New climate-controlled suit for sailors
Abu Dhabi, April 1, 2014
A landmark UK-Abu Dhabi co-operation has led to a major breakthrough for the offshore clothing industry.
A tie-up between the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ador) and Britain’s Musto, which was the emirate’s entry for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, has created personal climate controlled outfits which keeps the wearer at a comfortable 23-degree Celsius, no matter where they are in the world, said a statement from the company.
The prototype suits, which will keep the wearer warm in freezing temperatures and cool in the heat of the tropics, began a pilot trial programme on April 1 with the testers being Ador’s Skipper, double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker and his Emirati crew member Adil Khalid.
Nigel Musto, president, said: “Ador set us the challenge for which we used space-age technology based on materials and design used to manufacture suits for astronauts.”
The super-lightweight one-piece Personal Climate Controlled (PCC) suit was commissioned after physiologists in Abu Dhabi discovered that the emirates’ warm winter conditions, which average 23 degrees Celsius in December and January, were perfect for peak athletic performance and muscle recovery.
Ian Walker says the prototype suits delivered very positive training results during the recent first sails on Azzam.
"I’m certain that the PCC Suit is a real game changer. We’re now able to sail around the world in our own microclimates which we can set to mimic a perfect Abu Dhabi December day. It’s set to be the most comfortable Volvo Ocean Race I’ve ever done,” said Walker.
“During testing, Adil and I have seen remarkable improvements in the speed of recovery from long days at sea and heavy training sessions in the gym.”
The lycra one-piece PCC will now be worn exclusively by the Ador as they tackle the 38,739 nautical mile, round-the-world race, which begins in Alicante this October and is due to stopover in Abu Dhabi in December/January.
To activate the suits on board their new yacht Azzam, the Ador crew will plug themselves into specially designed units at the back of the boat. Once attached, the sailors can dial up their desired body temperature.
"For years we’ve been trying to reduce clothing weight while maintaining performance. Now with the innovative Abu Dhabi PCC suit we’ve achieved a significant weight reduction in kit, about 90 per cent or 80kg, and also improved both performance and recovery by allowing sailors to maintain a consistent muscle temperature. The performance gains we have seen as a result are extremely significant.
“We hope to market the product internationally by the end of July 2015.”
The Abu Dhabi PCC suits will undergo four months of further tests and modifications as part of Ador’s training programme in Europe and North America before the final race-ready suits are handed over to the team in September. - TradeArabia News Service