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Zhik congratulate Champions Dongfeng Race Team and Team AkzoNobel

by Liz Rushall 27 Jun 06:36 PDT
Chen Jinhao 'Horace' and Charles celebrate victory for Dongfeng Race Team in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 © Eloi Stichelbaut

Zhik are delighted to congratulate Charles Caudrelier and the Dongfeng Race Team for their epic victory in the Volvo Ocean Race last week, and team AkzoNobel for an incredibly hard fought race taking fourth place.

Partnering for the first time with not just one but two Volvo Ocean Race teams as Official Clothing Partner was a big step for the dynamic young company, which has expanded its technical apparel range for the performance yachting and offshore market.

Taking on both projects meant an intense period for Zhik's design and development team, led by Global Head of Design, Bart Milczarczyk, who quickly understood the teams specific requirements. Even though time was short, they already had some radical new concepts on the design board to put to test, and the Volvo Ocean Race was just the catalyst and opportunity. The feedback from the teams says it all:

"Zhik, thanks for your support and all you have done to improve our gear! We all have been impressed!" Charles Caudrelier, Skipper, Dongfeng Race Team.

"Thank you Zhik. Very good job from you and your team. Thanks for your support and for never giving up...." Bruno Dubois, Team Manager, Dongfeng Race Team.

Helmsman, Sail Trimmer and Boat Captain Nicolai Sehested onboard team AkzoNobel comments, "As a pro-sailor I get to wear a lot of sailing gear. The Zhik offshore gear we had was really different from anything I've seen or worn before. Brilliant to have one smock that you adapt for the different weather conditions. That saves us weight on board, keeps it simple and the visor on the hood was a god-send."

Zhik's Milczarczyk comments, "We are thrilled for the Team and are proud to have played a small part in their success. It's been an incredible journey for Zhik, and immense amount of work. The beauty of working so closely with both crews meant we could accelerate the design and testing process. We compressed about two years development work into 12 months. And, when it got tough we took inspiration from the teams - we dug in and worked harder; they wanted to win, so did we!"

Key innovations resulting from the race include Zhik's Isotak X Ocean Smock with a unique 'adaptive' zip-on/zip-off hood and collar, clear protective face-visors and various zip-on balaclavas. For the teams this means carrying one versatile smock for different climates and conditions, and reducing weight on board. The Isotak X won a DAME award at METS last November.

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