For more than 140 years, the Norwegian brand Helly Hansen has been dressing the professionals of the sea. From the first waxes produced by Captain Helly Juell Hansen for the crews of cod fishing boats, to the protective clothing that allows Vendée Globe professionals to cope with extreme conditions like those they will find in the Southern Ocean, which means gusty winds, freezing temperatures. and the danger of icebergs.
Helly Hansen is the technical sponsor of the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe and in addition to organizing the regatta, it also has a large representation of skippers who will face this adventure alone. Statistics in hand, only half of them will be able to complete the circumnavigation of the planet. Giancarlo Pedote, who will be the only Italian representative in the race aboard his Imoca Prysmian Group, will face the challenge.
But what does a sailor wear during such a long regatta? Conditions can be highly variable. The route crosses two hemispheres, three different weather stations, passing through the equatorial calm and touching Antarctica. Each sailor has his preferences, but the technical characteristics are always the same: breathable, lightweight, quick-drying and waterproof materials.
A perfect example of how an ocean sailor from the Vendée dresses is that of the Frenchman Maxime Sorel, skipper of the V & B-Mayenne. A first layer of thermal, breathable and quick-drying technical underwear. A second layer consisting of a lightweight and breathable thermal jacket and shorts, suitable for staying under cover. And then the protective outer layer: waxed bib and pants with a waterproof and breathable membrane, watertight zippers, seams, wrists and ankles. But before going out on deck: boots, seat belt, tight zipper and protective hood over the head.