Musto, one of the world’s leading offshore sailing brands, has revealed an exclusive collaboration with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Volvo Ocean Race team to develop a range of ground-breaking personal climate controlled (PCC) offshore clothing. The new suit, the PCC, will sit within the HPX Pro Series range which has been developed to meet the specific needs of the professional ocean racing sailor. Watch an in-depth video report below.
Based on state of art technology developed by the space agency, the super-lightweight, fully waterproof and breathable, one-piece stretch-to-fit Abu Dhabi PCC suits will enable the crew to maintain a comfortable body temperature whatever extremes of hot and cold they encounter during the 38,739 nautical mile race.
The ambitious project was commissioned jointly by Musto and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing after physiologists in the UAE capital discovered that the Emirate’s warm winter conditions, which average at 23 degrees Celsius in December and January, were the perfect conditions to support peak athletic performance and muscle recovery.
To activate the suits on board their new yacht Azzam, the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew will plug themselves into the master PCC units located at the back of the boat. Once attached, the sailors can dial up their desired body temperature using a thermostat keypad built into the forearm of the suit. Lithium battery backup will maintain heat for up to two hours when not connected to allow the sailors to unplug during watch changes or to leave the cockpit for a sail change.
Additional upsides of the body hugging suits compared to traditional offshore gear are previously undreamt of levels of freedom of movement and massive savings in the weight of the crew gear.
Nigel Musto, President of MUSTO, said "For years we have been trying to reduce clothing weight whilst maintaining performance. Now with the innovative Abu Dhabi PCC suit not only have we achieved a significant weight reduction in kit, about 90% or 80kg, but we’ve also improved both performance and recovery by allowing the sailors to maintain a consistent muscle temperature. The performance gains we have seen as a result are extremely significant.”
“As the suit is so innovative we nervously awaited feedback from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s first sail aboard Azzam – the response was so overwhelmingly positive from all the team that we couldn’t wait to unveil the PCC suit.”
“In the new one-design world of the Volvo Ocean Race, every reduction in weight or improvement in performance is like gold dust to the teams and this offshore clothing breakthrough could ultimately make the difference between winning and losing.”
ADOR Skipper Ian Walker commented "I’m certain that the MUSTO PCC Suit is a real game changer – I can’t wait to wear the finished version on the start line in October. We are now able to sail around the world in our own microclimates which for me will be set to mimic a perfect Abu Dhabi day in December. It’s set to be the most comfortable Volvo Ocean Race I have ever done"
For MUSTO the breakthrough represents a new approach to offshore sailing clothing design, which it hopes will be adopted by more elite racing teams in the future. 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.
MUSTO plan to have the new suits available in stores by the end of July 2015.