National Physical Laboratory (UK): Thickness of the wetsuit is more relevant than the surface finish

National Physical Laboratory has performed laboratory and field-based tests for UK wetsuit manufacturer, Spartan, to help further their knowledge of how wetsuits keep people warm.

NPL's specialised measurement equipment (including a guarded hot plate, wireless temperature sensors, and a thermal camera) was used to measure wetsuits' thermal performance. This provides valuable data on how much heat is lost through various parts of the wetsuit, and how quickly that heat is lost.

As anticipated, the lab results confirmed that the main factor in a wetsuit's ability to keep its user warm is the thickness of the material, as opposed to its surface finish.

The field tests (which took place on a breezy day in March 2010) on the other hand revealed what happens when wind chill effects become dominant – the surface finish of the wetsuit becomes all-important. The challenge for NPL is to further our understanding of wind chill, by directly measuring its effects.

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PWA Korea: the heat is on

Following two days on standby, day five of competition began in a similar fashion. However, with signs of the weather clearing up, race director, Juan Antonio Aragon, made the call for the sailors to be ready to race at a moment’s notice.

By 14:30 there were promising signs that racing would take place, and within the hour, the competition was in full swing.

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British Wave Sailing 2010: Brandon action

In the history of British wave sailing we have never spent so long at one beach in one day. Sailors arrived just after half six in the morning and the Pros were packing up at quarter past nine Tuesday evening. That’s an epic 14 hours at Gowlane so no surprise we got a result in all the fleets.

The wind was cross offshore all day but the swell let us down at times, with not enough waves at low tide causing an hour’s postponement but other than that, competition ran all day long.

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