Why is risk management so challenging for large organizations?

Chronicle of a announced storm at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Nobody wants to read a bad story of a storm at sea in these days. No worries, all went well but I learned a big lesson with this storm and this is worth sharing and to read in these coronavirus days

Chronicle of a announced storm at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Nobody wants to read a bad story of a storm at sea in these days.

No worries, all went well but I learned a big lesson with this storm and this is worth sharing and to read in these coronavirus days.

Click on the images to see more photos from the Rio 2016 Olympic games.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games Sailing 15th August 2016

We are at the daily media briefing, for us sailing photographers this briefing is mandatory as we work on the play of field during the event. Due to the nature of our sport we are very close to the athletes/boats while they are racing, actually even closer than the coaches.

We knew a storm will come over the Guanabara Bay, but we didn’t know how bad this storm will be. I remember that day I challenged the media manager asking why are you not briefing the media people about the upcoming storm.
We can shoot in storm but you need to be ready for it, clothing, life jackets, protection for the equipment, boat needs to be ready to etc.
They didn’t took it to serious, somehow I asked myself, maybe I’m too nervous or I simply see it bigger as it may be. But my weather forecast tools where clear.

All the boats left the harbor and went out on the racecourse anyway. It was a warm day no wind and the usual humidity. Looked like a boring no wind day.
Out on the Guanabara Bay, I did a few images about of the sugarloaf of Rio. While taking these photos I felt an uncomfortable calm, sometimes you have this Déjà vu feeling, it’s way to calm, something is wrong but you can’t find the explanation.

Brazil Rio de Janeiro August 2016 Marina di Gloria, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ©Jürg Kaufmann go4image.com

A bit later we left the Bay to the outside course in the open sea.
Once after a bit of a ride we came close to the starting vessel and we found a fresh breeze but the wind was shifting a lot, I knew this can’t be any good.
I Looked at the clouds, was expecting a black big front coming in, but could not see any. The crew on the starting vessel/race management just had to cancel the starting procedure due to the wind shift.

Brazil Rio de Janeiro August 2016 Marina di Gloria, Rio 2016 Olympic Games, ©Jürg Kaufmann go4image.com

Suddenly, less than 5 minutes later the water flew horizontally over the Olympic racecourse the radio communication got more and more intense and around us, we could see boats capsizing, breaking masts and sails.

One hour later standing safe on the pier in the Marina de Gloria I asked myself, how this can happen at the Olympic games. What went wrong the best meteo specialist of the world where onsite at the Olympic games. I’m sure the information was available like it was for me already in the morning.

Yesterday Tokyo 2020 has been postponed, just had a longer conversation with my colleague Daniel Forster who is working in the Olympic circuit since the Summer Olympic Game 1972 and he doesn’t remember anything similar during all these years.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jk_og_160815_-1300.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jk_og_160815_-1759.jpg

I knew about a virus in China since the beginning of January, ⁠we even went to buy some Vitamin C pills, but who would have expected such a situation.
We humans are great we are intelligent but how comes that we make such mistakes once we work in bigger organization or teams.

I hope the world will learn what’s necessary out of this Coronavirus crisis. We know since many years that Climate Change is serious but we still struggle to take the necessary measures.

Many say the world after the Coronavirus will not be the same, I really hope we will learn the important lessons, hopefully also about climate change and make the right decisions for our plant and for us.

A Moment with Shirley Robertson

Shirley Robertson, a British sailor who won two Olympic Gold medals, mother of two and presenter at CNN TV Series Mainsail.

Portrait shooting has a magical element which I enjoy every time from the first to the last moment, having the privilege to spend a private moment lasting from a few minutes up to one day or more with a personality.

JK_Shirley_2018_12_5686_CO copy

Shirley, in my view, is an exception. I always ask myself who that person is, what makes her different and capable of winning two Olympic Gold medals in a row?

I know there are plenty of athletes who have more than two gold medals, but in my view sailing is unique as the complexity of this sport is superior than in many other Olympic disciplines.

The world today is superficial. I see the tendency of running after the quick win, the low hanging fruits. Competing and winning two Olympic Gold medals requires the complete opposite, long term commitment, dedication, the energy to get up again and again after a defeat, isn’t that incredibly inspiring?

Will I be able to see and experience this during the shooting with here?

The portrait project with Shirley was not a short one. We have been talking about it since months; soon we realized we need many different photos, we need a series of images, each of them for a different purpose. It clearly would take a day to get this done.

It would be an intense day, and at the same time, I felt the weight on my shoulders: responsibility and a privilege. I cannot only spend a day working with her, ultimately what I see through my lens is what the people, who do not have the chance to meet here in person, will see of her.


We all know the expression: A picture says more than a 1’000 words…So let’s get this x-thousand words right.

At the end of the project, we selected 20 different photos, each showing Shirley with here many facets, each with a different message.

It turned out to be an intense day, a potpourri of colors, ideas, a combination of clothes, expressions, lights, coffee breaks and much more. It’s tough to stay focused for so long in front of the camera, but she did it, and how she did, was terrific.

Not only is she a good sailor, but no wonder why she works at CNN, BBC and much more. One set after the other, she always came back on the set with outstanding positive energy, motivation, and commitment.

Even more, we could guide each other, she trusted me, and then we executed those ideas one by one, until the end of a long and intense day.

Is that one of the secrets and reasons why she can win two gold medals in a row? Did I had the chance to experience what makes the difference of losing or winning? Probably yes!

I have not experienced this with many people such a persistent focus and commitment over a long time in front of the camera.

Thank you, Shirley, it was more than a moment, it was a precious time with you and your partner Tim.

Look at the photos with this link.

A few days after the shooting I got an email from Shirley:

I know I have said it ten times already – but I’m chuffed with the images, they show oodles of personality.”


Newsletter 1/2016


Das Jahr 2016 ist kraftvoll gestartet und schon sind wir im Frühlingsmonat März.
Die letzten Monate waren voll mit spannenden Photoshootings, wie z.B. das mit dem Swiss Speedskating Team auf dem Eis und im Studio.

5 Jahre ist es her seit der letzten Pure Sailing Passion Tournee. Zusammen mit dem Crusing Club Schweiz Region Basel präsentieren wir am 23. März eine Multivision mit meinen schönsten Aufnahmen der letzten Jahre.

2016 Pure Sailing Passion Show

5 Jahre ist es her seit der letzten Pure Sailing Passion Tourne. In der Zwischenzeit konnte ich viele neue schöne und spannende Photos schiessen.
Ich freue mich richtig eine Auswahl davon am Abend vom 23. März in Basel zu zeigen. Neben der Vorschau auf Rio 2016 Olympischen Spiele werden auch Zeitlose Bilder über die berühmten J Class Yachten und viele andere schöne Momente der nautischen Welt zu sehen sein.
Portraits Fotografie ist seit einigen Jahren ein wichtiger Teil meiner Arbeit geworden.
Pure Personality ist das Thema. Es fasziniert mich immer wieder aufs Neue, die Stärke der Persönlichkeit zu entdecken und mit der Kamera fest zu halten. Dafür planen wir noch eine Überraschung.

Datum & Ort:
23. März 2016 Hofmattsaal Münchenstein Basel 20:00

Die Vorbereitungen laufen gut, die Partner sind voll mit dabei und zusammen haben wir schon über 200 der 350 Tickets verkauft.

 Der Verkauf läuft über Ticketino.
Details über den Anlass

Ein spezieller Dank an den CCS Region Basel, Photomarlin und das Wave Magazin.



There are happy days and not so happy days in live…today is a very happy day.

Let’s call it Swiss Olympic efficeincy as today I got my accreditation for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio.
This will be the third Olympic Games after Beijing in 2008 and London 2012…

Now it time to learn barazilian….Tudo bem or Tudo bom?
Simple: if asked, “Tudo bem?” you reply “Tudo bom.” If asked, “Tudo bom?” reply “Tudo bem.”

A Step closer to Rio
Video produced for the Swiss Olympic Sailing Team Nathalie Brugger and Mathias Buhler.

The scenes where produced in Rio during the Olympic Test event this summer 2014. Editing job by James McIntyre and grafic work by Marina Brugger.

Great teamwork

Good luck for Nati & Mati

More about the team: http://www.buhlerbrugger2016.ch

Water Quality in Guanabara Bay Rio


After one week in Rio there are three points wo seem apparent about the water quality.

First, the water is still dirty, and it smells bad in some places.  Most of the day though, especially with the current running, it’s not so bad.  The race course that will be near the bridge still has lots of plastic bags and floating debris around; those seem to be the major risk for sailors at the moment.

Second is the water quality: Days ago, our head coach took some samples and sent to an independent lab for review.  We will have final results in a couple of days, but (and this is incredible), the water quality is within normal limits!  For sure, the water quality is far, far from what I’m used to on our alpine lakes in Switzerland, but still, we saw a turtle today and some of our sailors saw dolphins, so that’s good news.

Third, I remember the Star Worlds here 4 years ago here in Rio, and since then, the water quality has improved A LOT.  We had a race on the future medal course back then, and the water was so horribly brown and even black at times that I couldn’t use a single photo from that race.

We can complain about the water quality, but the reality is that we are seeing a major ecological change here on Brazil’s shore.  Being an outsider it is hard to predict what will happen come 2016, but if the Chinese could solve hundreds of tons worth of algae, it’s not hard to hope that the Brazilians will solve their water management issues.


Pure Sailing Passion


After years of yachting photography and dreaming about presenting my images on a IMAX screen suddnetly you get this magic phone call.

The Swiss National Museum of transportaion, (by fare the largest and most visited museum in Switzerland) was planning a special exibition about sailing and this is the museum with largest IMAX screen in Switzerland.

The selection of the photos turned out to be a challenge, you wnat as many as you can, covering different subject and following a story.

The editing of the video ws done by James McIntyre love the work he does.

Time to get ready for the games

Xie Xie China

Xie Xie in mandarino significa grazie e si pronuncia “cie cie”, hanno dato tutto quello che potevano per trasformare queste Olimpiadi in una bella festa. Non per parlarne della cerimonia di chiusura che no ho vissuto in prima persona.

Sono sul viaggio di ritorno e mi sono fermato 2 giorni a Shanghai per vedere un po di China al di fuori dal villaggio Olimpico e di Qingdao. Sfortunatamente piove fortemente e cosi sono in albergo e scrivo un po.

Gli ultimi giorni a Qingdao erano particolarmente intensi, incominciando con la medal race di Flavio ed Enrico sulla Star: buona partenza, terzi alla boa di bolina, “ultimi” alla boa di poppa ed un recupero da eroi nella prossima bolina fino al secondo posto e poi finire sul scondo posto. La medaglia non ci e stata, gli punti persi nelle prime prove pesavano troppo pero bella prestazione. Bravi!!!

Il giorno della partenza da Qingdao era anche un po particolare. Dopo che gli Chinesi del centro stampa hanno scoperto che il mio volo era solo alle 23.00 non cera mezzo per evitare la cerminonia di chiusura di Qingdao, non so come mai ma dovevo scattare delle foto a tutti costi. Non mi dispiaceva perché gli unici fotografi rimasti era Carlo Borlenghi ed io cosi l’ho fatto assieme a Carlo.
Fino qui tutto bene, hanno organizzato tutta una serie di trasporti per fare in modo che la partenza dallo stadio, caricare le borse in albergo e poi portarmi in aeroporto doveva funzionare alla perfezione. Non fu cosi, l’ultimo trasporto era in ritardo e cosi ho perso la prima volta l’aereo. Per la manager (donna) del centro stampa era un disastro si e scusata in tutti modi possibili e quasi non osava più a guardarmi dalla vergogna. Pero quello che ne e uscito dopo era geniale.

Mi sono trovato in un vero KTV Chinese (Karaoke TV) con un gruppo di volontari del centro stampa e nel fra tempo mi hanno organizzato il nuovo volo, trasporto ed albergo per la notte.
Consequnza ho giocato una specie di indianata Chinese di birra con dei dadi tutta la notte con Chinesi nel KTV dove le ragezza del centro stampa continuavano a cantare in Chinese ed io bere Qingdao birra perche chairmente gli Chinesi erano piu bravi. Ogni tre po caraciavano la canzone “I am sailing I am sailing” per fare cantare pure me.
Per fortuna la nostra costituzione sopporta meglio l’ alcool dei Chinesi cosi ce l’ho fatta a sopravvivere più o meno bene la notte.

Il giorno dopo cioè un paio di ore dopo chiaramente mi hanno accompagnato in aereoporto. Stranamente mi hanno portato dritto all check in della first class, il resto si spiega da solo, peccato che il volo e durato poco meno di 2 ore.

Domani torno a casa per un fine settimana tranquillo perché il lunedì dopo si va a St. Moritz per il match race.

Saluti da Shangahi


PS: Qui a Shanghai ho trovato un bar che si chiama “Locarno” ed ha il caffe “Chiocco d’oro” e gli spagetti carbonara sono mica male.

A bit of Chinese life

© Juerg Kaufmann - www.go4image.com
© Juerg Kaufmann - http://www.go4image.com

Since I’m here I kind of missing a bit the real Aisa, for sure Qingdao is quite different that the places I visited recently such as Laos and Burma but even in Singapore I got the real Asia feeling, but not here. So yesterday I got up at 5.30 and went in the old town of Qingdao to see what’s happening there and I found  lot of people practicing tai chi on the sea front.  It’s really impressive to see young and a bit older doing this sport together in the parks early morning and guess what the truly feeling of Asia is back.

After that still very early in the morning the taxi driver brought me up on a hill to observer the city waking up but when I was up there at 7.00 I realized that the hole city is already up (Qingdao supposed to have 8 or 9 million of habitants). As Swiss used to our size of city’s Qingdao looks endless, the city grown around all those hills and in some way it’ looks a bit like Monaco. The skyscrapers are much bigger, the sand darker and here we have at least 6 beaches almost full at 7.00 am in the morning. Maybe this explains why the why the Chinese like Qingdao.

There is another thing I want to write about: all over we can read the Olympic slogan “ One world one dream” on busses, buildings, etc. but there is one thing you don’t get if you have access to this blog, the word “on world” does not really apply for the internet, here we have quite a lot of censorship.

Most of the blog’s are blocked and not accessible from here even so the one you are just reading.

Yesterday I went to the manager of the media center here in Qingdao asking; what’s going on with the blog’s why can’t we access them?

A few minutes later I got at least 3 computer specialist trying to convince me that there must be a wrong setting on my computer and after few nice try comes the “hooooooooooo” typical expression when they don’t know what to say followed by “Sorry Sir cannot” Bottom line of the story It remains blocked but some of the IT guys showed me a way to avoid the Chinese censorship.

That’s probably China today, old traditions like the tai chi, government with strong rules hot very happy with our blog culture, and young smart people who break the rules and finding their way anyway.

Right now we are sitting in the media center, the races are postponed do to lack of wind so it’s a good time to make a selection of my favorite images of the games. Here is the link:


Una giornata importante si annuncia qui a Qingdao

Sono le 5.30 di mattina. Il sole doverebbe apparire fra non molto, ma con tutto questo grigio dubito che si veda.
Ogni tanto mi domando con tutti i bei posti al mondo siamo finiti qua a fare le Olimpiadi dove non si capisce se il grigio é smog oppure semplice nebbia.

Va beh, il nostro programma non cambia. Colazione, poi vado al centro stampa a scaricare un pò di foto. Alle 9 mi trovo con Tom Ruegge il capo del team Svizzero: dobbiamo discutere come gestire le eventuali proteste, infatti oltre al mio ruolo di fotografo ufficiale, ho il compito di “rules advisor” per il nostro team.

Alle 11.30 arriva il pulmino che ci porta ai gommoni per uscire sull’acqua. Avete letto bene: il pulmino é una specie di “golf car”, perchè qui oltre a fare un caldo incredibile c’è un’ umidità latissima. Nessuno vuole camminaree pensate a me che devo portarmi in collo 15 Kg di apparecchiature foto sulle spalle.

Il discorso sul gommone é assai divertente. Ieri avevamo un pilota che non parlava una parola di inglese. Inoltre con noi è salito un traduttore che non capisce niente di vela. Risultato: una scenetta da “mission impossible” in cui non ho potuto avvicinarmi al campo per scattare delle belle foto.

I cinesi vanno matti per i formulari. Figuratevi che persino per ricevere il panino a pranzo devo riempire un formulario. Ora potete immaginarvi cosa ho scritto sul “Feedback Form” del driver del gommone.

Oggi vado sul campo dei surf, per a vedere cosa fa il Richi e poi devo scattare anche un po di foto dei greci che sono diventati miei clienti grazie alla Sofia ed ad Andreas (Sofia e la ex. campionessa Olympica di 470)
Chissa che driver e traduttore abbiamo oggi?

Ieri ero sul campo degli Yngling. Sofia come sempre riesce a fare dei recuperi incredibili. Già a Palma nella medal race si era trovata main svantaggio e poi è riuscita ad arrivare tra i primi. Stessa cosa ieri, “go Sofia”

Ora vado a fare colazione. Ammetto sono un pò nervoso

Sorprese cinesi: l’arrivo

Certo che il viaggio per Qingdao è iniziato con un po’ di pregiudizi. Forse anche per quel che ho letto e sentito in questi giorni sui media sulla situazione in Cina e sull’effetto che le Olimpiadi potrebbero avere sul governo.

Al mio arrivo all’aeroporto di Sanghai, tra l’altro  in Business upgrade da mi fermano subito in dogana per la mia borsa foto. E qui mi sono detto: ci siamo. ”Sir you need this form, Sir we havo our rules….Sir you have to waith”. Beh non e una sopresa o mi stavo sbagliando.

L’impiegata della dogana non solo mi ha portato una bevanda fresca e  biscotti ma mi ha anche accompagnato allo  Starbucks (fuori dalla dogana) in attesa che arrivasse il fax necessario per l’importazione temporanea del mio materiale fotografico. Ma non era finita qui. Al check-in successivo, con la mia accreditation card al collo,  mi sono trovato circondato da cinesi che volevano una foto, firme etc….”sorry I’m not famous” gli ho  detta ma non ne volevano sapere.

All’arrivo a Qingdao, come ogni tanto succede, la mia valigia non era sul nastro, ma c’erano  almeno 5 persone che si sono date da fare per rintracciare il mio bagaglio promettendomi che se non l’avessero trovato mi sarebbe stato recapitato il giorno dopo al mio. Insomma qui si stanno dando da fare in tutti i modi per risolvere i problemi e rendere piacevole il nostro soggiorno.