Yachts competing in the Volvo Ocean Race will allow be allowed a media specialist crew member for the first time in 2008-09 - in line with plans to film the race fully in HD.

Each boat in the around the world yacht race will be allowed to carry an extra crew member. That person will edit footage from the boat but will not be allowed to sail. The vessels will be equipped with fully waterproof HD media desks.

The yachts are fitted with specialist cameras that allow access to two minutes of historic footage whenever they are activated - either by a person or by “telementary” data, such as the boat breaking its own record for speed.

“When somebody hits the button or we get telementary information, we can record the story as it has unfolded,” said Tristan Wood, managing director of Livewire Digital which is overseeing the technology change.

Each boat will be equipped with a total of five fixed HD1080i cameras, including some with a night vision recording facility and remote joystick control. The vessels will also be fitted with three fixed and two wireless microphones.

The last Volvo Ocean Race attracted 1.8bn viewers around the world.

Tristan Wood was speaking at Broadcast Live and Video Forum today (Thursday 31 January).