The judges, led by the German tennis star Boris BECKER, described the shot as 'Amazing' - 'it looked more like a painting than a photograph' commented Christian PUTSCH, Picture Editor of DIE WELT/WELT am SONNTAG the leading German National newspapers who run the award.
The image was shot in the Bay of Biscay, shortly after the start of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, solo round the world yacht race, which the onEdition team are the official photographers for. Within hours of the start the fleet were hit by a huge storm, gusting at over 70 knots (77mph). Photographer Dan TOWERS set off in a helicopter, for what could only be described as a roller coaster ride, to try and catch up the besieged fleet. One of the resulting images was of Swiss solo sailor STAMM and his yacht, Cheminees Poujoulat, fighting for survival in huge seas and wind, which was awarded as the winning shot of the annual competition.
|The winning shot
Clare MACNAUGHTON, Communications Director for the VELUX 5 Oceans said 'Sometimes planning plus circumstance equals unprecedented results, but even with the all the right ingredients it takes an exceptional chef to produce a Michelin star meal. Dan TOWERS VELUX 5 OCEANS storm image is a Carpe Diem moment, brilliantly shot and capturing exquisitely the essence of our race and the endeavour of the solo skipper. Hanging out of a single engine helicopter, with the doors removed, in 70 knots of breeze to get the shot is no small undertaking either. We are delighted that this image is getting the recognition that it deserves.'
Dan is the first non-German photographer ever to win the award and receives both the accolade and a cash prize of €12,500. Dan commented, 'It is a great honour and very much a team award. The guys that work with me are a close and very dedicated team -without them this award would not have happened and they will all be getting a share of the prize money. It is great to have your work recognized in this way, especially after all the hard work that we have put into ensuring that the VELUX 5 OCEANS reached the news and features pages of the worlds press.'
The first leg of the VELUX 5 OCEANS started on 22 October from Bilbao, Spain. Six international skippers crossed the start line in the Bay of Biscay bound for Fremantle, Western Australia. The leg is expected to take approximately six weeks with the first boat arriving in Australia around the first week in December.
The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the longest race for any individual in any sport. Over the first few days, the fleet will make their way along the northern coast of Spain to Cape Finistère where they will turn south towards the Southern Ocean. However, all of the skippers know that this race is a marathon and not a sprint. During the 30,000 miles sailed in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race, the yachts will encounter some of the most extreme sea and weather conditions on the planet.
For a complete list of all the news about the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2006-2007 CLICK HERE.