With the wind in your hair, the winter sun reflecting off the waters below, and that cold bite in the air, there is nothing quite like racing in cold weather. Without the thermal-inducing impact of the warm summer weather, the winds are often more dense in winter providing a smoother ride and a chance to go that little bit further.
The key to wearing the right gear on the boat is always to check the weather on the day, and consider how long you will be heading out for. Whether you are a beginner to the boat-racing world or a seasoned pro, check out our tips below for keeping you warm on the water even in the coldest temperatures.
Layers – It is advised to layer up when you are sailing in the winter, as this will help to keep you warm without restricting your movement. Choose thin layers that can easily be removed to ensure that you are able to maintain optimum temperature and maximum flexibility.
Outerwear – The trick to keeping warm on the water in the winter is in keeping dry, and it is essential that you choose clothes that have been designed for this purpose. Invest in outerwear that has been purposely designed for those cold winter temperatures. It is important to avoid any bulky clothing, and your overcoat should be light and breathable. Choose fabric that is moisture wicking to help to keep you comfortable. It is also important to ensure that your outerwear fits properly, particularly around the neck and wrists, and yet large enough to go over all of your layers.
Footwear – Choosing the right footwear for your sailing experience may depend on the boat itself, as boots can either have a soft sole or a hard one. You are sure to welcome a sure grip and stable footing, and it is important to invest in the right footwear for the task.
Ski Goggles/Glasses – Protecting your eyes from the sun and glare is essential, and polarised sunglasses can help to reduce the impact of this on your racing experience. On those extra cold and windy days, experts recommend using ski goggles to help prevent your eyes from watering. Choose clear goggles that wrap completely around your face to ensure that UV rays are blocked from all directions.
Winter woollies – Up to 70% of our body heat is lost through the head, and a top-quality hat can make all the difference when you are sailing in the cold winter sun. Hands can also be difficult to keep warm, and sailors swear by neoprene gloves to keep their fingers toasty.
Sunscreen – Although cold outside, it is still vital to protect skin from harmful UVA and UVF rays. We always like to remind everyone to wear sunscreen whatever the weather, and if you are organising your gear for your next trip make sure this is at the top of your list.
Keep moving – Whether you are racing, cruising, or just enjoying the winter waters, the trick to keeping warm is to keep moving. Help your body maintain its temperature by keeping your blood flowing, and your limbs moving as much as possible.
Having the right equipment for cold weather racing can make all the difference, and you do not have to break the bank when choosing your winter sailing gear.
Dress to stay warm and comfortable with the range of sailing gear at Anaconda, with stores available nationwide.