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Kit Guide

Winterise your Kit Bag for the Weekend.

By 2nd October 2020
This weekend it felt like someone had flipped a switch turning Summer off and Winter on. Two weeks ago I was sailing on the River Thames in shorts and T-shirt but this weekend it was time to winterise! It's easy to get caught out by our unpredictable weather but by switching up a couple of key items in your kit bag you can avoid feeling cold on the water.
Shorts & T-shirt weather at Hampton Shorts & T-shirt weather at Hampton
Winter arrives for the Merlin Inlands at Draycote Winter arrives for the Merlin Inlands at Draycote (c) Malcolm Lewin Photography
The first thing that needs to come out of the kit bag and left at home is your lycra rash vest. The material is designed to keep you cool and once wet it will zap the heat from your body very quickly. You don't even have to go swimming for this to happen - if it's a particularly physical boat you sail or a windy day then your sweat will be absorbed by the lycra and held there - this goes for swimsuits as well remember. So when the first race finishes and you find yourself hanging around for the next start you'll feel cold very quickly. The Rooster Polypro range is made from a brushed fleece hydrophobic fabric that draws moisture away from your skin keeping you warm and feeling dry. The next addition to your kit bag should be an Aquafleece. For those that feel the cold (like me!) I would recommend the Pro Aquafleece which has a thicker fleece lining. The high neck and drawstring is brilliant for keeping the icy cold water from running down the back of your neck. They can also be turned inside out and tumble dried on a low heat over night ready for the next day. I use my Supertherm Longjohn all year round. I bruise easily and find the knock protection the 4mm neoprene gives me essential in the front of a Merlin. In the summer I'll just pair it with my Polypro top or roll it down if it's really sunny. With the colder weather this weekend I added a Thermaflex top. The four-way stretch material is super flexible and at 1.5mm thick I didn't overheat despite having my Pro Aquafleece on top as well. I find a wetsuit can be too restrictive around the arms and shoulders so having the option to have a thinner neoprene layer on my upper body ideal. Finally I added an Aeromesh Cap to keep my head warm. If it had been any colder I would have switched to an Aquafleece Beanie but the Rooster Cap was perfect for the conditions this weekend. If you need to winterise your kit bag before the weekend it's now easier than ever using your mobile or tablet on the go! Screenshot_2015-10-19-11-20-38

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