & Powerboat-World and MarineBusinessNews.com Click here or any time look at the top right hand side of the site, where is says Submit News & Images
You don't need a $30,000 camera and a 100ft lens to take great shots - we've run images that people have taken on iPhones - and most small digital cameras are quite adequate. Just make sure you get close enough to your subject to fill the frame - a shot from the start boat or finish by one of the race committee is fine - or from a mark boat at a rounding mark. Most of the professionals take their shots at these points in the course - where the action is coming to them - so they don't have to chase it.
Remember the old maxim - let light be your friend - try and shoot with the sun coming over your shoulder.
Make your shot interesting by getting the sailor's face/faces into the picture - if you can!
The image size should have a minimum length of 1200px on one side. Please don't downsize images for the web to a 500px or worse a 300px side. It may reduce the download time slightly, but is hugely restricting for us in terms of story layup. We can run up to 12 pictures per story - so don't hang back!
We now run five (increasing to ten) feature shots on the top of the Sail-World website. These images are taken from large images sent or downloaded by Sail-World. If you want your event image used, then please make sure your images have a minimum side length/width of 1200px. And of course, to fit the space, it will only work with landscape shots not portrait (vertical).
The advent of the latest generation mobile phones mean that you can take web quality images and HD video using a handheld phone. We have extensively tested the iPhone and have found that it works well, others probably do also. If you are going to shoot video with the iPhone try to keep it still by using a tripod. To secure the iPhone to a tripod you will need a device like a http://www.theglif.com/!glif. Otherwise hold it in your hand but brace your hand on something firm rather than just holding the phone/camera freehand. This reduces camera shake and dramatically improves video quality.
It is over to you as to whether you use the camera/phone's own microphone or an external one. An internal microphone will often be susceptible to wind noise, where an external microphone will not because a windscreen can usually be fitted. The most cost effective microphone we have found for an iPhone/camera is the http://www.azdencorp.com/new/product.php?productid=93297&cat=38&page=1!Azden_ECZ-990 you will also need an iPhone compatible connector if that is the devise you are using.
A more simple approach is to just use the standard car kit microphone that comes with most mobile phones. Just get the person being interviewed to hold the microphone or tape it to a stick and hold it reasonably close (but out of picture) and you will probably get away with it.
If you have editing software, then you may chose to trim down the video clip, otherwise just load it onto a computer, or transmit straight to Youtube from the phone (usually requires that you have a wireless internet connection). If you have a Mac then editing is very easy using iMovie, which comes free. If you have a PC/Laptop then you'll need something like Photoshop Premier Elements (costs about NZD200).
You can do all sorts of things with the iPhone from interviews, to on board sailing (we've used it aboard an AC45), explaining how a piece of gear works and so on. Its a great tool and quick to use once you have worked out the technology.
Story Guidelines: We will run stories of upwards of 140 words. Many simple stories can be told in 300-500 words. A feature length story could be 1500 words or more.
Keep the story tight and bright.
The header paragraph should contain information that is in the text of your article and it should be an interesting lead into the story to entice the reader.
Regatta, championship and any race reports should attempt to explain how the winners achieved the podium position. Better tactics and techniques, faster boat, better sails, combination of all, etc. Also include dramatic or significant events, breakdowns, collisions, recoveries from poor starts, tight finishes and any ‘names’ that have entered.
Please give first and family names of the winning boat and crew (for up to three person crew, otherwise, just the skipper’s).
For a race report you should try to answer the following points (maybe do a sentence of paragraph about each):
1. When the event was held, where it was was held, who organised it
2. What the weather was like over the day/series, did it change? Did this effect the race/results/ one boat more than others?
3. How many competitors sailed, where they came from
4. Where there any well-known competitors in the fleet, do they sail regularly in the class, or where they sailing just for this event. Why?
5. Give an overview of the racing who won, by how much and why.
6. What notable controversial incidents happened during the racing/event. Did these effect the race/series outcome
7. Any interesting technical issues from the event/boats/competitors?
8. What happens next? What is the next event on the calendar for the sailors/class? What was the significance of this event in the grand scheme of things?
In non-technical articles, it is always good to include quotes from information sources.
Many thanks, we look forward to receiving your contributions.
The Youtube clip above was shot using a combination of a cheap Canon still camera in video mode, contained in a waterproof housing and an iPhone - and all edited on a mac using iMovie.
If you want to link to this article then please use this URL: www.sail-world.com/70719