RC Long Johns by Slam

July 30th, 2008
These comfortable, agile salopettes could become a permanent resident of your gear bag. “Gear Up” from our July 16, 2008, SW eNewsletter Jul 15, 2008
By Michael Lovett (More articles by this author)

Courtesy Slam
These lightweight salopettes integrate well with base layers and compress easily for storage.

Here’s what happened the one time this year I went racing without my Slam RC Long Johns: a cool breeze blew in, my butt got soaked, and, on the rail in between shivers, I vowed never to leave the dock without these indispensable salopettes on board.

Slam’s RC Long Johns– which complement the RC Spray Top, also designed with input from Russell Coutts–are well suited for around-the-buoys racing because they get the job done without too much fuss. The use of Slam’s special Advanced Technology Fabric not only makes the RCs waterproof, windproof, and breathable, it also makes them lightweight and easily compressible, so they don’t occupy too much real estate in your gear bag.

For cold-weather sailing, the generous, ergonomic fit integrates well with base layers. In warmer weather, slip the wide-cut legs over your sailing shoes and shorts whenever conditions call for a last-minute costume change. Elasticated mesh shoulders provide reassuring comfort and allow full range of motion. Tough Cordura material reinforces the seat and knees, providing a layer of protection when scrambling across the deck. Thermo-taped seams prevent leaks. I haven’t used the RCs enough to confirm long-term durability, but halfway through the season they don’t show any signs of wear–surprising, considering their feather-light feel.

In terms of function, my only gripe is that the thigh pocket requires two hands to unzip. The chest pocket works fine. The RCs come in two color schemes, silver/red and yellow/black. I chose the silver/red, which looks fairly modest…from the front. On the back, SLAM, a big company logo. On the seat of the garment, a big red patch dramatically increases the probability of attack by charging bull, and, as I mentioned in my review of Sebago’s Plunge sailing shoes, draws funny stares in Thai restaurants.

Hobart Extreme Technical Shorts by Camet

July 30th, 2008
 These lightweight sailing shorts are perfect for hot-weather sailing. “Gear Up” from our July 30, 2008, SW eNewsletter Jul 28, 2008
By Michael Lovett (More articles by this author)

Courtesy Camet
Camet’s Hobart Extreme Technical Shorts don’t look all that extreme, and that’s just fine by us.

The “How awkward would you feel wearing this item into a Thai restaurant?” test has figured prominently in my recent reviews of Sebago sailing shoes (not too awkward) and SLAM salopettes (very awkward). I, for one, like to know just how dorky a given piece of sailing gear is going to make me look in the eyes of the non-sailing public.  

Camet’s Hobart Extreme Technical Shorts pass the Thai test with flying colors. Despite their tech-y name, these shorts have a remarkably simple look. If not for the tiny, red, “Camet” logo above the left hem, you’d never know the Hobarts were designed with “extreme” activity in mind. The absence of cargo pockets–or rear pockets for pad inserts–cuts down on the bulk, and the use of a feather-light, water-repellent, UPF 40 nylon keeps the garment’s total weight at a mere 9 ounces. With an adjustable Velcro waist and a casual, 10-inch inseam, the Hobarts are comfortable enough for a long day on the water and discreet enough to wear to dinner afterwards.

They may look modest enough, but the Hobarts benefit from all of Camet’s careful, race-inspired design, from the tough Cordura fabric reinforcing the seat of the garment to the large, obsessively stitched button. If it’s any testament to techiness, I saw the crew of Speedboat wearing the Hobarts at the start of the 2008 Newport-Bermuda Race.

The best thing about these particular Camet shorts is their spartan design. Four pockets is plenty. I have no use for a floral stripe. Silver (or sand) is a good color– not so dark as to absorb heat, not so bright as to reveal the stain from the spilled beer I just sat in. Did I mention these shorts are quick drying?

New Dryarn(R) Fiber Raises the Bar on Comfort and Performance Standards in Athletic Wear

July 30th, 2008

 ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, July 30 /PRNewswire/ — A new metallocene based polypropylene (PP) fiber produced under the trademark Dryarn from Italian synthetic fiber manufacturer Aquafil has been selected by Italian sportswear manufacturer SLAM to create a jersey for the national sailing team that will compete in Beijing 2008.

SLAM chose the PP fiber, based on a Metocene PP resin produced by LyondellBasell Industries, due to the unprecedented levels of comfort and performance it achieves in skin-contact textile applications. “We believe this is the first time that a PP resin has been used to produce nautical sportswear, which has historically been the domain of polyester and polyamide synthetic fibers,” said Bernd Schuetz, Global Business Manager for LyondellBasell’s Metocene resins.

The wicking effect

The Dryarn fiber was chosen by SLAM to produce the “Area 51″ jersey due to its wicking effect, which conducts perspiration away from the skin to the outside where it evaporates. This leads to a sweat expulsion rate that is nearly eight times higher than polyester, which leaves the wearer dry and comfortable. The fiber does not allow humidity to collect close to the skin, and it retains none of the microorganisms that create odor in garments made from synthetic fibers.

As climatic conditions at the Beijing 2008 regattas typically exhibit high temperatures and high humidity in the port of Qingdao, where the competitions will be held, tests were carried out to assess the performance of different fibers. The results confirmed that the jersey kept the wearer significantly cooler and drier than cotton or other synthetic materials. Athletes who participated in the tests reported that they felt dry 30 minutes after completion of the test. These trials have shown that Dryarn out-performs competitive materials in terms of wearability and comfort.

Lightest yarn in nature

Metocene resin can also be used to produce yarn with outstanding lightness characteristics. With a specific weight of 0.9 g/cm3, Dryarn is an extremely light yarn, which provides 20 percent weight savings compared with other fibers on the market. In addition, the fiber’s excellent resistance to sea water conditions and abrasion makes it a good choice for the demanding nautical environment, as sea water can cause fading and brittleness.

Metocene resin provides a narrow molecular weight distribution that improves the mechanical properties of the fibers, which enables up to 30 percent higher tenacity over other PP-based fibers comparable to polyester and polyamide fibers.

LyondellBasell sees nautical sportswear as just one of a growing range of applications exploiting the outstanding skin-contact characteristics of Metocene-based fibers for use in demanding conditions.

Aquafil (http://www.aquafil.com) is an Italian company with headquarters in Arco di Trento (Italy) and about 2,000 employees working in 11 factories in Italy, Slovenia, United States, Croatia and Thailand. There is a strong synergy between the activities of the three Business Units (carpet yarns, textile yarns, Plastics Engineering/Polymers), characterized by a high level of innovation and product diversification. http://www.aquafil.comhttp://www.dryarn.com

SLAM, founded in Genoa in 1979, is the Italian leading company in technology clothing for sailing and is well established in the sportswear sector with expanding collections for men, women and children. http://www.slam-shops.com

LyondellBasell Industries is one of the world’s largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies. We are the global leader in polyolefins technology, production and marketing; a pioneer in propylene oxide and derivatives; and a significant producer of fuels and refined products, including bio-fuels. Through research and development, LyondellBasell develops innovative materials and technologies that deliver exceptional customer value and products that improve quality of life for people around the world. Headquartered in The Netherlands, LyondellBasell (http://www.lyondellbasell.com) is privately owned by Access Industries.

Reverse Logistics: From Trash to Cash

July 26th, 2008

BW Magazine

There’s no place on a company’s balance sheet for garbage, so most executives don’t think much about it.

But with oil and other commodity prices surging, some companies are reconsidering trash. They recognize that used-up products are the sum of their raw materials, energy, and labor: With another wring of the sponge, more value can be extracted. So they’re essentially running their supply chains backward, a process called “reverse logistics.”

Genco, a privately held company in Pittsburgh, has lately seen brisk reverse-logistics business. It helps retailers such as Best Buy, Sears, and Target find buyers for products that are returned as defective or broken and would otherwise be landfill fodder. A recent KPMG study suggests companies can recover up to 0.3% of annual sales this way. (That’s $100 million in the case of Best Buy.) Genco has even spun out a reject-pile brokerage business, called Genco Marketplace, that connects sellers and buyers with $5 million a day in junked goods.

Some companies are keeping the efforts in-house. Carpet makers Interface and Shaw Industries collect used-up materials to feed back into production. The hurdles have been numerous, they say, but both expect to enjoy cost advantages over others that produce from scratch.

Outdoor gear maker Patagonia is one of the most ambitious reverse-logistics pioneers. Its Synchilla Vests consist of fiber recaptured from old fleeces and T-shirts—even those sold by rivals. Customers drop worn duds at a Patagonia store or mail them to a distribution center. A subcontractor turns them into new fibers. More than 90% of the fabric is spun into new clothing, says Patagonia; the rest becomes a cement additive.

Patagonia concedes that its process costs more than virgin polyester, but there’s an environmental mandate from Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder and majority owner. “[He] really wants us to plan for the end of oil,” says spokeswoman Jen Rapp. For most companies, though, it’s all about money. “The real value of reverse logistics is turning trash into cash,” says Curtis Greve, a Genco senior vice-president. There’s a clear spot on the balance sheet for that.

SLAM With Pietro D’Ali at the Solitaire du Figaro

July 25th, 2008

SLAM will be at Pietro D’Alì’s side once again as he takes part in the 39th edition of the Solitaire du Figaro – the tough, legendary, solo race divided into various legs – which starts tomorrow, 25th July, from La Rochelle in France.

Over the 1880 mile course, subdivided into three legs, Pietro will have the best garments from SLAM’s most technical, “Advanced” collection at his disposal.From the foul weather gear category he will have use of both the “Ocean Waves” model and the Spray top with matching Long John. The rest of his kit will comprise of the Anemon bag, both summer and winter “Seamless” underwear (truly appreciated by Pietro, especially for long distance races), Almeria. and New Hissar Bermuda shorts, New Mistral and Prince Evolution shoes, and the short and long sleeved versions of the Zip Grinder.

Pietro is the only Italian amongst the 54 participants.

The first 465 mile leg will end in Vigo, Spain.

The Second leg, scheduled to depart from Vigo for Cherbourg-Octeville on 31st July, is 590 miles long.

Then, the 8th August will see the start of third and final leg – the longest in the history of the Solitaire du Figaro – 825 miles which will circumnavigate the Isle of Mann in the Irish Sea, before heading for l’Alber Wrac’h, which is back in France.

Pietro will sail aboard Mc Louis.

Go for it, PIETRO!

BMW ORACLE’s Spithill and Team Cammas gear up for Cowes Extreme 40s

July 24th, 2008

[Source: BMW Oracle] BMW ORACLE Racing will begin training in Cowes next week in preparation for the highly competitive iShares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week 2-4 August where the team is fielding two entries –Team Spithill and Team Cammas.

Spithill will helm with John Kostecki (USA), tactician/traveler; Dirk de Ridder (NED) trim/grind, and Alan Smith (NZL), trim/grind. Multihull consultant Franck Cammas (FRA) will also helm one of the team’s two Extreme 40s. His crew will include Thierry Fouchier (FRA), tactician/traveler; Joe Newton (AUS), trim/grind; and Simeon Tienpont (NED), trim/grind. BMW ORACLE Racing skipper Russell Coutts and design coordinator Mike Drummond (NZL) will be coaching the two crews in Cowes.

“This will be a perfect regatta for pushing our learning curve on multihull racing,” Spithill said. “It will be a very competitive fleet so I am sure we will be pushed hard. This is a great event and a great chance to keep preparing while we wait for our new America’s Cup boat.”

After a tough start in the Extreme 40s when one of the boats capsized in an exciting in-house match race in May, two BMW ORACLE Racing crews competed 20-22 June at the “Just the Best” regatta in Italy where Spithill and Coutts faced off in the Extreme 40s with Spithill’s team earning the regatta victory.

June also provided plenty of multihull sailing for the team. Franck Cammas, with a team including sailing coordinator Julien di Biase (SUI) as tactician, won the prestigious Bol d’Or Mirabaud sailing the Decision 35 catamaran Zebra 7 Girard- Perregaux. Following a June training session on the 60-foot Groupama 2, sailing team member Alberto Barovier (ITA) joined Cammas and crew as a bowman on the trimaran to win the ORMA class in the Trophy SNSM.

Our New Store Is Finally Open!

July 21st, 2008

I meant to write this Friday morning, but it appears there is always something popping up. Thursday evening we celebrated the Grand Opening of our new 6500 store in Liberty Station. I would like to thank all of the representatives from our vendors that attended, as well as all of those that showed up. By the looks of the floor when I came in Friday morning a good time was had by all. Besides celebrating our opening, this past weekend 10% of our sales will be donated to San Diego Coastkeepers. it is our way of trying to give back to the waters we enjoy. So stop on by and check us out.

As a present to myself, I took Saturday off and went sailing. It was the San Diego Yacht Club One-Design Weekend so we dusted off old Etchells Hull #1000 and participated in the three races held. I thought this would make an excellent opportunity to test drive some of the new gear we just go in from Atlantis as well. I wore the Microburst Vest all day, and it was subjected to its first test on the tow out to the course. We were hit broadside by some powerboat wake, I will say I was glad the vest had a low sweeping back, and was waterproof! All in all I think this vest is perfect for those temperate days when you need a little protection, but not a full set of waterproofs. I think this vest might have found a permanent spot in my sailing backpack. Until next time…

Polarized Sunglasses Tested for Shortcomings

July 16th, 2008

Longstanding concerns about polarized sunglasses inspired ADS Sports Eyewear to take a closer look at polarized lenses. The results of this research were often contrary to conventional wisdom, and the lessons learned are so significant that some fundamental safety information should be rewritten.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) July 16, 2008 — This research focused on three long-standing beliefs:

- Polarized sunglasses should not be used as motorcycle sunglasses because polarization makes it harder to see puddles on the roadway.- Polarized sunglasses should not be worn by snow skiers because polarization makes it harder to see ice patches on a ski slope.

- Polarized sunglasses should not be worn by golfers because polarization affects depth perception.

This myth busting project began by investigating the belief that glare from a puddle will help a rider identify a water hazard more quickly. Motorcyclists have repeated this for generations. We found this to be the most disturbing misconception that we investigated.

Glare is scattered light that obscures vision. A motorcyclist may be able to determine that a bright splash of light in the roadway is water, but the glare would make it very difficult to determine the safest response to this hazard. By eliminating glare polarized sunglasses made water hazards much more recognizable. Obstacles such as rocks and sticks in the water were more visible, and the depth of the water was more evident. Our testing never found a single instance where glare made any obstacle easier to see.

Polarized motorcycle sunglasses had an adverse effect on rider safety in only two instances. Some full-faced helmets and a few motorcycle windshields have stresses in the material that are visible through polarized lenses. These stresses can become opaque when viewed through a polarized lens.

The exact same logic that applies to motorcyclists identifying a puddle applies to snow skiers identifying a patch of ice. Glare obscures the obstacle as well as everything around it. Polarized ski goggles or ski glasses allow the skier to see rocks and sticks in the ice and identify inconsistencies on the surface of the ice.

The belief that polarized sunglasses alter depth perception for golfers was more difficult to evaluate. We were unable to create any situation where polarization had an adverse effect on depth perception. Conversely the sharper contrast from polarization created much better depth perception. Polarized copper or cinnamon provided the best contrast on a green or blue backdrop. We were testing polarized eyewear from Kaenon, Maui Jim and Native Eyewear. These higher quality lenses may explain the positive results. Lesser quality lenses can affect depth perception whether they are polarized or not. The fact that many professional golfers are winning tournaments wearing polarized sunglasses supports the conclusion that polarization is not a handicap.

Catch College Nationals on TV

July 16th, 2008

By SW Editor at 2008-07-16 15:15

This weekend ESPNU broadcasts the 2008 Gill College Nationals Sailing
Championship presented by Rolex. The program airs Sunday, July 20, 2008, at 11:00 p.m. EST on ESPNU.

For the fourth year the ESPNU program features the top young sailors competing for a trophy that dates back to 1937. Onboard cameras and microphones highlight the action of the 18 teams from across the United States. Georgetown University came from behind on the final day to take the championship.

Special features include interviews with recent All Americans who are now heading to China for the Olympic Games, a segment with former College Sailor of the Year Ken Read as he discusses his participation the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race, and interviews with college sailors who went on to compete in the America’s Cup when it was held in Newport, R.I.

The program will re-air on Tuesday, July 22 at 12:00 a.m. EST, Sunday, July 27 at 12:00 a.m. EST, Sunday, July 27 at 9:00pm EST, and Monday, July 28 at 3:00am EST.

SLAM at the Golden Gate Cup – San Francisco

July 16th, 2008

SLAM sponsered Golden Gate CupGolden Gate CupSLAM was official sponsor of the first ever “Golden Gate Cup”, a regatta organised by the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco. 

An inter-yacht club challenge, it featured Fleet regattas and Match Races; an original formula to which many Yacht Clubs appear to have taken a liking.  Participating in the sailing were some members of the BMW ORACLE Racing Team. 

Victory in the Match Race went to the crew of the GGYC, which included Sgannon Falcone and Gilberto Nobili, sailors from BMW ORACLE.  The crew wore SLAM foul weather gear oilskins from the RC line.

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