'Chasing Tokyo' director Jack Turner hoping to demystify sailing

·3-min read
'Chasing Tokyo' director Jack Turner
'Chasing Tokyo' director Jack Turner

'Chasing Tokyo' director Jack Turner hopes his new documentary film will help reveal the mystery behind the sails in British Sailing writes Megan Armitage.

An Orillo Film production, in collaboration with British Sailing and the Olympic Channel, 'Chasing Tokyo' unveils the hidden secrets behind the sport in a bid to get more people interested in the human stories it has to offer.

Orillo's previous work with sailing and an appreciation for the sport made it an easy choice for British Sailing to approach them in 2020.

Speaking at the 'Chasing Tokyo' premiere, Turner said: "We've always had a connection with sailing, I think there's something interesting about the sport, it's hidden, it's not in the mainstream and it's a very niche sport and I love trying to get that story of sailing to people who may not have heard of the British Sailing team.

"The success of the team is massive, it’s the most successful in the world so the story unravelled from there.

"They gave us such great access in a time of such crisis for the whole world.

"I hope that Chasing Tokyo as a documentary shows a little bit more about the sport and get behind the people behind it without being worried about the technical side of the sport or understanding how sailing actually works.

"It's a sport that can be accessed by just hearing all these athletes."

'Chasing Tokyo' follows the stories of Tokyo gold medallists Eilidh McIntyre, Stuart Blithe, London 2012 silver medallist Luke Patience and Tokyo Olympian Tom Squires in their journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Filmed in the height of Covid Turner was proud of the film's final product, possible with an eye on safety and care.

He said: "We just had to be so respectful of the athletes. We had never been so intimate with Olympic athletes.

"We had to be so cautious but we managed to adapt, we filmed from distances and over came those challenges by making the sailors feel like they were safe.

"Because at the end of the day, they had a story to tell.

'Chasing Tokyo' premiere
'Chasing Tokyo' premiere

"Obviously Tokyo and the Olympic Games themselves, a very different Games but a very amazing Games for that same reason.

"We couldn’t go out to Tokyo in the end, we managed to use one of the media team to film for us out there, ask questions, interview and we were in contact with them all the time.

"Meanwhile, we were filming in the UK, filming all the family and friend stuff.

"It's a very adaptable documentary and we had to move with the times."

Whether you're a sailing fan or just love a story of raw emotion and drive, 'Chasing Tokyo' captures the spirit of the British Olympic Sailing team and the struggles they encountered on the way to the world's biggest stage.

"Sailing's a really complex sport. I've met such amazing people in the team and within sailing in general that I know that there's amazing sports stories there.

"I try and position things in a way that will hopefully help us understand these athletes as people and I think that's the biggest thing that this film will hopefully highlight is that this kind of very remote place in the south of England that there's a group of people that still maintain the most successful sailing team in the world."

Watch Chasing Tokyo at Olympics.com

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