Frank Hurt (pictured), the owner of Mountain Video Associates, is producer and director for ESPN’s broadcasts of Billfishing Xtreme Release League. In the course of his work on the series, Hurt subjects his Lectrosonics wireless system to the sand and salt water of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and reports that it has performed well under adverse conditions. For 15 years, Hurt has relied on Lectrosonics M185 VHF beltpack transmitters, H185 VHF plug-on transmitters and CR185 compact receivers.
Presently in his third year as producer and director, Hurt has been with the popular ESPN sports program for seven years. Billfishing Xtreme Release League represents the highest level of professional competition that a team can achieve in pursuing billfish. With nearly $2 million in cash at stake and fish that can range from 50 to more than 1,000 pounds, experience and finesse on the skipper’s part is critical or the entire scenario breaks down.
“In the early '90s,” Hurt recalls, “I was looking for wireless mics that were suitable for saltwater applications. Much to my surprise, there were none. At that time, the Lectrosonics M185, H185 and CR185 was the equipment to have, so I purchased two sets. While I’ve certainly had my share of experience with newer UHF systems from other makers that came out shortly afterward, my Lectrosonics VHF gear continues to perform very well. The 185 was and still is my everyday workhorse system for the really rugged treatment you encounter on sports shows.
"We use seven cameramen shooting Billfishing Xtreme, and each owner/operator brings his own gear along for their part of the project," Hurt concludes. "Through the years, I’ve seen all makes and models of wireless equipment, and because of the harsh conditions, I’ve seen many systems go down on the shoot, but I can’t remember a single Lectrosonics failure.”