At the very beginning of 2016, my son Alfie wanted to compete in a new TV series called ‘Airmageddon’, or Drone War! We went to Pomlico to be interviewed. I have been a pilot since 1994 and a professional Photographer for over 30 years. At this interview, I started talking to the man sitting beside me. This person was Mark Boyte, a professional drone pilot. He showed me a short clip he had shot for Sunseeker, the luxury boat company. I was staggered and sold. I had to learn to combine my skills with a drone. We didn’t get to be on the TV, but Mark did!
Soon after this meeting, I was working with Jason Fox or ‘Foxy’ from SAS Who dares wins program. He was promoting a breathing device, called ‘second breath’ made by Salvare Worldwide. Anyhow after the shoot was wrapped, I asked Foxy what he was up to next. He said that he was rowing the Atlantic, “Really” ..
“Can we come and drone you?” “Yeah Buddy, we are leaving from Lagos, Portugal in a couple of weeks.”
10 days later, Colin my new found professional drone pilot and myself were on our way to Lagos; with 2 DJI Phantom 3 pros. ‘Team Essence’ is made up of five crew members: Crew Captain Matt Bennett, Aldo Kane, Jason Fox, Ross Johnson and Oliver Bailey. We were made to feel very welcome by the crew and their support team. After sea trials and some very skillful drone piloting by Colin; Team Essence left for their record breaking row. Mainland Europe to Mainland South America, 2 hours on, 2 hours off, for fifty days. 6 World records broken!
Colin and I decided, we must go to Trinidad to see them in as we found ourselves being spoken of as part of the support team. COBI was now born….
To be continued
P.s. The drone footage of Team Essence can be seen on our website