Pocock Racing of Everett, WA recently contacted me to shoot some photos for some new marketing materials they were preparing. Pocock is a – if not the – leader in the world of crew boat racing shells. Their factory and offices are housed in an enormous warehouse located in Everett, full of thousands of square feet of carbon fiber, aluminum, and fiberglass, all being hand-assembled in to some of the best looking and highest performing racing shells out there. Pocock supplies boats to schools and programs all over the country, including locally to the University of Washington. Their boats are easily spotted by their completely white, sleek exteriors and unique hull shape, designed to resist water splashing in to the boat.
Pocock assigned me with the task of photographing the Head of the Lake competition on Lake Washington in early November, based out of the Conibear Shellhouse at the University of Washington. With rain in the forecast, I set out at 6:00 a.m., cameras and coffee in hand, prepared to take on another wet fall day. Miraculously, we dodged the rain by mere hours and even caught occasional bursts of the 7am sunrise over the lake. With a light, broken layer of clouds overhead and calm water for the races, I couldn’t have asked for better shooting conditions.
I’ve always been a sucker for skillful design and exotic materials, so having the opportunity to step in to the Pocock factory and see these 60 foot-long vessels being constructed first hand (and by hand) is a real treat. Seeing them perform on the water was a whole new experience for me. The sheer power of the rowers and the strength and smoothness of the boats beneath them is truly impressive.
I’m already looking forward to January, when we’ll be shooting these incredible boats in-studio for Pocock’s upcoming sales catalog and new website.
Check out a few of the photos from the race in the slideshow below.