Dainese & Emirates Team New Zealand revolutionise the world of sailing

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The Dainese Group is Emirates Team New Zealand’s “Official Safety Partner” for the America’s Cup 2017. The New Zealand crew, who for the first time chose pedals instead of traditional “coffee grinders” to operate the winches, wore the new Sea-Guard jacket designed and developed by Dainese, which integrates protection and aerodynamic performance with its floating functions.
Previously unimaginable performance for the new AC50 “flying” catamarans that today put out to sea in the iconic Great Sound (Bermuda) at the kick off the 35th America’s Cup. At over 50 knots, the conditions facing the crew are extreme, similar to those to which MotoGP riders are exposed. On-board safety is therefore the key element behind the partnership between Dainese and Emirates Team New Zealand.
This has led to the creation of SEA-GUARD, the first item of protective clothing specially designed for competitive sailing. SEA-GUARD, in addition to its floating function, provides impact protection and also allows complete freedom of movement for next-generation grinders, who use their leg power to push pedals instead of arm-powered winch grinding.
SEA-GUARD is the only ergonomic and comfortable solution designed to optimise crew performance. SEA-GUARD incorporates an aerodynamic motorcycle hump, together with the Oxygen tank housing – something that the sailors must use in emergencies such as when the boat capsizes – and for on-board communication devices.
“A unique project of its kind that has enabled us to put the Italian passion for innovation and performance in support of a partner of excellence,” said Cristiano Silei, CEO of Dainese Group. “Dainese has always made safety in dynamic sports its mission. The constant commitment of our research and development teams over these months of preparation and the partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand have allowed us both to overcome a new challenge and to apply our acquired know-how in extreme circumstances different to those with which we have been well acquainted for 45 years.”
Max Sirena, former skipper of Luna Rossa, now Technical Advisor and Management Member of Emirates Team New Zealand added: “With the advent in the last few years of AC catamarans, the sailing world has evolved to unprecedented levels. Now, in our partnership with Dainese, speed and safety go hand in hand. It is the first time that safety, floating, protection and aerodynamics have been combined, all of which contribute to improving our performance on the water. With “flying” catamarans, every detail, from boat to clothing, makes for faster sailing.”