Emotive photo wins Yacht Racing Image contest

Image courtesy of Nico Martinez/Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image

The winners of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image photography competition have been announced at a prize-giving ceremony in Malta.

Spanish photographer Nico Martinez picked up the top prize thanks to a photo taken during the TP52 World Championships in Cascais (POR).

“The TP52 fleet was sailing downwind, with a light breeze and in a very special light,” recalls Martinez. “It wasn’t a very productive day, not the typical Cascais day with wind and good light. Then I saw the composition of the five TP52s and told my driver to stop. We looked for the ideal frame for the shot. Later, when I loaded the photos onto my computer, I wasn’t convinced, so I put it in black and white and the magic happened. As soon as I saw it, I said that’s the picture.”

The six members of the international jury voted unanimously for Martinez’s photo, awarding it marks between 8 and 10 for the three criteria considered: the emotion evoked by the image, its technical difficulty and its originality.

Martinez collects his prize at the during the Yacht Racing Forum on 21 November 2022. Image courtesy of Rick Tomlinson/Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image

Nico Martinez has been a professional yacht racing photographer since 1990. He has been the official photographer of the Spanish challengers in the 1995, 2000 and 2007 Americas’ Cup, and is the official photographer of the TP52 and RC44 circuits.

German photographer Eike Schurr came second with a stunning image taken on board the VO65 The Austrian Ocean Race Project during a training crossing of the Atlantic between St. Maarten and the Azores.

“Using the water as a framing element, was an idea that came up while shooting, and gives an extra depth into the picture,” he explains.

Eike Schurr took second place. Image courtesy of Eike Schurr/Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image

Finland’s Patrick Blom came third with his photo from the Viaporintuoppi regatta for traditional sailing yachts.

The Public Award, based on the number of public votes cast on the internet, was won by Brigi Török with her picture of the Libera Raffica competing in the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, ahead of Tom Coehoorn (NED) and Felix Diemer (GER).

The Delegates Award, based on votes from delegates at the Yacht Racing Forum in Malta and World Sailing’s annual conference in Abu Dhabi, was won by Nico Martinez ahead of Eike Schurr and Martina Orsini.

The Public Award winner. Image courtesy of Brigi Török/Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image

No less than 150 photographers spanning 29 nationalities participated in the 14th edition of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award 2022.

“A huge congratulations to the Spanish photographer Nico Martinez for this exceptional shot. The greys, perspectives and harmony in this image make it a real work of art. The perfect timing and the symmetries have seduced me deeply,” says Nicolas Mirabaud, managing partner of the Mirabaud Group.

The award ceremony was live on Facebook and can be watched below.

French photographer Loïc Venance won the main award in 2021 for a jaw-dropping shot of French sailor Jeremie Beyou taken during the Vendée Globe. 

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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