H2O Racing is the worldwide promoter of three leading World Championships sanctioned by the governing body of powerboating, the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). These include the F1H2O World Championship, the foremost international series of single-seater inshore circuit Formula 1 Powerboat Racing, which hosts Grands Prix in some of the planet’s most glamourous locations.
To further grow the F1H20 World Championship brand and reach a wider global audience in 2017, rights owner H2O Racing opted to change its existing facilities supplier. A new specialist partner that understands the unique requirements of covering the series was needed – a partner that could bring a fresh approach to future productions, making the races easier to follow for fans watching at home.
Alongside this objective was a need to keep down costs as well as reduce potential delays and problems that the movement of large amounts of equipment and people to different sites around the world presents.
Gravity Media – then branded Gearhouse Broadcast – France had already worked with H2O Racing, supplying wireless on-board camera solutions for the previous four seasons of the leading powerboat series. For the 2017 F1H2O World Championship, it took on the contract to supply all facilities across the six-race calendar that would include visits to Portugal, France, China, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
The new partnership meant Gravity Media France would supply the technical facilities and operational and support crew required at each grand prix weekend, as well as take over the production of editorial content. This would free up the team at H2O Racing to concentrate on their main objective; growing the brand of one of its premier properties.
Using one of its multicamera HD all-in-one Flyaway production units, as well as its wireless and on-board camera expertise and access to cutting edge technology such as drones, Gravity Media France was able to enhance the race coverage to make it more visually appealing.
The Flyaway system meant that the crew had the same equipment and workflow at each venue, resulting in a consistent level of production throughout the championship. Its lightweight and flexible design made it cheaper to transport and quicker and easier to set up and break down, helping to ensure that Gravity Media France delivered all races to H2O Racing within budget.
And because it was also responsible for supplying the production crew, more time could be spent training on the equipment, and planning how best to capture each race, from positioning of cameras around the course, to cutting together the live content. The fresh approach from Gravity Media France encouraged greater levels of communication between commentary, creative and technical teams, which all helped to enhance the storytelling and increase the overall value of the content that was being output.