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.

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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.

Big Waves in Nazaré

Nun bin ich zurück in Zürich, die paar Tage in Nazaré waren sehr Eindrücklich. Die Wucht und Kraft dieser grossen Wellen überrascht mich jedesmal, genau diese rohe Naturgewalt zeigt uns wie klein und verletzlich wir Meschen eigentlich sind.

Im Momenet habe ich ein paar Bilder auf den Social Media Paltformen gezeigt, es wir aber noch ein paar Tage dauern um eine richtig starke Auswahl dieser Bilder zu treffen.
Wie sehr oft reise ich an ein Shooting und jedesmal gibt es eindrückliche Bilder. Je nach Betrachtung finde ich meine Favoriten und jedsmal gibt es ein paar Bilder welche herausstechen und mich überraschen.

Als Segler weiss ich wie gross die Möwen am Atlantik sind, richtig grosse Vögel, und trotzdem wirkt diese Möwe auf dem Bild klein und verletzlich.

Noch ein Punkt dazu: wir Menschen lernen mit der Natur umzugehen, die Big Wave surfer beherrschen das und sind richtige Stars geworden, aber keiner fliget einfach so über die explodierenden Wellen wie die Möwen.

The story behind the photo

What it takes to shoot big waves.

Nazare Portugal Atlantic Ocean Waves
Nazare Portugal Atlantic Ocean Waves, November 2018

You just need to be in the right place at the right moment.

Some time ago during a meeting with an agency, we talked about photos of big waves and how to produce them. With CGI, “computer generates image” you can create one within a week or two, assuming that you find the right team capable of doing it.

Shooting this kind of waves turned out a bit more complicated. I heard about Nazaré a peaceful, quiet fishing village on the Atlantic coast of Portugal. They have big waves, actually famous for it. Since that day started to follow the weather, tide and wave forecast of Nazaré.
In the winter time you get almost every week 5-7 meter high waves, but very seldom you get 20 meters or move waves. It took me nearly 2 years to get the chance for such a wave.

There is a detail in this photo, who at first sight doesn’t look so obvious.
Look at the spray over the wave. It’s a perfect Fibonacci curve. The natural beauty defined by the mathematical formula which also has a lot in common with the golden ratio.

Here is the tricky question. What does it take to get this spray and big waves?
The wind must come from the opposite side of the wave. 90% of the time the wind pushes the water for miles on the open sea and when the wave comes closer to shore the build up. That’s the difference. The wind is coming from the opposite side.

When I saw that fact in the weather forecast, I knew its time to book the flight to Lissabon and a rental car which brings me to Nazaré. It took two years from that meeting in the agency until the day I booked the trip.

The evening when I finally got to Nazaré in complete darkness I drove down to the lighthouse, no moon no light. Whatever scary movie you imagine, there is nothing so impressive as the rumbling of the waves against the cliffs right below the Nazare Lighthouse.

The next morning with the first light I was back on these rocks, this time with my camera and a full set of lenses.

Please let me say this, as I heard that so many times:
You just need to be in the right place at the right moment.
Think about what it takes to be at the right place and the right moment?

The next morning during breakfast in the hotel, the lady serving the coffee looked at me and said; you got the right day, today the waves are not big anymore.

It’s over a year ago and I still checking every week the forecast of Nazaré, hoping to get one more chance to shoot this kind of big waves.

Nazare Portugal Atlantic Ocean Waves
Nazare Portugal Atlantic Ocean Waves, November 2018

Modern Nature

Have been sitting by the water so many times and for so many reasons. Was it to find a solution for a problem, or simply to relax a bit and to enjoy time. Water is a magic element powerful, dangerous and beautiful. Can you hear the peaceful sound of this small waves hitting the the shoreline is so peaceful.
This harmonic shapes of reflections looks so modern, but in reality they have been here longtime before the humanity.
This photos are available as fine art prints

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Live is clear today, we try to look into the future, it’s bright? That’s what we all hope, is it clear, what will it be?

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Back on the lake St. Moritz

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It has been a while since the last shooting on the lake up in St. Moritz. The mountains up there are so impressive and yes would love to go hiking there. The transition from summer to winter is a incredible period but with my broken feet this isn’t possible right now.
The regatta was sailed on the Blu26, same boad used for the St. Moritz Match Race.
What I really enjoed having my own rib and able to drive in the spot witout expalnining the driver what I had in mind.
As expected the temperature dropped for the wekend, this gave a good look to the scenery with the fresh snow on top of the mountains.

Enjoy the selection of photos

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Volovo Ocean Race in China

A bit of sailingemotions from my last project in China Sanya with Team Alvimedica in Volvo Ocean Race.