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Luxury travel treats: Helly Hansen race sailing special

Any of you that are frequent or even semi-frequent visitors to A Luxury Travel Blog will know that, when we are not away travelling, we spend quite a lot of our weekends taking our boys to race sailing events up and down the country, as well as overseas. And if there’s one thing that’s critical to their performance besides the application of their sailing skills and the fine tuning of their boats, it’s their sailing gear. This is why we were delighted to team up with Helly Hansen once again recently and why we’re keen to share with you the equipment that they’re using. The picture above was taken at the RS Tera Pro Scottish Nationals at the end of August (in which I’m very proud to say that my older son won, and my younger son came fourth!) – it was just before we received the Rider stealth vest that you see below, but the other items you see in the picture (the wetsuits and the caps) are the ones you see described below. Full length wet suit from Helly Hansen A critical part of their equipment, particularly when sailing in the cold waters off the UK (and through the winter months), is the wetsuit. The Blackline Full Suit from Helly Hansen is great for colder spring days or when you feel like more protection from the sun and the sea.  It forms part of the new collection of HH neoprene products that deliver great functionality and comfort for watersports in wet conditions. It is made from 3mm high quality stretch neoprene and was developed in conjunction with the Norwegian National Team in sailing. It has strategically placed wind block areas and flat lock seams for optimum comfort and durability. It even comes with the added benefit of a Velcro-fastened pee-hole (sorry, I can’t think of a better way to describe it) which goes down very well with the boys. It’s not a feature they’ve had on previous wetsuits and it saves them the trouble of getting half changed when nature calls. Wet suit top from Helly Hansen There are times when the boys are sailing – particularly in the Summer months or in hotter climates overseas – when they don’t want to wear a full wet suit, but could still do with some upper body protection from the cold spray off the ocean. This functional neoprene top from Helly Hansen is perfect for those scenarios, providing maximum comfort in wet conditions. Once again, the main fabric is made from 3mm high quality stretch neoprene and the glide skin cuff and neck seal helps keep the water at bay from any warm underlayers. Rider stealth life vest from Helly Hansen Without doubt the most important piece of equipment for any sailor is the buoyancy aid or life jacket. This Rider stealth life vest from Helly Hansen is not too bulky, and the foam within it has been ergonomically cut to provide the sailor with freedom of movement and the ability to still race effectively. It is a tight fit to the body with elastic neoprene body panels to ensure it remains snug once on. It is worn by pulling it over the head and sliding it down, and has a front pocket and a webbing belt for secure wear. It has also been EN ISO 12402-5 certified. Long sailing glove from Helly Hansen There are so many different sailing gloves on the market but the ones our boys always tend to go for are those which have the forefinger and thumb exposed. That way, their hands remain warm but they can still attend to rigging, tie or untie knots, or doing any other fiddly tasks, should they need. These long sailing gloves from Helly Hansen fit the bill perfectly for this. Not only are they durable, but they also give ample protection for those colder days. Rider hardwear pant from Helly Hansen Again for those warmer days, when a full wetsuit isn’t required, these innovative graphic Helly Hansen hard wear pants are made from full stretch nylon lycra that offer UPF 50+ protection and provide maximum performance. They have no-chafe Flatlock seams (anyone who sails competitively will tell you how distracting chafing can be!) and come in a three-quarter length with perforated neoprene pads in the seat and knee. They can be worn next to the skin to provide protection in warmer conditions, or be worn over the wetsuit to give it extra protection and wear. They are nice and stretchy and perfect for giving sailors a small tactical regatta advantage. Crew cap from Helly Hansen To round-off the look, these crew caps from Helly Hansen not only look great but they also provide protection from the sun. They’re 100% cotton and have a washed finish. They’re adjustable on the back and bear the Helly Hansen branding on the peak at the front. What’s more, they’re ‘one-size-fits-all’, so even I’m allowed to wear it (when they’re not watching!). If you have a product you’d like to see featured in the ‘Luxury travel treats’ series on A Luxury Travel Blog, please contact us. If you have a luxury travel product that you’d like to see feature in one of our round-ups, please make sure you sign up on this mailing list in order to receive an alert when we are compiling the next one.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. It was so long ago that we were among the first outsiders to visit a remote village in Morocco’s High Atlas. As we trekked in the chill early morning we saw our guide taking an interest in our fleece and trousers. “Helly Hansen – very good,” he said. By mid-day the sun had risen above the peaks and our guide still seemed interested in our breathable Helly Hansen trousers. At the end of the trip he offered one of the walkers a few grubby Moroccan notes for their fleece but it was all that he could afford. Clearly he’d been on many expeditions and learnt that Helly Hanson gear would make his life a lot more comfortable. He’d been a great, cheerful guide, so a few of us gave him some Helly Hanson kit that fitted him. You could have seen his beaming smile in Marrakech.

  2. As a fanatical sailor the extremes of weather are something that you have to accept though in some ways beating the elements is at the heart of the appeal of the sport. Over the years I’ve built up my own little wardrobe of Helly Hansen Kit and it’s never let me down. Much of it has lasted way beyond my expectations.

    1. Yes, I have to say… our boys think it’s great. It not only looks the business, but it performs exceptionally well also. It has been known for my boys to go sailing in a blizzard so anything that efficiently keeps the elements at bay is always a winner!

  3. I’d go further than Tim. Safety is paramount. I won’t let my kids go on the water unless they are wearing their Helly Hansen kit. If they get into trouble it could be a lifesaver. Alright, I’m an overprotective Mum but there are some things you don’t take chances with.

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more, Lesley… safety is paramount. It’s drilled into our boys from a very early age that they must of course have their buoyancy aids without fail. Sometimes they’ll also carry a safety knife and whistle. Indeed, they’re not even allowed on jetties or near the water’s edge if they aren’t wearing their buoyancy aids.

  4. Yeah – my son’s a fanatical sailor and his Christmas list doesn’t get much further than the Helly Hansen website. Makes it a one-stop shop for Santa and his elves.

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