The new suits are designed to keep sailors at a body temperature of 23 degrees Celcius, with skipper Ian Walker and Emirati Adil Khalid of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew set to begin testing them on Tuesday.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing introduce climate-controlled suits
Abu Dhabi’s crew for the Volvo Ocean Race will wear the world’s first personal climate-controlled outfits, with testing beginning on Tuesday. The neck-to-ankles suits are designed to keep the crew’s body temperatures at 23 degrees Celcius no matter the conditions.
The trial linking Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) with the British outdoors apparel manufacturer MUSTO will focus on Azzam’s skipper, Ian Walker, and the Emirati crewman Adil Khalid, ahead of other crew being outfitted with the one-piece, lightweight suits.
How they work
To activate the suits, the crew will plug themselves in to specially designed units at the back of the boat. The sailors can then dial up their desired body temperatures from controls on the left wrist of the suit.
Physiologists in Abu Dhabi have found that 23 degrees Celcius, typical winter temperatures in the capital, are perfect for peak athletic performance and muscle recovery, according to ADOR.
“We’re now able to sail around the world in our own micro-climates, which we can set to mimic a perfect Abu Dhabi December day,” Walker said. “It’s set to be the most comfortable Volvo Ocean Race I’ve ever done.” The race traverses the toprics as well as the frigid Southern Sea.
Khalid, a veteran of the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race, said: “Knowing that I will be able to race while always enjoying the UAE winter temperatures is such a bonus. I’ll be able to take a little bit of my home around the world with me.”