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Helly Hanson Sponsors The Trofeo SAR Pricesa Sofia Mapfre Sailing Event

The Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre in Spain is one of the largest sailing events on the globe and Helly Hansen is excited to be an official supplier and sponsor of the race.  The company is proud to specifically sponsor the Italian team Desiderato-Trani which is led by Giulio Desiderato and Andrea Trani who are veteran championship sailors.

It will take place from March 29th through April 5th in the bay of Palma de Mallorca, a beautiful island in the Mediteranean.  Sailing teams are already descending on the area to train and prepare for this, the first major racing event of the season.  Each spring, the island locals welcome all of the top sailors from around the world in what has become a big tradition for the island.  This will be their 45th year that they host the race.  The Bay of Palma offers crystal clear water and excellent sailing conditions and the enthusiasm and pageantry offered by the hosts is incomparable.

They set up a great PA and marine stereo system with waterproof marine speakers like these ones so that everyone can hear what is going on during the race. It is important to have waterproof sound gear because you never know what the weather will be like. Check out ROCKTHEBOATSTEREO.com for more information.

At stake is the H.R.H Queen Sofia trophy and excitement runs high!

Giancarlo Pedote, Sponsored By Helly Hansen Crowned French Sailing Champion

In December 2013, Giancarlo Pedote, a Helly Hansen ambassador, was crowned French Champion of the main single handed races of the Mini Transat 6.50. The offical name of the award is “Promotion Course au Large en Solitaire”.  Giancarlo is considered the best in his class for all of 2013.

Giancarlo ran some amazing races in 2013.  In particular his first place win in La Trinite in Plymouth and also his win at the Trophee Marie-Agnes Peron.   You could always find him rock solid at or near the first position.

The Mini Transat is an extremely difficult and challenging race in which one must deal with harsh elements.  Giancarlo’s boat is only 6.5 meters in length, and in spite of some technical issues, he persevered and managed to finish in 2nd.  Combined with his other wins, this performance helped seal his victory as French Champion.

Pedote thanked all of his sponsors for their support including Helly Hansen.  The company was pleased to honor him for his achievements and they look forward to continued success in their partnership.

Giancarlos’s next challenge is the Class Imoca 60.  After that is the Vendee Globe, a grueling circumnavigation of the planet by himself with no stops.  It will be an amazing race!

Helly Hansen J/70 Sails To Victory In Key West

The Helly Hansen J/70 sailed to a victory and won “Boat of the Week” at Key West Race week in Key West Florida on January 24th.  Team captain Tim Healy and his crew had a great time and represented Helly Hansen well.

The team was up against about 60 other J/70s from around the country so the competition was fierce.  It took constant effor to maintain their focus during the full week of racing events through varying sailing conditions.  Their approach was to focus on small sections of each race.  At the start, the goal was to arrive at the windward mark as close to the top 10 as possible.  They did not worry about getting off first, but rather strived to maintain a position from which a win was in striking distance and stay out of traffic.  The strategy paid off.

The weather varied, but most of the time the team was able to make 12 to 15 knots in comfortable conditions.  The event was superbly organized and the town of Key West was very welcoming with a very festive flair throughout.

The crew was particulary pleased with their Helly Hansen gear.  The sign of excellent foul weather gear is that you can put it on at the beginning of your day and then forget about it because it performs perfectly.  The sailors particularly appreciated the H2Flow jackets that kept them warm on some of the colder days.  At warmer times they could simply unzip them to ventilate without getting too hot.

The crew looks forward to next year’s racing!

The Beginnings Of Helly Hansen

Helly Juell Hansen was a Norwegian Merchant Captain who spent many years at sea during the late 19th century.  In 1877 he and his wife Maren Margarethe began producing practical water resistant clothing for sailors.  The clothing was originally made of coarse linen soaked in linseed oil to repel water.  They made sou’westers, oilskin jackets, pants and also tarpaulins which were all welcomed in the ocean going community due to the high quality of their products.

Things went so well that in 1878 the company displayed their products at the Paris Expo and ended up winning a special diploma for excellence.  This prompted a move to begin exporting their products and within 5 years the company had sold over ten thousand of their products to eager buyers.  A remarkable success story from such humble beginnings.

Entering the 20th century, the Helly Hansen company began to push the envelope of technology to improve their products and stay ahead of the market.  They began to use a special layering technique that sandwiched a thin layer of plastic sheeting between canvas to produce waterproof protection.  This technology did away with the oil soaking techniques used previously.  This new process put Helly Hansen out ahead of the market yet again and by 1949 they were producing 30,000 coats every month!

Fleece fiberpile became the fabric of choice for work coats in the 1960s and that technology is still in wide use today because of it’s ability to protect against the cold, but also to breathe.  In the 1970s new types of fibers that improved on fleece were invented and Helly Hansen made quick use of them.  That improvement continued on into the 1980s.

Today Helly Hansen still makes un paralleled products for world class high activity outdoor sports and work conditions.