The Ryder Cup players will be televised on Friday by a new custom-designed cablecam system from Bradley Engineering.
The Skytrac HD will follow the players on their walk from the clubhouse to the first tee, and has been built for Remote Solutions, whose owner, Stuart Bush, had been searching for a suitable cablecam system for years. He bought one, but it didn't work properly and he couldn't find a suitable replacement. "I couldn't buy anything that was fit for purpose," he explained. So, he went to Bradley with the problem. Then, when he won the contract for Sky Sport's Ryder Cup coverage, development had to be pushed ahead faster.
Bush (pictured left, with David Bradley) is having three of the £235,000 systems built, although he intends to sell one on and had several people wanting to buy it at IBC.
The sleek, "racing car" design will look good in shot. "All the others just look functional. This looks nice. It's also waterproof as all the electronics are inside. It's designed for its purpose. It's incredibly strong," he said.
"It is a dual-cable system, which makes it inherently safe for flying over crowds," added its maker, David Bradley. The wheels are bonded to the body and can't come off the cables. The coated Kevlar cables are "incredibly smooth and silent," said Bush, and even if both did break, the 4mm drive cable is even stronger (with a breaking strain of several tonnes). The system weighs only 30kg.
It is fitted with Bradley's new Gyro 350 five-axis stabilised gimbal. "It had to be a gyro stabilised camera, and there's nothing else light enough that could be used, or nothing as good value," said Bush. It houses a Panasonic AS-HE870 HD camera with Canon 20x lens. "The camera was the only one at the time with HD component output, and it only cost €10,000, and the lens is short, making the most of the physical space available. And the whole package is easily remotable," added Bradley. For the golf coverage it will be fitted with a Link 1500 transmitter, supplied by Broadcast RF.