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Custom lifejacket for the Volvo Ocean Race

by Spinlock on 8 Nov 2017
Custom lifejacket for the Volvo Ocean Race Spinlock
METS is a show debut for the Spinlock custom lifejacket for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. The link-up is a technical partnership which has seen the Race work closely with sailing and marine industry leaders to develop new and innovative products, capable of withstanding the toughest conditions on the planet.

As award-winning designers and manufacturers of rope-holding equipment and personal safety products, Spinlock knows all too well the importance of solid design and durability – and as the toughest test of a team in professional sport, the Volvo Ocean Race proves an invaluable real-life test bench for our products.

'It’s exciting to be able to push the boundaries, in collaboration with the Volvo Ocean Race,” said Myles Uren, Product Manager at Spinlock.

“The speed, the risks and the loads on the boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have increased massively over the years, yet it’s the same crew that are racing them – so it’s our job to take our products and innovate in order to try and help them as much as possible.”

The new lifejacket was designed and developed based on extensive feedback and testing by Volvo Ocean Race veterans, including new Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari and two-time Race winner Phil Harmer.

The biggest challenge for the designers? To create a lifejacket durable enough to withstand mile upon mile of Southern Ocean, but lightweight and comfortable enough to encourage the sailors to actually wear it, for eight months.

“Until now, lifejackets have often been designed for the recreational sailor, so it’s fantastic to see Spinlock’s enthusiasm to research and design a tailor-made product meeting the specific needs of the competitive offshore sailor,” confirms sailor Abby Ehler who coordinated the input of a large group of offshore sailors.

Spinlock were also asked to develop a better way of managing some of the safety items carried by the sailors. With crew changing clothing throughout the watches, equipment can be hard to manage and become misplaced.

All crews are required to carry an Ocean Signal MOB1 AIS device, Ocean Signal PLB1 and an ACR strobe. Spinlock have developed a custom waist belt safety pack to manage these items.

All three items are housed in easy-to-find pockets. Devices can be identified, deployed and activated easily in a hurry and in the dark with gloved hands. The devices are tethered to the waist belt safety pack and float in neoprene covers and the whole pack floats and can be thrown to a MOB.

J Composites 2020 - FOOTERHyde Sails 2021 - Basic FOOTERHenri-Lloyd M-PRO FOOTER SW

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