For the first time ever, the Volvo Ocean Race will feature a 3D film as part of its Race Village Experience in each of the 10 port stopovers. And viewers will be treated to a stereoscopic treat that was a real labour of love for the cinematographers.

Ten miles out to sea off the coast of Cascais, Portugal, is not the easiest place to film, with three-metre swells, 40-50 km/h winds and 30 knots of speed - especially when trying to handle a custom-rigged 3D camera.

However, photography director Don Rutherford and film director Rick Deppe successfully managed to shoot plenty of 3D footage of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, and lived to tell the tale.

Rutherford was in a small, 15-foot rubber inflatable boat alongside the imposing, black Abu Dhabi yacht known as Azzam. Deppe, for his part, was on board, using specially mounted GoPro 3D camera kits to capture stereoscopic footage that has never been seen before of Volvo Open 70s sailing.

“Shooting footage of a Volvo Open 70 in rough seas is one of the toughest things to do for any videographer,” Deppe said. “3D adds another element to that complexity.”

Deppe should know. He won the Media Crew Member Award in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 and was a videographer for the popular Discovery Channel series “The Deadliest Catch.”

This time around in the race, Deppe oversaw each team’s on-board media crew member. He was also the creative director of the Race Village 3D short film.

“Our idea is to capture the texture of sailing on board and bring it to life in 3D, while also bringing the characters of this race closer to the audience by adding a whole new dimension to the pictures,” he said.

In order for 3D footage to work, camera lenses have to be absolutely free of water with the right and left camera pictures needing to match up perfectly in order to create a clear 3D image. And the stability of the camera is also of utmost important as the depth of the picture takes on added importance.

“Can you wipe the lens?” barked Rutherford at his production assistant. At 30 knots, bobbing up and down, that’s equivalent to trying to write something on a notepad while jumping on a trampoline.

The RIB surged ahead at over 50 km/h, lurching with every wave. The twin 150-horsepower engines were at full bore and kept the small boat just meters ahead of Azzam. It crossed in front of Azzam, as the racing yacht cut through the water like a knife. All the while, Rutherford and his 3D camera kept steady focus on the bow. Five, six, seven seconds of footage…

“We have our shot!” yelled Rutherford.

And so too will fans in the 3D Cinema at the Race Village Experience.

<p>Fore more information about the Volvo Ocean Race, check out the official <a href="" target="_blank">Volvo Ocean Race website</a>.</p>