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31st December 2010, Barcelona

Active silver underwear in race around the world

The Barcelona World Race: Two Crew; Non-Stop; Around the worldToday, New Year’s Eve 2010, Barcelona is the main focus of the international sailing world as it is the starting point for the Barcelona World Race 2010/11, the second edition of a double handed non-stop race around the world. Textile technology will be playing its part in many ways and active>silver technology from Austria’s Schoeller Technologies will be going along on the 25,000 nautical mile trip on board the Hugo Boss yacht, one of the most powerful in the race.

For three months, the two-man teams will be circumnavigating the planet in one of the most challenging sports on earth. During the demanding and competitive months, where they are racing 24 hours a day, there is little time or space for personal hygiene in the cramped conditions and for this reason, Alex Thomson, skipper of the Hugo Boss yacht, has chosen underwear based on ‘nature-identical’ silver nitrate. The new active>silver finishing technology is said to hamper the development of unpleasant odours, bacteria, mites and fungus.

“The only things out there are wind, sun, storms, ice, rain and sea – the route is demanding and indeed at times very dangerous”, Alex Thomson says. “During the race, the everyday things like food, sleep or showering take a back seat. That’s why I chose the most modern technologies for my clothes. Anything that helps me to concentrate better on this non-stop around the world race improves my performance, also improves my chances of winning.”

According to Schoeller, thanks to active>silver, bacteria which cause unpleasant odours are reduced by up to 98.5 % and the skin flora is not affected. For long-lasting, safe and laundry-permanent functionality, the silver salts are said to be permanently anchored to the surface of the fabric. As a result, Schoeller says, textiles with active>silver remain reliably hygienically fresh for longer. active>silver is available under license from Schoeller Technologies and is said to be suitable for use in clothing, gloves, caps, socks and all other textiles.

Alex Thomson, 36, is one of the UK’s major talents in solo offshore racing. He is the youngest skipper ever to win a round the world race, winning The Clipper Round the World Race in 1999 at the age of 25, and is the current holder of the 60’ monohull distance record, covering an astounding 501 miles in 24 hours. Thomson is sponsored by Hugo Boss and in 2007 finished the Barcelona World Race in 2nd place. His partner for this race will be 35 year old Andy Meiklejohn from New Zealand.

The Barcelona World Race is said to be the first double-handed (crew of two) regatta around the world and is a non-stop regatta with some outside assistance permitted, subject to rules and penalties. The Barcelona World Race 2010/11 is the second edition of the regatta, the first was in 2007/08 and will start 31 December 2010 with the arrival of the leading entries forecast for the end of March 2011. The course is from Barcelona to Barcelona via three capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, and Cook Strait, putting Antarctica to starboard. The length of the course is approximately 25,000 nautical miles (46,300 km) along the Great Circle line, the shortest route traced on a map across the world.

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