[Dee Caffari - Interview] « Be authentic and try to be different »

[Dee Caffari - Interview] « Be authentic and try to be different »

[Dee Caffari - Interview] « Be authentic and try to be different »


Sailing videos are one of the best ways to share the passion of sailing : success, failures, life onboard, live coverage from the other side of the world…

How is sailing video evolving? What are the specificities of this industry? We spoke to several industry professionals in order to compare their points of views.  

We start this series with a sailor’s point of view: Dee Caffari, skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastic in the last Volvo Ocean Race and member of the jury of last year’s Mirabaud Sailing Video Award.

   •      Dee Caffari, what is the most important aspect in a video according to you ?

It is about authenticity, it has to be real: a video that captures a personality, an atmosphere or an event and draws the viewer into the world of sailing. The best videos leave you wanting more. Dramatic sailing footage will aways be appealing to audiences, it is exciting to watch but we have all been raised on Hollywood blockbusters so our expectations are pretty high. I do feel that subtle, fly on the all style videos are great because they allow people ‘backstage’.

   •      What don’t you like and gets you tired of watching ?

It’s very subjective, but for me it is mainly about what I am tired of hearing. We hear the same style of dramatic classical music which has become the default soundtrack to so many sailing videos… There is a place for it of course, but generally I think it is overused and can make some of the best visuals seem dated.

   •      Is there anything you would like to see more in videos ?

Drones are a relatively recent addition to the armoury of sailors and sailing teams. The shots achieved by them provide some fantastic aerial footage that historically would never have been possible. I am sure there will be further technological advances and I look forward to seeing what becomes possible over the coming years.

   •      If you should give one advice to the 2019 participants in the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award, what would it be ?

Be authentic and try to be different. Let’s not go for the tried and tested version that we have all seen before. Let us see something new. Let us see something more in our wonderful world of sailing. Let us understand what you are doing, how you are feeling and feel the raw emotions that we all know exist in a sailor of today. Allow the audience into your world to empathise and emotively connect with what you are doing. Take us on a journey and experience what we have, to date, only read about.

   •      What did you think of MSVA’s 2018 videos ?

There were some great videos and I really enjoyed watching them all. Finn was a great example of an experiential first person viewpoint. The Woman and the Sail had an ecological narrative around the making of products from recycled sails. It was atmospheric, subtle and actually quite comforting to watch. Midi had beautiful imagery and fantastic picture quality. It was an understated, candid view of a seasoned sailor going about his daily routine on a race. In contrast, the Flying Mantis was very slick and sexy. Who wouldn't want to own one after watching that? The standout for me though was the M2 Speed Tour 2018 which really captured the physicality and excitement of that type of racing. The music and visuals drew you in straight away. In fact, the music was less background and more foreground as they had synched the beat so well with the visuals. I thought it was very cleverly edited. Certainly if we want to encourage more people to get involved in the sport of sailing, this style of video is going to appeal to the next generation.