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Vaikobi 2024 LEADERBOARD




Vaikobi launches new Torque Quick-Release Trapeze Harness to protect sailors

by Vaikobi 27 Jul 2023 12:01 PDT
Torque Quick-Release Trapeze Harness © Vaikobi

From day one, Vaikobi has been focussed on understanding the needs of watersports athletes from both a performance and safety point of view. The team at Vaikobi are all sailors and it is important that the gear they produce provides the highest level of performance and safety.

Through an expansion into the Dinghy Sailing market, Vaikobi became aware of a need for a reliable quick-release trapeze harness that was readily available for sailors. From the beginning of the design process, their mission was to create not only a high performance trapeze harness that the world's best sailors love but also a trapeze harness that had a quick-release feature that has the ability to keep sailors safe in the unfortunate situation of entrapment.

"Quick-release is a term that has been bandied about by sailors, rule makers and harness manufacturers for a long time. It has evoked a broad range of opinions and points of view. Some sailors fear the quick-release model due to experience with some older designs that failed them when sailing in normal conditions." explains Vaikobi CEO and Founder Pat Langley. "Some manufacturers have created harnesses that claim to have quick-release features, however in practice, they do not achieve that."

World Sailing tried to implement a quick-release requirement for all trapeze harnesses a number of times, however these attempts have failed. The latest attempt by World Sailing to implement a mandatory quick-release requirement appears to be going the same way as previous attempts.

In the current environment, Vaikobi feels that the sailors ultimately, are the ones being let down. They deserve to have equipment that has the ability to keep them safe. They also deserve to have that safety and not have their performance compromised in any way.

Over a two year period Vaikobi has tested many different designs of harnesses. They have spoken to hundreds of sailors and have digested a huge amount of feedback and ideas on what both works and doesn't work.

Vaikobi has also spoken to rule makers, race organisers and administrators around the world at various levels who also feel strongly about the issue of quick-release and who have been frustrated at the lack of options available and the slowness of change.

From this process, Vaikobi established three key criteria for what the new Vaikobi Torque Trapeze Harness must achieve:

  1. High Performance: Sailors at all levels of the sport must be completely satisfied with the comfort, performance and fit of the Trapeze harness. It has to be suitable for young sailors in junior classes all the way to the elite at Olympic racing level.

  2. Quick-Release: The design had to utilise an authentic quick-release design that is simple, easy to use, serviceable, and ultimately 100% reliable with no unwanted hook releases.

  3. 100% Reliability: No unwanted triggers of the quick-release function. We feel that it will be important to convert the older sailors who had a view on quick-release harnesses not being reliable as they have a part to play to influence the next generation of sailors.

After this extensive process and some significant R&D, Vaikobi is proud to announce that the new Vaikobi Torque Trapeze Harness achieves these three criteria and this exciting product is now available for all sailors to use!

This Harness will be available in all the best sailing stores around the world.

The key feature of this trapeze harness is the reliable quick-release mechanism which is simple to use, easy to service and maintain, and ultimately does not perform any differently to a fixed bar trapeze harness.

The New Vaikobi Torque Trapeze Harness has the following key features:

  • Adjustable leg, crotch, waist and shoulder straps - providing the highest level of adjustability and comfort for all body shapes and sizes
  • Integrated quick-release Pin & Hook System for release in an emergency
  • Emergency cutting tool comes as standard
  • Spare hook as standard
  • Lumbar support using removable battens
  • Abrasion resistant fabrications and webbing for high durability
  • Fairings to conceal all adjustment points to ensure nothing can catch and remains sleek in appearance
  • Overall weight of 1.98kg when tested as per World Sailing testing requirements

The Torque Trapeze Harness product features can be viewed here:

Working with sailors around the world, the Vaikobi Torque Trapeze harness has been tested by some of the best sailors as well as up and comers.

Some notable feedback includes:

Tim Mourniac- France Nacra 17 Helm
"The Vaikobi harness is really easy to handle and adjust, it is a good solution for skiff and cat sailors. It's one of the best harnesses I've ever used! Proud of wearing it in the big breeze without any issues."

Jim Colley- Shaw and Partners 18' Skiff Team Helm:
"The Vaikobi Torque quick-release has changed the game when it comes to comfort, support and total customisation. Every athlete has a different body shape and trapezing style, and a harness should be able to accommodate any personal preference. There should never be a "one size fits all" approach to the most important piece of sailing equipment, and the Vaikobi harness allows you to completely maximise your own on water performance by tuning it exactly for you.

"Having personally put close to 100 days sailing on Vaikobi harness prototypes over the last year, the wear and tear has far surpassed that of any competitive product. Over time, a harness will mould to fit your body, similar to a pair of shoes. Vaikobi have made it easy to replace any straps or buckles that may wear out, meaning you can keep the same harness going for years."

Finally, the last word comes from Vaikobi Head of Design Bart Milczarczyk, who has been instrumental in the development of this project, "The adjustable bar height and leg straps are a revolution. Sailors can increase back support by running a higher bar, or enhance manoeuvrability or pumping ability by running it lower. You can increase stiffness by adding battens into the back, and increase comfort by having a range of leg strap options. The fairing around the buckles minimises any chance of lines getting caught, making the whole harness a snug and low profile fit. We are super proud of this product and having the opportunity to make life safer for sailors provides me and the team with a high level of satisfaction."

The New Vaikobi Torque Trapeze Harness is available right now through only the best sailing retailers around the world and at www.vaikobi.com

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