Eike Schurr has been fascinated by the Ocean Race since he was four years old. Even back then, as a little steppe, he was enthusiastic about his uncle Tim Kröger, who was on duty in his first race around the world with the European team Intrum Justiti. As a primary school child, Schurr was there several times in the ports when Kröger went around the globe for the second time with "Swedish Match". Eike Schurr is now 30 years old and works as a photographer, video reporter and experienced drone pilot in national and international sailing. He works for TV productions, organizers and projects, for example in the 52 Super Series, for the Star Sailors League (SSL), the Kieler Woche or the LinRixgens Ocean Racing team and most recently the Baltic 500. Eike Schurr has worked several times as a sailor and On board reporters contested the Nord Stream Race. He started sailing at the age of seven as an Optis sailor. As a sailor currently resident in the Wulsdorf water sports club in Bremerhaven, he has at times sailed 29er and pirate, is German U17 champion in pirates. In the meantime, however, Schurr hardly finds the time to do so due to the professional challenges.
Passion for the race around the world sparked early: Eike Schurr as a little fan in 1997
Team manager Julian Kirchner
Schurr recognized the potential of drones as cameras in sailing at an early stage and familiarized himself with the technology. Due to the experience he has gained in the meantime and his various licenses, he is also an internationally sought-after drone pilot in large regattas. He now wants to use his skills to realize an old childhood dream: Eike Schurr is fighting for a job as an on-board reporter in The Ocean Race. Starting on Sunday, he will take the first step on the demanding path with the Austrian Ocean Race Project on "Sisi". Skipper and sailing team manager Gerwin Jansen will lead the crew and their guests on the ferry from Scheveningen to Cascais. In Portugal, a two-day regatt supported by the Mirpuri Foundation is on the program, in which the Austrians will meet sailing superman Charles Caudrelier and his top team on "Racing for the Planet" in the first VO65 duel of the year. Up to 50 boats are expected for the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy. It is about prize money totaling 30,000 euros. The regatt is one of the first in Europe to be held again in times of the corona pandemic. The organizers have implemented strict hygiene and safety measures for participants and helpers. Here you can find the information page about the regatta.
The Austrians want to compete in The Ocean Race with this boat
For Eike Schurr, the ferry crossing and the regatta mark a first test run. The on-board reporters (OBRs) will be chosen by the participating teams themselves for the upcoming The Ocean Race 2021/22 - unless it is postponed due to the Covid 19 epidemic and its consequences. However, the Ocean Race organizers have a veto right and will monitor whether the designated OBRs have sufficient experience and meet all the necessary conditions. It is also important that the OBRs have sufficient experience in working with the VO65 yachts. One more reason for Schurr to accompany the Austrians on their current summer mission. "You have no chance if you can't show plenty of miles on the VO65 yachts," says Schurr.
Eike Schurr at work on the water
Why is the man from Bremen fighting so stubbornly for his dream? "The Ocean Race has been with me since I was four years old. There are three high points in the area in which I travel for work: the Olympic Games, the America's Cup and The Ocean Race. As a photographer and cameraman, you are very Olympic The America's Cup is difficult to achieve without German participation. For me, the Ocean Race offers the greatest variety in photojournalism. The opportunity to watch this race with cameras and drones and to pass on the fascination that excites me a lot. " The fact that there was a fatality among the sailors in the last Ocean Race does not deter Schurr: "I'm not afraid, but with maximum respect. You always have to be on a leash, even if that's not always great for a photographer. There is no way Safety is the top priority. If something doesn't work, then it won't work."
Schurr, who took eighth place in the Mirabaud photo competition as the best German photographer with a drone photo from the 52 Super Series in 2019, already knows some members of the Austrian Ocean Race project from other regattas or encounters. "The Austrians around team manager Julian Kirchner are a very nice and, above all, highly motivated team. I am looking forward to the first joint mission that begins on Sunday. The camera case is packed. By the way, it is an interesting situation in Austria with the candidate as sponsor not only supports the Olympic team, but also the Austrian Ocean Race Project. Dent has many synergy effects that are positively noticed. It is a lot of fun to work in this environment."
Unforgettable and part of the magic of racing around the world: Charles Caudrelier's Dongfeng Race Team has just won the 13th Volvo Ocean Race here