Waterproofs - Essential for ocean rowing
We supplied Greg Bailey and Jude Massey, better known as the Ocean Brothers, with Typhoon PS330 drysuits for their Guiness World Record breaking ocean row across the Atlantic. It's time to hear what they thought of the suits.
It became apparent during the first day of our transatlantic row that we were going to get soaked constantly, 24/7. Consequently, the kit we were wearing had to be not just waterproof, but durable enough to maintain the frequency of putting it on and off every two hours.
When we started off, Jude wore a waterproof jacket, gilets, and salopettes, all supplied by another popular sailing brand. Within two weeks, he ran into major setback with each of these as all of the zips failed, meaning he couldn't keep himself dry during the 2-hour rowing shifts, yet he had to carry on regardless. This meant that every time a wave crashed onto the deck of our tiny ocean rowing boat, huge amounts of water would engulf Jude, leaving him soaked to the bone, all over.
Enter the Typhoon PS330 drysuit
With wet thermals and salt water all over the salt sores and skin rashes, he reverted to the Typhoon PS330 drysuit kindly provided to us by Ocean Safety. I’ve sailed all my life in dinghies, so I am fairly used to entering and exiting drysuits. Normally, I would use another branded drysuit which had a diagonal zip running from the right hip to the left shoulder. I realised I had to get this suit on in very trying conditions as 30ft waves rocked the boat constantly on the side, whilst Greg was asleep, in the pitch black, which would be very difficult, even scary at times.
I was amazed at how easy it was to get the Typhoon drysuit on in such unstable conditions. The zip that runs around the waist meant that I could quickly slip into the suit, and then putt the top half on without feeling too vulnerable. Zipping up the suit was much easier as well as there weren't any ‘awkward’ angles to move your hand whilst zipping up.
Need the toilet? Well, they thought of that!
Of course, I needed to go to the toilet straight away after putting the suit on, so I was delighted to find a small zip in the crotch area which made going to the toilet so easy, whilst keeping the suit on.
During the first two weeks in the night shifts, the temperature dropped down to around 15 degrees celsius, which felt very cold, even thought our bodies were dry. I avoided windchill by using the suit’s comfortable and dry hood, with the face cover.
When rowing, you are in constant motion, so you need to be very selective of what you are wearing. You can’t have anything that gets in the way of you or the equipment, and you certainly don’t want anything that causes discomfort. Thankfully, while rowing in the PS330, I didn’t feel restricted in any way, and there was no discomfort, no more than I would inevitably feel anyway from the constant rowing motion.
Thank you to the team at Ocean Safety for providing the suits, without which the row would have been a whole lot more difficult.
This blog was written by the Ocean Brothers.
The Ocean Brothers are incredibly close to their goal of raising £100,000, with just £1,400 more to raise. If you want to help them reach their goal for The British Heart Foundation, please visit their JustGiving page.