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Are Layering Systems the Way to Go?

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craiggo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craiggo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 14 at 6:43pm
Blimey, have university teams gone soft?

I only had a shortie while I was at Uni and wasn't the only one!

In theory dry-suits did offer the best solution but the only time I ever tried one, I was absolutely freezing and that was with all the various layers, woolly bear suit and a fleece jacket. Always preferred just shoving my crew jacket on whenever I came ashore. Cambridge Uni definately used to race in ANUSC but I know a fair few Uni teams have folded in recent years due to Union insurance issues (apparently sailing is classed as an extreme sport!!!!) so I guess the northern and southern leagues probably needed balancing out.

If I was team-racing now, I'd carry on as I am, and have one wetsuit for Saturday and one for Sunday, one aquafleece for each day and a selection of rash vests. I can deal with wet boots so only need one pair of those!
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sargesail View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sargesail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 14 at 7:02pm
Originally posted by craiggo

Blimey, have university teams gone soft?

I only had a shortie while I was at Uni and wasn't the only one!

In theory dry-suits did offer the best solution but the only time I ever tried one, I was absolutely freezing and that was with all the various layers, woolly bear suit and a fleece jacket. Always preferred just shoving my crew jacket on whenever I came ashore. Cambridge Uni definately used to race in ANUSC but I know a fair few Uni teams have folded in recent years due to Union insurance issues (apparently sailing is classed as an extreme sport!!!!) so I guess the northern and southern leagues probably needed balancing out.

If I was team-racing now, I'd carry on as I am, and have one wetsuit for Saturday and one for Sunday, one aquafleece for each day and a selection of rash vests. I can deal with wet boots so only need one pair of those!

It wasn't the on the water stuff that was extreme or dangerous!

I think this is a really difficult one.  The issue is the intensity of team racing and the gaps in between.  So as someone has pointed out the layered systems are kind of optimised for regatta type sailing where activity is constant.  So they don't keep necesarily keep you warm in between.

Now drysuits should/could.  But I've found that, even in good, hi-spec breathable ones, the intensity levels are enough to make me sweat heavily.  And that the sweat does reduce the thermal properties of the thermals (especially the wooly bear type).  And once soggy they still don't keep you warm between races anyway.

(BTW ever thought about how much moisture manages to get out of a drybag which is running with rain?)

So my answer is a normal coat (fleece lined shell) in a waterproof bag to put on when the actions off.  And a thick hat to replace my cap.  Maybe even a balaclava.  That works with whatever current gear you have, so not much extra expense.
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rglew View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rglew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 14 at 7:29pm
Looking at the gear I have (hikers, wetsuit, oldish spray top) I'll probably invest in some of these new fangled long johns, thermal top and a new spray top. That way, as craiggo says, I'll have enough gear to effectively cover two days of racing even if it gets soaked.
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kneewrecker View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kneewrecker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 14 at 9:27pm
One option could be a bloody good rigging jacket for when it's truly sub-zero. I sail in my NPX one - probably will tomorrow tbh.
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