Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 15 2012 | 1 comment
Tour de Timor 2012

(Photo: Zoe Morley)

Today was the final day of the epic 2012 Tour de Timor. At just 56km, today’s stage was a short one: up over the mountains outside of Gleno, down the other side to the sea, and then 18km along the coast to the finish line just outside of Dili.

The race at the front was close. On the first climb, Jarrod Hughes pulled away, and was first to cross the the King of the Mountain line, earning enough points to win the overall King of the Mountain competition. On the descent, he was passed by Peter Kutschera. Peter began the day 3:38 seconds behind the overall leader, Malaysian Sharin Amir, and so needed to finish at least that far ahead to win. When he reached the coastal road Jarrod Hughes caught up with him and the two worked together for the final run into the finish. At the 18km mark, they were 3:00 ahead of overall race leader Sharin Amir. Working together with two Aussies, Sharin hammered away down the coast. Jarrod Hughes won the stage, with Peter Kutschera second. Finishing just under 3:00 behind them was Sharin Amir, meaning he is the 2012 Tour de Timor overall winner. The first time a non-Australian rider has won. Congratulations Sharin!

In the women’s category, Peta Mullins from Australian easily closed out the competition, winning by 1 hour and 30 minutes. As she approached the finish line, she clicked out of her bike pedals, lifted her bike above her ahead, and crossed the line to the cheers of the crowd. A decisive and well-earned victory.

This race is unique in that it also awards prizes to the fastest Timorese man and woman. In that category Antonio Almeida Pereira won for the men, and Anche Cabral for the women. For Anche, it was the fourth time she has been the fastest Timorese female.

While congratulations are clearly deserved for all the winners of the race, anyone who finished the Tour deserves a great deal of admiration. This year the Tour was over 555 km long. That’s a lot of time to spend on a bike. For six days the riders who participated this year hammered away, working hard over monster-sized hills, swiftly avoiding potholes and other potential pitfalls, and doing it all with a smile on their face. While there were a few tumbles, and some hard times in the hills, everyone I have spoken with felt challenged, supported, and today, relieved. It’s a great event, both for recreational and competitive cyclists. A chance to make friends, see a beautiful and undiscovered country, and get into great shape. One rider a spoke with even lost 8 kilos over the course of the six days!

The Jungle Run team had a solid day today, both on the back of the motorbikes and capturing the final moments of the event. It was especially great to shoot the scene after riders finished – kids running up to their mom and dad riders, friends giving each other high fives, and strangers cheering for the 300+ riders as they came in over the line. A young couple I spoke with also had a great story… shortly after they came over the finish line, he asked her to marry him. After 555 km on the road with her, I guess he decided she was tough enough for marriage. She said yes. So sweet.

And that’s the news from here. This will be the final blog of the 2012 Tour de Timor. Thanks for reading.

Peter Wall

Insert image description here(Photo: Zoe Morley)

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(Photo: Rose Magno)

Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 14 2012 | 1 comment
Tour de Timor 2012

(Photo: Kate Paneros)

Today’s stage – 119 km through some massive mountains – is what everyone has been dreading since the Tour began. At breakfast this morning there was a definite sense of foreboding. The race leaders said this stage would be the most important of the entire race, and the recreational riders were just hoping to beat the Sag Wagon and finish.

Well, the good news is everyone survived. Many found the stage not as difficult as they imagined it would be. Still, it was a major challenge, and anyone who finished is, in my view, a hero!

For the race leaders, the stage was a dramatic one. 15km into the race, on the first King of the Mountain climb, Jarrod Moroni and Adam Cobain went off the front of the leaders pack and took a solid lead. They were first over the top, and kept their lead across the plateau to the start of the next climb. But Sharin Amir, Ashely Hayat and Phillip Orr gave chase and started to gain, and though Jarrod and Adam were first over the second King of the Mountain line, four hours into the race they were soon caught by the threesome. On the descent Sharin, Ashley and Phillip stayed together, and they let Ashely cross the line first for the win.

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(Photo: Kate Paneros)

Six hours after the race leaders came in, and eleven hours after he started the ride, Andrzej Szefler finished. He was the last rider in, and was relived to have finished before the Sag Wagon. Actually it was a much, much quieter day for the Sag Wagon than expected. They were prepared for 150 riders, but only 45 were picked up on the course. A heroic effort by many to beat them across the line.

As for the Jungle Run team… well, we suffered our first casualty of the 2012 Tour. Luckily, it wasn’t a person. Halfway through the race, the handle on Patrick Lavaud’s EX3 cracked and broke. He was able to trade cameras with someone else, but it means we are now down one camera (and also means we are hoping insurance will cover the camera). Here’s a shot of the EX3:
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And that’s the news from here. We’re camped in the town of Gleno tonight, somewhere around 600 metres above sea level, so it’s a bit chilly today. A nice change from the heat of the Timorese coast.

Tomorrow is that last day of the 2012 Tour. We’re all sad it’s coming to an end, but it should be a good final stage racing into Dili. Stay tuned!

(Photo: Kate Paneros)

Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 13 2012 | no comments
Tour de Timor 2012

(Photo: Kate Paneros)

Today’s stage was the reverse of stage two. It started on the dusty and bumpy roads of the Timor Leste region of Oecussi, crossed into Indonesia for 70km, and then ended just inside the border of Timor Leste.

The race was fairly simple. The 20 top riders broke away from everyone else early on, and halfway through the stage the Australian rider Peter Kutschera and the Malaysian rider Mohd Salley broke away. They worked together on the smooth Indonesian road, and built a comfortable lead over the others. With 200 metres to go to the finish, Mohd Salley pulled ahead and went on for the stage win. You can see all race results on the Tour de Timor website.

One of the challenges of this year’s Tour was organizing all the correct documents for 580 riders, volunteers and media to cross from one country into another. Add to this the complexity of doing it without stopping at the border posts in the middle of a race, and you get a sense of the challenge! This afternoon I went with Mel Horne, international liason for the Tour, as she crossed back into Indonesia to pick-up the 572 passports Indonesian immigration officials have been holding since the Tour crossed the border on Tuesday. Mel has been working for weeks to make sure both border posts had the right papers, and on Monday spent a 12-hour day with four volunteers filling out thousands of customs and immigration forms for the riders and volunteers. Today was pick-up day. After a nice chat with the Indonesians, Mel counted each and every passport and the Indonesian immigration guys loaded them into her waiting vehicle. That was one big box of passports!

As for the Jungle Run team and the rest of the media… well, everyone seems to be holding up okay. Kate Paneros, one of the still photographers who is here on her first tour says the past four days “feels like four weeks, in a good way. So much happens each day.” Today was the first day she rode backwards on a motorbike: “It was a good vantage point to shoot from because it’s a point of view you can’t can’t anywhere else… a few bumps but my driver was good.” She has also climbed a tree each day to get a different shot, and today did it again. “Today I needed a very specific tree, one that hung over the road with a strong enough branch to hold me. And the road had to be going in a certain direction so that the shadows from the riders was 90 degrees. The first tree I climbed had too much foliage… but the second tree was just right. And I got the shot that I wanted. The Indonesian spectators took a lot of photos of me in the tree, and gave me a can of coke as a reward.” What a great story! Here’s the shot she took.

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(Photo: Kate Paneros)

Tomorrow will be crazy. Stage 5, 119km long, huge climbs. Everyone is talking about how they are going to avoid being picked up by the Sag Wagon, even the experienced riders. Better get to bed early…

Here’s another shot from Kate Paneros (from the tree).

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(Photo: Kate Paneros)

Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 12 2012 | 1 comment
Tour de Timor 2012

(Photo: Zoe Morley)

Today was an incredible day, the best so far. The 86km stage stayed entirely within the Timor Leste region of Oecussi. It started where yesterday ended – the seaside town of Pante Makasar – and then went up into the hills and mountains adjacent to the town. The scenery was incredible, the people were welcoming, and the riding was tough. The first two days of the Tour the roads were fairly smooth. Today they were bumpy, bumpy, and more bumpy. Things were so hard, many didn’t finish.

The day went like this: heading out of town, things turned difficult quickly. Ten kilometres into the stage riders reached a large river bed. Luckily it’s the dry season and the river was dry, with only a small stream running through, about five metres wide and half a metre deep. Still, it was enough to get everyone’s feet wet, as riding through it was almost impossible for mountain bikes.

Shortly after, the climbing started. Up, up, and up some more. The road was broken and rough, but the scenery was stunning – beautiful, dry rolling hills. And the many locals lining the roads were happy to see the riders, and made an unusual noise I haven’t heard before to cheer them on. Sort of like a “woooouuu”. The route was up and down, mostly up, until the end of the second “King of the Mountain” climb. From there it was downhill to the finish, though the riders had to navigate several dry river beds, which were incredibly dusty and rutted.

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(Photo: Zoe Morley)

The race was dominated by a Malaysian rider called Sharin Amir and an Aussie named Ashley Hayat. About 35km into the race they took the lead, and worked together to climb through the rugged terrain. But with about 10km to go, disaster struck for Ashely. He was riding on a good stretch of pavement (one of the only good sections) with school children lining both sides of the road. We were just in front of him on the motorbike, shooting backwards. As he biked through the crowd, an older spectator was looking the other way and hooked his arm onto Ashely’s. Ashely went down hard, and the Malaysian rider sped on. After pulling himself back together, Ashley got back on his bike and rode on, but he was too far behind. Sharin Amir went on for the stage win, his first in four tries at the Tour de Timor. “Unlucky.” Ashley says, “not something you’d expect.” He’s recovered from the crash, and will be riding tomorrow.

The past two days, after I’ve come in with the leaders of the race, I’ve gone back out on the course an hour or two later to do more shooting. Today I travelled 20km back up the course to the last of the four water stations. As I was interviewing and speaking with people at the station, the “Sag Wagon” pulled up, and the driver, an intense Australian woman, jumped out. “That’s it for you lot,” she said “into the sag wag!” The race was 7 hours old, and the riders were too slow. They reluctantly did as they were told, and climbed into the convoy of 4×4’s and large trucks behind the lead Sag Wagon. One older Australian fellow tried to sneak ahead on his bike, but the Sag Wag lady was on him: “Excuse me! Where do you think you’re going?” she yelled. “Get back here.” He sheepishly did as he was told. Like the others, his day was done.

As for the Jungle Run team, well, like everyone else we camera people got pretty jarred by today’s ride. Tour veteran Patrick Lavaud stopped at a particularly nasty spot and filmed at least 4 riders wiping out. Fearless camerawoman Jacqui Hocking said today was the most hectic day so far… especially following the leaders over the first 30km (and following them as they road through the river). Rookie Chris Knight had the first media motorbike crash of the tour. “Oh man, when it got dusty and steep there was a bank turn where a bunch of locals had gathered, and my driver decided to slam on the brakes and we went down,” he said. Luckily they were going fairly slowly, and he wasn’t hurt.

And that’s the news from here. We are halfway thought the Tour. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update, when the Tour crosses back into Indonesia, before arriving in Timor Leste.

Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 11 2012 | 2 comments
Tour de Timor 2012

(Photo: Zoe Morley)

Today’s stage of the 2012 Tour de Timor began from the Timor Leste (East Timor) border town of Mota’ain and crossed into Indonesia for 70km, and then re-entered Timor Leste. This was the first time the race has left Timor Leste, and entering Indonesia is a big deal. From 1975 until 1999 Indonesia occupied Timor Leste, and only after a long and violent struggle, in which over 100 000 people were killed, did the country become independent. It’s been 10 years since the birth of the country of Timor Leste (there was a 3 year transition period), and relations between Indonesia, it’s largest trading partner and immediate neighbour, are now good. Good enough to have Indonesia agree to let the Tour travel on its roads to Oecussi, the small East Timorese enclave. Oecussi is special for Timor Leste because it’s where the Portugese first landed when they colonized the island of Timor, over 500 years ago. The enclave is cut off from the rest of Timor Leste, and entirely surrounded by Indonesia, and you must either drive through Indonesia to get there, or take a small plane. Today, we took the road through Indonesia.

Before the race began this morning I spoke with a rider called Flavio, a member of the National Police of East Timor. Flavio is a former guerrilla fighter for East Timorese independence. He told me that for 24 years he fought the Indonesian occupation, sometimes in open conflict, and sometimes in what he described as clandestine operations. He was shot three times, and still has the scars where the bullets entered his body – on his wrist, his side, and his back. He says the bullets are still inside him. In 1995 he was caught by the TNI, the Indonesian military, and tortured. He says they cut a large gash into his right arm, and he has a nasty 15cm scar to prove it. He also has a large scar on his head, where he says he was struck with the back of a gun. But he said he felt good about entering Indonesia, and was ready to move on. “Sometimes I think about the past, but mostly I’ve forgotten about it. You can’t think about the past too much, it’s better to look forward at the future.” And today he got on his bike and rode through the country he used to be fighting against. Pretty amazing.

As for the race and the ride…. it was a good one. For the first 5 km East Timorese and Indonesian riders rode at the front of the pack, in ceremonial fashion. Then the race director dropped his flag and the race was on. Attacks were fast and furious for the next 10km, and finally two, and then three riders broke away from the main group of elite riders. After 20km they were caught, and then suddenly Mohd Salleh from Malaysia took off again. No one countered his attack, and he powered on solo across for about 20 km through Indonesia, and then border back into Timor Leste. For the next 20km the roads turned dusty, bumpy and dry, but he was able to hang on and won the stage by 2 minutes. A great effort.

And finally, the Jungle Run team. Well, not much to say except we kept at it and gathered some more great footage. We’ve secured a small house in the town, and tonight’s campsite is about 30 metres from the beach. In fact, as I write this I can hear the waves lapping the shore. A few of the Jungle Run team went for a dip in the ocean (no crocodiles here), and, after day 2, everyone is feeling pretty good. Tomorrow is the first main hill day of the race, so we’ll see how we feel tomorrow night! Stay tuned…

(And here’s a shot of me riding backwards with Tour de Timor director Sean Borrell).

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(Photo: Zoe Marley)

Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 10 2012 | 1 comment
Tour de Timor 2012

The Jungle Run crew was up at 3:30am this morning to start our coverage of the 2012 Tour de Timor (that’s not a misprint, 3:30!). By 4:30, cars were packed, crew were fed, and our work began in earnest. Jungle Run founder Joe Yaggi, sound man Wil Hemmerle, and the editing and production team left the Timor Lodge for the finish line in the advance media convoy at 5:30am – half an hour later than planned – but with still enough time to get to the finish line to set up.

After a short speech from the newly elected Timor Leste President Taur Matan Ruak, the race began at 7:00am. 300 plus riders began the 6-day odyssey, decked out in their team colours, many sporting flags from their home countries. Quite a sight.

All this will be well documented. Nine still photographers are here covering the Tour, and two of them were on the back of motorbikes today. Here’s a shot of Australian Zoe Morley, here shooting the Tour for the second time.

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Six videographers were on motorbikes today, all shooting for Jungle Run. Intrepid tour veteran Jacqui Hocking, newcomer Chris Knight, myself (Peter Wall), cinematographer Patrick Lavaud, Jungle Run Balinese shooter Gusti Ketut Oka, and local Timorese freelancer Armando Barro Soares.

I rode behind Sean Burrell, the event director and expert motorbike driver, and we hit the road about 30 minutes after the riders left, as Sean had to make sure various VIP guests were taken care of.
We quickly made up time, and filmed the field from tail to top as we blasted along the gorgeous Timorese coast. 50km in to the race we had caught up to the race leaders as they competed up the first major climb, a King of the Mountains point competition. Shortly after the climb, we were there to capture the major lead change of today’s race. Australian rider Jared Hughes caught the two other lead riders with about 45km to go, and went on a mighty solo break-away for the rest of the way for the stage win. A remarkable performance.

Riding backwards while filming on a motorbike is a new thing for me, and luckily I am the right size (5’8) to be able to pull it off. Stopping isn’t a problem, but quick accelerations and major bumps are. Luckily Sean and I had a two-way headset wired into our helmets, and he was able to give me advance warning of when I had to hang on. For the last 40km of the race today Jared Hughes was out at the front of the race on his own, with only us for company. Several times he tried to draft behind us, and I had to warn Sean so he could put a little more space between us and the rider, as drafting is illegal… But the day went well, we got the shots, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike to shoot day two.

Finally, tonight’s camp site. We’ve taken over the new market in the town of Mota’ain. The town is right on the border with Indonesia, and the market’s wall actually is the fence that separates the two countries! The food, media, and bike repair sections are housed in various concrete stalls, and the medical tent, the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre from Australia, have brought their own tents. Truly a small village of riders, media and support workers that has sprung up in the middle of… well, nowhere. Most people are in tents, including me, though some people will sleep on the floor of the market stalls. We’ll see how everyone feels in the morning!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, as the Tour will cross into Indonesia for the first time in the race’s history.

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Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 8 2012 | no comments
Tour de Timor 2012

Today is day two for the Jungle Run team in Dili, East Timor.

Tour de Timor 2012 - Ride for PeaceBright and early this morning was the Ride for Peace, a community event where local kids, families, ex-pats, and racers in the Tour took a leisurely ride through downtown Dili. There was a great turnout, and race sponsor Timor Telecom gave out bright blue shirts to many of the locals. An incredible variety of bikes and riders wound their way along the route. There were rumours that one kid, who looked to be about 10, did a wheelie for a hundred metres! At the ride’s finish, various agencies and stakeholders held events for the locals and riders. One group of kids even got a ride in an armoured UN personnel carrier.

Tour de Timor 2012 - Ride for PeaceMeanwhile, Jungle Run founder Joe Yaggi was off at 7am this morning for a massive 12 hour recce. He checked out the Tour route for Days 1, 5 and 6 – which meant travelling over 260kms in a 4 x 4, bumping over rough roads. His verdict: “It’s a wicked course! It’s going to be wild man…”

Tour de Timor 2012 - Ride for PeaceBack at Timor Lodge, the Jungle Team continues to prepare for the start of the Tour on Monday.

Patrick Lavaud, freelancer and longtime Jungle Run cinematographer, and Wil Hemmerle, in charge of sound recording this year, prepared the 9 cameras and various audio equipment. This year the race will be shot on five Sony EX3’s, one EX1, and three Sony HDV cameras. There’s also a few DSLRs and GO PROs thrown into the mix. All in all, some very expensive equipment will be making sure no wipe-out, gorgeous view, or finish line goes unrecorded.

Tour de Timor 2012 - Jungle Run camera armada

Tour de Timor 2012 - Jungle Run Editors, on the run!Working alongside the camera and audio guys are the editors – Adi, Khalil, and Amin. They’ll be setting up and breaking down their computers, card readers and drives at each campsite. Each night they’ll edit and upload 3-5 minutes of the day’s Tour highlights. Look for these on the Tour de Timor website – all the footage is available for no charge.

Tomorrow is the last day before the ride starts – the blog will do short profiles of Rashid Salleh, this year’s Tour Media liaison, and Shinta Okta, production manager for Jungle Run, as well as document final preparations for the start of the Tour! Stay tuned…

Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 8 2012 | 1 comment
Tour de Timor 2012

One more day until the start of the Tour de Timor – and it’s starting to get crazy at the Timor Lodge.
All the riders, media, and the many volunteers are now in-country, and there’s a huge sense of anticipation in the air. The riders gathered this afternoon for a pre-race briefing, and the theme was … safety! Apparently a six-day mountain bike race on crazy roads is a bit of a dangerous thing.

One of the cool things about the Tour de Timor are the many volunteers who travel to help out. Today I spoke with Belinda Olding from Newcastle in Australia. She came because her sister is riding in the race. She’d never been to East Timor before, and had only heard about it on the news. She thinks it’s cool to be here to see it first hand… and she’s not really that unique. Most people here feel like the ‘troubled times’ they’ve heard or seen or read about don’t really do justice to what they’ve seen of the country and it’s people so far.

Rashid Salleh

Yesterday I promised two quick profiles – and here they are. Rashid Salleh is in charge of media at the Tour this year. He’s a sports presenter, actor and TV personality from Malaysia who has a huge soft spot for East Timor. He’s been involved with the Tour since it began four years ago, and this year has already put in countless time and energy making sure media coverage at the Tour goes smoothly. He also worked with Jungle Run at the Tour last year to produce a 6 part series, soon to be broadcast on Multi Channel Asia. He even did the narration!

Rashid is looking forward to the race starting tomorrow: “This year is going to be exciting because a lot of the race will be on good roads. So it will be fast. We have some road cyclists who might surprise some people.”
He also thinks it’s a special year, especially for peace-building with East Timor’s neighbour, Indonesia.
“For me, the big thing this year is crossing the border. In the three years I’ve been involved with the Tour, we’ve never done that. And I’ve never been to Oecussi, so going there is going to be cool.” Oecussi is the small enclave of East Timor, now entirely surrounded by the Indonesian province of West Timor. On day two, the race will travel roughly 50km from East Timor through West Timor to Oecussi.
Shinta Okta

The other person I promised to write about it Shinta Okta. What would Jungle Run do without her? Her title is production manager, but essentially she’s the glue that keeps everything together. Fluent in Indonesian, English, and Javanese, Shinta does things like: manage the team’s finances on the road; make sure everyone is fed; hook up the team with Sim cards and phone numbers; find Aussie-style plug adaptors when the rooms at the hotel don’t take European or US plugs; etc, etc. This is her second Tour de Timor, but she’s still nervous. “This is an unpredictable event, lots of things can go wrong.” Ominous words….?

Finally, day five. If you ask any of the riders about the race…. everyone thinks it will go fine – until day five. It’s the longest day of the Tour – 119kms, and has some massive climbs. It will be the hardest day by far, and if you’re able to even finish, you’ve achieved something.

That’s it for today. Stay tuned for the first post from the road tomorrow, following stage 1.

“This is an unpredictable event, lots of things can go wrong.” Shinta, Production Manager, Jungle Run

Tour de Timor 2012

Peter Wall | September 7 2012 | no comments
Tour de Timor 2012

Hey everyone. This is freelance camera/producer Peter Wall writing for the Jungle Run blog.

We’ve just arrived in Dili, East Timor and are getting set to shoot the 2012 Tour de Timor, South East Asia’s largest mountain bike race. The Tour is a 6-day 555-km route that snakes along the Timorese coast and up into the mountainous countryside. This year over 300 riders are taking part. What’s really special about the Tour this year is for the first time it will cross the border into neighbouring Indonesia. A short history lesson will tell you this is a very big deal.

All this will be filmed by the intrepid team from Jungle Run. This is the third year Jungle Run has broadcast the Tour, and the team this time around is… well, huge! We are 19 in all – including 9 cameras, a sound man, editors and production support. Tomorrow, Jungle Run founder Joe Yaggi will head out for a pre-race recce, while other members of the team will shoot the “Ride for Peace” a friendly community bike ride in Dili. 700 local kids will ride alongside some of the riders from this year’s Tour.

Riders, volunteers, and media have been gathering all day – and will continue to gather all weekend – at the Timor Lodge, Dili’s most unique hotel. The lodge has over 100 rooms, mostly in shipping containers, each with their own small AC unit. The riders are unpacking their bikes, the mechanics are tuning everyone up, and volunteers are buzzing around making sure everyone is ready for when the race starts on Monday.

That’s the news from here!

Follow us for more updates…

History of the World

Joe Yaggi | April 25 2012 | no comments

BBC has always been known for taking on ambitious projects. So I wasn’t too surprised when my friend and colleague Chris O’Donnell, whom we worked with on Last Man Standing and Last Woman Standing, called me up early in 2011 to say he was working on a new project called History of the World. And given the UK’s roles in Indonesia’s history, it seemed logical to do a section on the spice race that took place in the Banda Islands. While colonial occupation of Banda was a constant form the 1500’s – through the late 1800’s, our story took place in the mid 1600’s.

One of my favorite books on that part of Indonesia is Nathaniel’s Nutmeg by Giles Milton, which we’ve affectionately dubbed Nate’s Nuts… It’s a fascinating look into the history of this part of the archipelago. Nate’s Nuts tells the story of the battle for Run, a tiny, 3.5 km island at the far end of the Banda group. At one point, the island of Run was the most expensive piece of real estate on the planet and Captain Nathaniel Courthope and his tiny rag tag group of men were charged with defending it. Eventually the Dutch traded Run for Manhattan but not before killing the good Captain and most of his crew.

We spent a week shooting in the Banda Islands. Covering Run from all angles, we tried to imagine how the Dutch would have approached it and how Captain Courthope and his men would have defended it. We shot farmers in Run harvesting fresh nutmeg and mace as they’ve done for centuries and produced time lapse of the eastern bay, the island’s main port into the tiny town. I can only imagine how that might compare to a time lapse of the bay in Manhattan for which it was traded! On Banda Naira we shot beautiful images nutmeg processing deep in the heart of a dilapidated Dutch warehouse. Later, on the sea front, we used an old colonial barracks to re-create how Dutch traders would have bought and bartered nutmeg from the Bandanese.

To get a feel for just how “far out there” the island of Run really is, we bashed up Gunung Api, the 650 meter volcano that dominates the view from Banda Naira – challenging with the weather as there were only momentary windows of clarity where we could see the tiny speck of Run off in the distance. Across Banda’s calderic bay lies Banda Besar (Big Banda) where we shot an ancient nutmeg grove which locals say dates back all the way to Nathaniel. Our stay coincided with Eid al-Adha, an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma’il) as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep— to sacrifice instead. Throughout the day cattle, goats and various other animals were sacrificed as the locals paraded through the streets singing and dancing.

The war during those times was intense and the main line of defense for the area was Fort Belgica on Banda Naira. A lot of blood was shed at that fort and you definitely got the feeling that there were some restless spirits still in the area… Spending the night on one of the turrets to capture time lapse and shots from the defenders perspective was a bit un-nerving. About 1am, while the gatekeeper and I slept, Djuna had a visitation – what sounded like keys banging out morse code on the metal ladder up to our location. Much later, after escaping into the turret from an incoming squall, I kept hearing what sounded like people sprinting across the rampart. In the morning, we asked the gatekeeper and he said “oh good, you heard them too huh? Yeah, they do that all the time…”

Please watch History of the World on BBC 1 and definitely go to Maluku and the Banda Islands if you get a chance.

BBC Comment:

—— Forwarded Message
From: RENNY Bartlett
Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2012 17:07:07 +0000
To: Chris O’Donnell
Subject: Banda Island footage

Hi Chris,

I never got the chance to say what an amazing job your friend Joe did
filming the Bandas. We’ve spent the last few hours going through the
many hours he shot for us and there are so many gorgeous shots. Our
only problem is not having enough time to use  them all. A nice
problem to have. So please pass on my very belated thanks to him.



2011 Year of Forests

Joe Yaggi | February 13 2011 | 2 comments
2011 Year of Forests

Jungle Run has just been chosen to support WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) with the production of a nine-month webcast series. The GFTN promotes legal and sustainable forest  practices with market-based incentives, including certification.

Jungle Run’s relationship with WWF and GFTN began back in 2003. We traveled three days deep into the “Heart of Borneo” to document WWF and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) joining forces with timber giant Sumalindo Lestari Jaya. A ground-breaking project tracking wood from stump to shelf helped the company achieve FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification and revealed to this crew some of the healthiest forest we’ve seen anywhere in Borneo – including the national parks! Indeed, there’s a lot to be said for forest management with vested long-term interests.

In 2006 we returned to Borneo to work on TIMBER FUTURES. This film, produced by Television Trust for the Environment and broadcast on BBC World’s Earth Report, asked the question, “Can the market save Indonesia’s forests?”

Cut to 2011, the UN’s International Year of Forests, and the jury’s still out. Embarking on our latest forest film series in Indonesia, we find destructive logging and wholesale forest conversion still very much the norm. But thanks to organizations like WWF, the push towards sustainable forest management remains strong. Coming years bring special hope in the run-up to the 2012 climate talks. That’s when the global community can deem trees worth more alive than dead. Here at Jungle Run, we hope that Indonesia’s vast stores of forest carbon will be valued in the fight against global warming, while conserving precious habitats and sustainable resources for humans and animals alike.

Indonesia forest photo by Djuna Ivereigh

Tour de Timor 2010

Joe Yaggi | February 13 2011 | 1 comment
Tour de Timor 2010

Patrick Lavaud shooting Tour de Timor 2010 for Jungle Run

Jungle Run founder Joe Yaggi and GM Stephen DeMeulenaere are just back from East Timor, where we presented our final film series chronicling the grueling 2010 Tour de Timor mountain cycling race.

The 5-day race was an intensive production, powered by 8 jam-synced HD cameras and 4 Avid editors. In all, we headed up a 15-person crew hailing from East Timor, Indonesia, the US, Canada and France. After a run of all-night editing sessions, the post team turned out an adrenaline-pumped product.

The trailer:

The buzz:

“Thank you very much, excellent work!”
His Excellency Jose Ramos-Horta, President of Timor Leste

Jason, Amin and Dewa editing at Tour de Timor 2010

“Wow, that was amazing. Was your editing team wired on Red Bull or what?”
Toby Gibson – Participant TdT 2010

“I can’t wait to sign up for the next race!”
anonymous participant

“I’d love to work with you again.”
Clementino Maia – Timorese freelance cameraman

“Excellent guys, well done. You’ve made our jobs much easier.”
Sean Borrell – PR Manager, Office of the President

From the race on through editing and animation back home, the final outputs for Tour de Timor 2010 include:

  • 6 x 7 minute films on each district the race passed through
  • 10 minutes of race footage uploaded nightly for international broadcast
  • 5 x 6 min short stage report films
  • 1 x 30 minute final race film following the entire tour
  • Heaps of HD stock footage

Tour de Timor 2010 Film Crew

Timor Leste scenic photography by Djuna Iveriegh
Jungle Run staff photography by Shinta Okta

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