A fashion blog!!! Who’d have thought it? Gold is the new red and this is sartorial elegance, Clipper style.
Regular readers will be aware that I mentioned previously having visited our official kit suppliers for the 2019-2020 race as part of Clipper Level 1 training (“Have you heard the one about the Englishman, the Irishman and the Scot …… Blog 9, posted on 9th July). At the time we were asked to keep the supplier under wraps pending the “official announcement”. Well, the “said announcement” was made earlier this week. The Musto Lighthouse Store in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth was the scene of our earlier “suits you, Sir” experience and an opportunity to meet the Musto team and be measured for our kit. Musto will be the official kit suppliers for the 2019-2020 and the 2021-2022 editions of the Race.
As the official announcement said, “the new partnership marks a transformation for the sailing event as it swaps its familiar red kit for a new striking gold look.” Musto was established in 1964 by Olympic sailing silver medalist, Keith Musto, who, when competing in the Tokyo Olympic Games, noticed a gap in the market for high performance sailing kit. Since then the Musto brand has pushed the boundaries of design and manufacturing and is at the forefront of product innovation and design. Holding two Royal Warrants, Musto gear is sold in over 40 countries, was worn by 70% of the teams competing in the last Volvo Ocean Race, was the brand choice of the leading sailors in the 2016-2017 Vendee Globe and was the official partner of Groupama Team France for the 2017 America’s Cup.
As well as providing a recommended kit list that covers all the requirements of the “three layer” clothing systems most of us will be adopting, Musto will provide our branded clothing once crew allocation and boat sponsoring is announced. I’ll write about the differences in base layer, mid layer, and outer layer with the differences in moisture wicking, ventilation, temperature control and even antimicrobial finishes – that’s pong- reduction-in-a-no-shower-environment to you and me! – in a future blog, but Musto are providing each Clipper crew member with the following:
Pro Lite UV Fast Drying Shorts – fast-drying and with a UPF40 treatment on the fabric, these shorts offer advanced durability through reinforced stitching and a reinforced seat panel. They are anatomically shaped (!!!!) for “extra coverage” and designed to ensure I can move with greater ease. Greater ease than what I wonder?
The Musto Evolution Sunblock Long sleeve T-shirt is “engineered” to protect me from harmful UV rays and features UPF40 protection and flatlock seams making it an extremely comfortable base layer with great freedom of movement. Made from fast-dry, stretch and reinforced fabric, it will ensure I always perform at the top of my game. Apparently!
The Crew Softshell jacket is wind-resistant and coated with a durable water repellent to encourage (encourage???) water to bead and run off the fabric. This means I can enjoy the outdoors on days with light showers and changeable weather in this streamlined, breathable softshell jacket. Can’t wait.
But “stop I hear you ask”. “Aren’t you doing the rather more – delete “changeable”, insert “violently unpredictable”, delete “light showers”, insert “blowing a gale and lashing with rain” sort of legs?” Never mind “softshell”, what about the “tough stuff?”
The HPX GORE-TEX Pro Series Trouser (now we’re talking!) has a proven performance that exceeds expectations (here’s hoping). Extremely durable, impeccably waterproof and windproof and extremely breathable, they are considered the toughest 3-layer GORE-TEX Pro fabric. It has an Ocean Technology membrane, “Cordura” seat and knee patches, reinforced wear points and special removable impact pads in the knees that move with me but lock hard on impact, particularly deck impact, to provide additional protection.
The accompanying HPX GORE-TEX Pro Series Smock has already been tested to the limits in the Southern Ocean and is engineered specifically for the wettest environments. It is extremely waterproof, breathable, highly durable and snag resistant. It has an anatomically cut fleece-lined collar for extra heat retention, a fluorescent, fully adjustable roll-away GORE-TEX hood for protection even over a helmet with a rigid peak to the hood designed to channel spray away from the face. It has an engineered, ergonomically shaped, fully adjustable spume visor to protect my face from spray, inner latex seals and cuff seals for additional waterproof protection, photoluminescent prismatic reflectors for high visibility at night and laser cut draining holes for all pockets to reduce drying times and presumably to allow all that sea water that is NOT going into my face, to drain away!
So.….. does/will my bum look big in this?????
Watch this space – we are now at Clipper Level Two Training minus 16 days and counting.