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San Diego photographer finalist to document world renown Volvo yacht race

Justin Edelman is a finalist to document the Volvo Ocean Race
Photo credit:
Scott Beer

San Diego’s own Justin R. Edelman will be travelling to Lisbon as a finalist in the search for crew members to document the “world’s toughest offshore race,” which begins in late 2017.

For those who don’t know, the Volvo Ocean Race is a prestigious around-the-world nautical sporting event that takes place every three years.

Only one racing team has been assembled thus far, and the search for On Board Reporters (OBR) has been dwindled from 10,000 to only 30, Justin being one of them.

“Life is funny,” Justin says. “When I first learned of the OBR job in the Volvo race I couldn’t believe the job existed and told myself I will do this one day.”

He will leave from San Diego on November 19, to join the remaining finalists in a week-long trip from Lisbon to Hauge. His adventure is an audition of sorts, which will introduce him to the fun and dangers of competitive yachting.

On that journey, he will display his unique skills of photojournalism, as well as his agility being part of world-class fast-paced oceanic racing decks.

“Each day the On Board Reporter is tasked with taking five photographs, one video and writing a blog,” Justin said. “Other tasks include cleaning and I believe cooking.”

Justin drew inspiration from his business coach Ken Sergi a few months ago, who helped his business get back on track. That’s when the photographer says he discovered and embraced the term, “power of intention.”

“Every day you wake up the first thing you have to ask yourself ‘is what I am doing leading to my ultimate goal?’” he said. “My power of intention became ‘Is what I am doing going to get me closer to the dream of being an OBR in the Volvo Race?’”

As for what sets him apart from the other entrants, he says it's his dedication to exploring every aspect of yacht racing in preparation for the unexpected.

He adds that he is a filmmaker and media professional foremost, with experience in sailing and a Navy veteran second.

“A lot of the other candidates are sailors first with a background in filmmaking and media,” Justin explains. “I can’t speak fully to that as I haven’t met all the other candidates but I have identified a few and that is the case.”

He admits that the sea is an unpredictable but sobering environment, “Sailing in the middle of the ocean is probably the most connected with the cosmos you can be, besides maybe aboard the International Space Station. You feel just how small we are on this planet as there is nothing else around.”

That secluded feeling is intensified as night sets in he says. The desolate and dark surface of the water becomes foreboding once the sun goes down. 

“At night, there is no light pollution and no way of describing what it is like to have this pitch-black monster underneath you with stars from horizon to horizon. The short answer is my soul is the most at peace in the middle of the ocean on a sailboat.”

Justin thinks that there are no coincidences, and when his dad called, saying, “you were meant for this,” the day after he received the OBR application, he knew his life up until that day contained an inescapable fate

“I say life is funny because it’s amazing how everything comes in full circle, Justin says. “I am not religious but there are too many coincidences for this all to be a random accident.”

For more information on the Volvo Ocean Race click HERE

For more information on Justin click HERE

*sidebar photos courtesy of Justin R. Edelman.