November 06, 2018

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Ross Edgley completes Great British Swim smashing four World records

Ross Edgley

Yesterday, Ross Edgley became the first person to swim around mainland Great Britain. After 157 days at sea and 2000 miles later the adventurer returned to the same spot he started his epic journey with four new World records.

In July he became the first person to swim the entire South Coast. In August he surpassed the record for the longest ever staged sea swim and fastest Lands End to John O’Groats. And then on completion of the Great British Swim, he became the first person to swim around Great Britain without setting foot on land.

The Great British Swim is equivalent to swimming The Channel 100 times, and to do this Ross has consumed 1,884,000 calories. Surprisingly, he hasn’t taken a single day off due to sickness or injury and has endured gruelling conditions, including Storm Ali and Storm Callum while acquiring 37 jellyfish stings and a disintegrating tongue. He also got through five rolls of gaffer tape to fix broken skin and three kilograms of Vaseline for chaffing!

Dean Jackson, HUUB’s Founder and Owner, commented “Working with Ross has taught us a lot about durability, saltwater and chaffing! It was a unique challenge, which required careful preparation of equipment including customisation of a whole collection of HUUB wetsuits to cater for estimated weight loss, ranging from his current size to a few stones lighter.”

Three hundred swimmers joined Ross Edgley for the swim into shore where a huge crowd waited to celebrate as the Red Bull Matadors put on a fantastic air show above. On stepping foot on dry land, Ross revealed, "It feels a bit weird on land, a bit too solid for my liking! I almost fell over when I started to jog into shore. Setting out, I knew the Great British Swim would be the hardest thing I've ever attempted. I was very naïve at the start, and there were moments where I really did begin to question myself. My feelings now are pride, tiredness and relief. It's been a team effort and it's thanks to the whole crew, the support I've received from the public and Red Bull that I've been able to complete it. To see so many smiling faces here today is amazing, and if I can take one thing away, it's that I’ve inspired people, no matter how small that inspiration may be."

The 33-year-old strongman had previously rope climbed the height of Mount Everest, swam the Caribbean while dragging a 100lb tree, and did a marathon while pulling a Mini Cooper.

The Great British Swim was filmed by Red Bull, who produced weekly vlogs on their YouTube channel with 100% honesty and transparency documenting how the body breaks down during 150 days at sea under chronic fatigue. You can watch them all on their YouTube channel here.

November 01, 2018

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Silver medals for Henri Schoeman at Super League Triathlon and the HUUB Wattbike Test Team at the Track World Cup

Super League Triathlon

A selected few headed to the sunny climate of Malta for the second round of the Super League Triathlon, which resulted in a 2nd place podium for ‘Blue Jersey – Leading Swimmer’ Henri Schoeman. Recently engaged, it wasn’t the only result he got after proposing to his girlfriend in Malta a few days before the race!

The HUUB Wattbike Team were also competing over the weekend out in Canada for the second round of the UCI Track World Cup. After becoming the 5th fasted nation in history with a new PB at the opening round people were eager to see what came next… Qualifying fastest, they made it through to the gold medal final against Denmark but came away with the silver medal in second place.

Super League Triathlon Malta

This round of the Super League kicked off with a 600m swim time trial which formed the first part of the Equalizer to be concluded on Sunday afternoon. The athletes would start in finish and time order for the swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run, dramatically splitting up the field before the real racing even began.

HUUB's Henri Schoeman (RSA), as expected, took the honours in 00:06:31 with opening round winner Vincent Luis (FRA) 11 seconds back and Jonas Schomburg (GER) a further 4 seconds behind. Jonny Brownlee (GBR) had the 6th fastest time - 00:06:54. Taylor Spivey (USA) has the quickest time in the women's time trial; however, there weren't many time gaps throughout the field with the top 10 split by a little over 20 seconds.

The Eliminator

The Eliminator format consists of three swim-bike-run races with a 10-minute gap in between. The final five athletes in each race are eliminated, the winner of each format receives a $1,000 bonus. Race 1 looked fairly straightforward with a group of 12 athletes forming it was clear all would be safe. Clare Michel (BEL) was the single athlete from the chasers that avoided early elimination. Katie Zaferes (USA) won the $1,000 bonus. Race 2 was similar in many ways to Race 1 with Zaferes looking unbeatable as she took the second win. Race 3 Zaferes finally attacked early on, and it was game over as she completed the set of wins. She certainly made a statement of intent to the rest of the athletes.

In the men’s Eliminator, Race 1 was again reasonably straightforward other than Brownlee being caught in a crash and having to make his way through the field. Hayden Wilde (NZL) took the $1,000 bonus for the race win with many of the favourites easing through into the second race. Race 2 split up a little more, and it was clear many athletes were turning up the engines. Schoeman and Luis pushed the pace on the swim earning a breakaway with Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN) and Ben Kanute (USA). Brownlee missed the move but was safely in the next group of three on the road. Mislawchuk took the honours closely followed by the rest of the lead group. Race 3 was set to be an explosive event with 7 of the worlds best lining up. Despite Schoeman forcing the pace in the swim, all the remaining athletes were together on the bike, that was until Brownlee attacked, but the chase was on, and his lead was never significant, the race would still be determined on the run. It was Richard Murray (RSA) who used his lightning fast T2 to take the victory. Luis was 2nd with Schoeman 3rd and Brownlee 4th.

The Equalizer

With gaps already in place after Friday’s swim TT, and a 90 second elimination time the Equalizer was set for some fierce racing from the off. Soon into the race and a lead group consisting of Kirsten Kasper (USA), Summer Cook (USA), Yuko Takahashi (JPN), Rachel Klamer (NED), Spivey and Zaferes formed, the group stayed together until the final transition of the day. Onto the run and it was a close fought battle between Zaferes, Cook and Kasper as the steep hill took its toll. Zaferes yet again came out on top with Kasper and Cook completing an all American podium.

Luis and HUUB’s Schoeman soon made it a two horse race for the win as they had established a sizeable lead out ahead, although Luis had a fair bit of chasing to do. He was perhaps favourite leading into the race after his stunning performance in Jersey just weeks before. The two were glued together going into the final stages of the race, and it was left to a final 250m uphill sprint. Eventually, Luis prevailed, but the look of pain on his face certainly showed the effort required to distance the South African. The rest of the field from nearly the off were competing for third, and it was the winner of Race 2 of the Eliminator, Tyler Mislawchuk who took third place ahead of Brownlee.

Overall Results

Women’s

1st – Katie Zaferes (USA) – $20,000
2nd – Rachel Klamer (NED) – $15,000
3rd – Kirsten Kasper (USA) – $10,000

Men’s

1st – Vincent Luis (FRA) – $20,000
2nd – Henri Schoeman (RSA) – $15,000
3rd – Richard Murray (RSA) – $10,000

 

UCI Track World Cup

After becoming the 5th fasted nation in history with a new PB at the opening round of the Track World Cup in France people were eager to see what came next… Qualifying fastest, the team showed exactly why they are a squad on the up.

The quartet converted that into a medal this time around, the four of Dan Bigham, Jonny Wale, Harry Tanfield and John Archibald taking silver behind Denmark in the gold medal final.

Team Manger, Dan Bigham, commented on Instagram, “Banging few weeks riding fast in circles. We picked up a TP PB of 3:53.8 (becoming the 5th fastest “nation” in history) and a World Cup silver medal. Huge thanks to all of our sponsors, staff and supporters. You’re the reason we’re out here smashing it. 4 weeks now to build to the next round in Berlin.”

October 19, 2018

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Why HUUB is on track for greatness

HUUB on track

Renowned for the fastest wetsuits in triathlon, we’re now throwing our energies into cycling by supporting an up and coming East Midlands track team preparing to storm the Paris velodrome in the opening World Cup event this weekend. HUUB founder and chief executive, Dean Jackson, explains why it’s both an exciting time – and the right time – to launch Team HUUB Wattbike…

“Track cycling has long been an area of fascination for us here at Huub. Great Britain has achieved huge success over the past three Olympic Games, with gold medal winners such as Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton becoming household names all over the country, and that cannot fail to rub off on sports fans.

“But there are many other reasons we want to test ourselves in this sport. While the athletes need to be in their best condition possible, the kit and equipment must also be the best in the world. Races are won and lost by fractions of a second, and that presents a challenge way beyond making great athletes look professional in nice kit.

“So why now? We’ve been fortunate. We met a group of local lads who wanted to achieve something great, and headed by aerodynamicist and track rider Dan Bigham, they were already making an impact. From nowhere, they’d won the national team pursuit in January 2017 and had backed it up with a World Cup win in Belarus. The raw talent was clear, but it was their attitude that made us want to support them on this journey.

“Huub has come a long way in seven years. We’re proud to be the biggest triathlon wetsuit brand in the UK, and we’ve achieved it by turning innovation on its head, working with the best individuals - from hydrodynamicists to athletes - to produce the very best.

“In Team Huub Wattbike, I see the same values and determination. They are always asking questions, agitating, and challenging convention to leave no stone unturned to be the best they possibly can be – and given they train at one of only six indoor velodromes in the country, just a couple of miles from Huub HQ in Derby, we get to see this on a daily basis.

“While it’s a new challenge, it’s also one not completely removed from our area of expertise. Dan has a background in aerodynamics from working in Formula One racing and is already the brains behind the Huub Aero Anemoi tri-suit that was worn on Saturday by David McNamee as he recorded the third-fastest time ever in Hawaii. Not a bad testing arena.

“While understanding terminology such as drag coefficient frontal areas, yaw angles and Reynold’s numbers can be complicated, we can all appreciate that when riding a bike, it’s not the machine that creates the most drag, but the rider sitting on it.

“Whether it’s over four minutes for the team pursuit or 8hrs in Kona, it’s therefore apparent how critical the material of the suit is to make sure the air passes over, around and under the rider in the most streamlined way possible.

“On to Paris for the first World Cup race of the season and we’re excited to see how Team Huub Wattbike perform. But it’s not just about the result. Everything we learn from testing and racing is fed back, so we can carry on improving. This weekend represents yet another opportunity to gather data and improve, as we keep on striving to ensure the Huub delivers the fastest kit on the planet.

October 19, 2018

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Releasing ‘The Pursuit’ documentary

Film Maker, James Poole, followed Team KGF (now re-launched as Team HUUB Wattbike) for a year to create this hour-long film documenting the amateur riders debut season which shook up the track cycling world.

With a string of medals to their name, the innovative track cycling team are currently among the fastest in the world after using their hunger and disruptive mindset to challenge the status quo at every level - from training to tactics, attitude to equipment, socks to skinsuits - to deliver much more than marginal gains.

October 17, 2018

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Another podium at the IRONMAN World Championship for HUUB’s David McNamee

David McNamee Podium

The IM World Championships in Kona lived up to all the hype and expectations. Although the race didn't go exactly to script there was still some epic battles out on the course and near perfect race conditions allowed for incredibly fast racing as numerous records were obliterated.

Men

The men started on Dig Me Beach at 06:35 AM and as we saw in 2017 Australia's Josh Amberger took charge in the water, however in contrast to the previous year he looked to control the pace as 8 other athletes went with him, this was a tactic talked about in the days leading into the event. Amberger emerged from the water in 47.39 (30 seconds slower than 2017), this pace although still very quick was slow enough to drag other significant athletes with him including Javier Gomez (ESP), Tim O'Donnell (USA), Maurice Clavel (GER) and HUUB's Anthony Costes (FRA). Many of the key names were within a couple of minutes of the leaders, with pre-race favourite Lionel Sanders (CAN) worst off at over 6 minutes down. 
Onto the bike and three distinct groups formed, unfortunately for 2014 Champion Sebastian Kienle (GER) a mechanical put him back chasing with Sanders. Further up the road an incredibly strong lead group formed with Cameron Wurf (AUS), Andrew Starykowicz (USA), Costes and Amberger. Around 2 minutes back the first chase pack also featured some strong riders including Andreas Dreitz (GER), Braden Currie (NZL), O'Donnell, Gomez and defending champion Patrick Lange (GER). 
 
Further behind a group of around 20 athletes featured the rest of the key names including HUUB's David McNamee (GBR). Throughout the 180k the gaps creeped out and packs shrank as the still conditions led to a ferocious pace. The leading four eventually splinted and ex-professional cyclist Wurf forged ahead eventually smashing the course record for the second year running with a 4:09:06 split. Four other athletes would go on to break the previous record.
 
The two chase packs somewhat merged together as the bike ended, but we had already started to see some athletes wilt towards the end of the 180km. Around 15 athletes would start the run between 6 - 8 minutes down and the majority of the rest of the field was in touching distance, gaps certainly attainable over the marathon. Within the first 10km, it was clear that the quick runners were going to make a massive impact on the race. Lange soon passed Wurf to take the lead and he never looked back. 
 
Second fastest on the course at that point was HUUB's McNamee and he made his way through the field after starting the run in 19th, in the latter stages of the run he would pass five-time ITU World Champion Javier Gomez and the rest of the early contenders into 3rd place with Bart Aernouts of Belgium holding onto 2nd. Lange went on to obliterate the course record in 7:52:39 with Aernouts 2nd and McNamme 3rd for a consecutive year.
 

Women

As expected Lucy Charles (GBR) lead the way the water and she looked intent on causing as much damage she possibly could. Her 48.13 shattered the previous course record and would end up being one of the fastest of the day including all PRO men and AG athletes. There were some significant gaps to the rest of field and most notably to three-time defending champion Daniela Ryf (SUI) who was over 10 minutes back. It later emerged that she had been stung by a jellyfish in the warm-up. There was certainly going to be a chase on the bike, the question being, would anybody be able to go with Ryf as she sailed past in her pursuit of Charles.
 
At 40 miles Ryf was up to 2nd place with Sarah Crowley (AUS) in her wake, the pair were gaining time on the young Brit and putting more time into the group of athletes behind. By the climb up to the Hawi turnaround the gap between the Charles and the chasing two was down to 7 minutes, it was then that Ryf put the power down and by T2 not only had she bridged the gap to Charles, but she had ridden two minutes into her. The last 70k Ryf's split was 1:37:11 compared to the fastest of the day - Cameron Wurf with a time of 1:35:25. The men's champion Patrick Lange couldn't even match Ryf with 1:38:00! This was arguably the most dominant and impressive display of riding ever seen and it led her to shatter the bike course record by around 18 minutes, lowering the previous record of 4:44:19 to 4:26:07.
 
Onto the marathon and it was clear that Ryf was in form to better her previous course record from 2015. A 2:57:05 marathon split more than did that with a finish time of 8:26:16 surely putting the record out of touch for many years. Charles finished clear in second place just over 10 minutes back. Third place was a close fought battle between two past ITU stars, Sarah True (USA) and Anne Haug (GER). It was the German who prevailed in the last few miles with a 2:55.22 marathon split, meaning that we saw a replication of the IM 70.3 World Championship podium we saw back in September.
October 12, 2018

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David McNamee on Ironman World Championship

“I’ll need to go under 8hrs to be World Champion”

David McNamee

As Britain’s best Ironman heads to Hawaii, HUUB athlete David McNamee tells Tim Heming what it’ll take to go even better than last year’s third place.

It’s a long road, but often a fast one. Professional triathlete David McNamee’s first non-drafting race was only three-and-a-half years ago in Dubai, where a packed field assembled, lured by the glitz of Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa’s $1million Triple Crown series.

It was a gamble. It’d been barely two months since the Scot announced he was leaving the comfort of British Triathlon’s Olympic-focused funded system to strike out alone in longer distance racing.

By his own admission, McNamee wasn’t quite sure what he’d let himself in for. With a borrowed time trial bike and compatriot Fraser Cartmell providing a few pointers, he was now facing the heat of Middle East, a world away from his home town of Irvine in Ayrshire.

It’s worth noting McNamee was only 26. He might not have been winning Olympic medals, but he’d achieved six top 10 finishes on the World Triathlon Series and had returned from a broken collarbone for a commendable seventh in the Commonwealth Games in 2014. For almost any other triathlon nation, he would have been a shoo-in for Olympic selection.

Yet it was British racer Will Clarke, who made an astute comment before the race in Dubai, to suggest the longer format could be his calling. “I think David will do well,” said Clarke, a 2008 Olympian, who is also racing in this year’s Ironman World Championship on Saturday. “He’s one of the few triathletes in ITU racing that could negative split the 10km. He knows how to pace a race.”

It has proved prophetic for the success McNamee is now enjoying racing Ironman, particularly on Hawaii’s Big Island - where it really matters - and where only the reigning champion, Patrick Lange, looks capable of closing out the race faster.

This year’s contest features Lange and Lionel Sanders, 2014 winner Sebastian Kienle and an eagerly-anticipated Kona debut from Javier Gomez. But McNamee still merits a mention. After all, he finished third last year, the finest performance by a male British triathlete in Kona, and the seventh fastest time ever clocked on the course.

“I was happier as soon as I switched to long course,” McNamee says. “I accepted that British triathlon didn’t have me in their plans and they never told me anything to go against that.

“I had the bike crash too, which has left me with permanent nerve damage and affects my wrist and fingers. It’s a lot nicer being on a TT bike where my weight is supported by my elbows and shoulders.”

He finished 21st out of a 61-strong professional men’s field in that first race, but it would be the iron-distance events that provided the steepest learning curve. “Between ITU and 70.3 there’s not that big a difference,” he continues. “But once I got into 4 ½ hours of racing at my first Ironman, in South Africa, my body knew it. I just wasn’t ready. I lost about 20mins in the last 60kms of the bike. I couldn’t pedal.”

The conditioning under coach Joel Filliol, who (age-group triathlete take note) doesn’t start training sessions before 8am, was quickly implemented, and McNamee put down his mark on the domestic scene by winning Ironman UK in Bolton in his first season, then backed it up with the fastest run split in Kona, where he finished eleventh.

The following year was a plateau. His talents had caught the eye of the BMC-Etixx team, but results did not match expectation and ties were severed after a season. It brought the commercial realities at this level into sharp focus.

“Ironman is not a sport that’s going to make you rich,” McNamee says. “You do it because you love it. I’ve been with Huub since 2012 and when it comes to sponsorship, although results matter, it’s the relationship you have with the company that’s more important.

“The sponsor has to see value for the investment and there has to be more to it than giving me money to wear the kit. Part of that is racing fast and showing the equipment is fast, but it's also about giving feedback.

“I should be pushing the bikes and running shoes to the limit. There should be few athletes that can put the equipment through what I can - and there are few athletes who are as anally precise about things as I am. Ultimately, my life revolves around this equipment and that’s a valuable thing.”

McNamee has helped refine the new Huub Anemoi trisuit through testing with Derby-based aerodynamicist Dan Bigham, and wore an earlier version of it in Hawaii in 2017, where he’d finished in a blistering 8:07:11.

“I’ve learnt in life that it’s better to find the expert than try and figure it out using Google, so I put my trust in Dan. I have the updated version now and there’s a marked difference in the velodrome,” he says. “Kona is the big test, but even though it was a fast suit last year, it was still comfortable to wear in the heat - and that’s the best race-day test scenario you’ll ever get.”

Although they no longer train together, McNamee also attributes performance gains to training with two-time Ironman champion Jan Frodeno around their shared home city of Girona in 2017.

“It’s one thing doing the hard work, but another making sure you recover from it,” he explains. “In the past I didn’t have confidence in what I was doing and over-trained by not recovering properly. I then stopped being able to deliver the same quality in sessions. I’ve now learned that that’s a sign to back off, not do more and more.”

Prioritising recovery to allow his body and mind to absorb the workload, means he arrived in Hawaii last year in the best shape he’d been for the race, but it still didn’t provide an indication for what was to come. 

“It’s only once a year we all get together in Ironman,” he says. “I know whether I’m better or worse, but have no idea about anyone else. I surprised myself with the time I went last year. If you’d told me I was going to go that quick beforehand, I’d have said: ‘I’ll probably win’.”

This year has been frustrating. McNamee flew to Oceanside in California in April and spent the whole race week in bed. He returned to Europe to win Marbella 70.3 and was runner-up to Javier Gomez at Barcelona 70.3 a fortnight later.

But with momentum gathering his planned Ironman in Austria was again ruined by sickness, although he persevered to the finish line in 8:55:55 for 15th position and enough to validate his Hawaii return. 

“Until this year, I’d only ever been sick once in 10 years before a race,” he says. “To happen twice in a year is difficult to accept.” A confidence-boosting trip to Ironman Vichy 70.3 in France was planned for late August and all was going to plan as he led the 90km bike ride.

“I felt in great shape. I had a good swim, was leading on the bike with a nice gap, came around a corner and hit a piece of concrete that was left in the road. The front tyre went bang.

“Thankfully, I just about stayed on my bike. The lead moto had stopped and was looking back concerned because he knew what was going to happen. That was my race over.

“It left me frustrated. It was the third time this year I’d not been able to do what I love and train for, and it took a couple of days to accept it. The past few months I’ve been in great shape, but haven't been able to show it. I don’t feel like I’ve had a race season, so I just want to go to Hawaii have an incident-free race and be healthy.”

How does he see the race playing out? “It’s exciting. There’s an uber-swimmer such as Josh Amberger, bikers like Sebastian Kienle, Cameron Wurf or Andrew Starykowicz, then all-round guys like Lionel Sanders.

“Patrick Lange knows how to run in Hawaii like nobody else has ever been able to run in Hawaii. Then you have Javier Gomez - it’s his first year, but he’s the complete all-round athlete. I think he’s up there with Patrick in terms of running efficiency, and running well in Hawaii is about being efficient.

“If you want to be on the podium you will have to play your cards, so I expect the swim to be fast, the bike to go hard for the course record, and, if similar conditions to last year, to win, you’ll have to go under eight hours.

“If I want to get back on the podium, I have to get off the bike closer to the front of the race than I did last year. Last year, there were blow-ups - Lionel faded badly on the run, Sebastian blew up towards the end. I don’t think they’ll repeat those mistakes.

“My power meter had stopped the day before the race, so I rode on feel. A lot of people probably thought I was riding steady, but I was pushing hard. This time I need to push the bike even harder but still be able to run afterwards. Kona is a fine line and as soon as you go past the line, there’s no way back.”

September 26, 2018

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Race Review: A HUUB 1-2-3-4 at Beijing International Tri and many other medals

This weekend saw all forms of racing around the world with HUUB athletes storming to victory on more than one occasion. The Beijing International Triathlon featured an impressive start-list with many athletes travelling over from the WTS Grand Final, and others choosing Weihai World Cup as their final race of the season. Back in the UK, it was more a battle for survival than racing as PRO’s and many age group athletes took to the streets of Weymouth for the Ironman 70.3 and battled cold and extremely wet conditions. Over in Innsbruck Dan Bigham, this time in a consultant role was with Canyon-SRAM for the World Team Time Trial Championships.

 

Beijing International Triathlon

Some of ITU's biggest stars headed to the Chinese capital and it created some intense racing. Jonny Brownlee (GBR), Ben Kanute (USA) and defending champion Henri Schoeman (RSA) gained a 30-second gap in the water to the chasing group including Alistair Brownlee (GBR) and Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR). It was only Blummenfelt who was able to make it across to the leading trio, with Alistair claiming post-race, he wasn't feeling himself.

Onto the 10k run and the quartet were still together, first to crack was Kanute, followed by Schoeman. Jonny Brownlee went on to claim the victory by 9 seconds over Blummenfelt, with Schoeman 3rd and Alistair overhauling Kanute to finish in 4th; a fine 1-2-3-4 for HUUB! Ashleigh Gentle (AUS) won the women's race with Non Stanford in 2nd and Lucy Hall 3rd.

 

Weihai ITU Triathlon World Cup

Just South-East of Beijing, yet still over 800km away Weihai hosted one of the last World Cups of the year. HUUB's Jorgen Gunderson (NOR) was up at the front of the swim and towards the end of bike broke clear from the main pack numbering around 20 athletes. Unfortunately with world-class runners like Alex Yee (GBR) hunting him down his lead didn't hold on. In the searing heat, it was HUUB athlete Gustav Iden (NOR) who made the crucial move and went on to claim his third World Cup victory with an emphatic run of 30.15 for the 10km. Antonio Serrat Seoane (ESP) finished in 2nd with Yee 3rd. In the women's race, Taylor Spivey (USA) claimed victory with Annamaria Mazzetti (ITA) 2nd and Miriam Casillas Garcia (ESP) in 3rd.

 

IRONMAN 70.3 Weymouth

For many of the athletes racing it was more the element of surviving than racing. It was one of the only races back at home in the UK not cancelled due to the weather warnings and it was clear many suffered in the conditions with numerous DNF's. In the end, only 6 male and 6 female PRO's finished the race. The shortened 950m swim did little to separate the field, it was only the bike where the race started to separate things up. Will Clarke (GBR) established a sizeable advance before succumbing to a mechanical and one by one athletes dropped out.

HUUB's Elliot Smales kept himself well in contention but it was Alexandre Blain (FRA), an ex-pro cyclist who lead into T2. It didn't take Smales long to overtake the Frenchman and he never looked back once in the lead and went on to claim his third 70.3 victory of 2018. Sam Pictor (GBR) finished in 2nd with Sam Proctor (GBR) in 3rd. In the women's race India Lee (GBR), who wore a HUUB wetsuit claimed victory in her debut 70.3 distance race, with Nikki Bartlett (GBR) in 2nd and Fanella Langridge (GBR) in 3rd.

 

2018 UCI Road World Championships Innsbruck

HUUB's aerodynamic consultant and athlete Dan Bigham this time wasn't creating headlines for his multiple national titles or World Cup track cycling victories, but for his consultant role for the Canyon - SRAM team at this years UCI World Championships.

With Dan's expert knowledge rapidly becoming gospel in the British TT community it wasn't long before the World Tour took notice. The team Canyon-SRAM made up of Hannah Barnes, Alice Barnes, Elena Cecchini, Lisa Klein, Alena Amialiusik and Trixi Worrack claimed the World title with a time of 1:01:46 for the 54.1km course in Innsbruck, beating Boels Dolmans by 21 seconds and 2017 winners Team Sunweb by 28 seconds.

 

Marathon World Swim Series

Jack Burnell (GBR) won the gold medal of the penultimate 10km Marathon Swim World Series in 2018 by the narrowest of margins in Qiandao Lake, Chun’an China. Burnell touched home only 0.1 seconds ahead of Rob Frederik Muffels (GER) after an epic three-way battle for the top spot also with Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) who ended up with bronze. Burnell completed the course in one hour 56 minutes 34.8 seconds.

September 07, 2018

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Huubster breaks world record in World’s toughest triathlon

Arch to Arc

Lawyer, Perrine Fages breaks the women’s record in one of the world’s toughest endurance challenges, the Enduroman Arch to Arc. A challenge which sees competitors run 140km from London’s Marble Arch to Dover on the English coast, swim the English Channel and then bike 288km from Calais to the Arc De Triumphe in Paris.

As one of the world’s toughest endurance events, it has been attempted by around 50 solo athletes, with only 32 (at the time of her attempt) having fully completed the challenge. 

This was Perrine’s second attempt at the challenge, having previously attempted it in June 2018 only for her swim being cut short due to tidal conditions in the channel preventing her from reaching land safely.

Where this would have defeated most athletes, Perrine, whom on this attempt broke the women’s record for the run course, regrouped with her coach and team and set about a plan to return and break the record. 

Where this would have defeated most athletes, Perrine, whom on this attempt broke the women’s record for the run course, regrouped with her coach and team and set about a plan to return and break the record.

Her successful and record-breaking attempt started on August 19th, 2018 at 3:30pm at Marble Arch, running the route to Dover in 18h33m, a phenomenal time considering that 7km into the run Perrine and her support crew learnt that one of the vehicles had been broken into and some of their bags and passports where removed from the trunk, including her passport and spare run clothing. That said Perrine did not let this hold her back and she continued, fortunately with a French ID card she was going to be able to enter France and leave the UK for the swim. And in the spirit of this event and endurance sports numerous fans and past competitors drove out onto the course with bags of run clothing and equipment to patch the support car windows.

Included within these people, was Mark Bayliss current men’s non-wetsuit swim record holder for the event and past overall record holder with his wife and children (dressed in their PJ’s as it was a middle of the night mission to help).

Following the run, there was a short break in Dover, and then she set off swimming the channel at 3:19pm on August 20th, completing an extremely challenging swim (with large waves all night) in a total time of 20h 31m.

At this point, Perrine knew the record was a real possibility, but unlike other athletes, she would not be able to rest for 6-8 hours before starting the bike to Paris, and that she would have to take a brief respite to shower and eat and before starting the bike.

With the support of one of the organiser’s French team members (as her support team could not continue without their passports) she biked the 288km to Paris in a mere 19h 44m to set the new record of 67h 21m breaking the previous mark by over two and half hours.

She comments, “The first time, things have not quite turned out as planned, but that’s part of the adventure of sport, and as such, I set about regrouping with my team and planning for the second attempt and success. On this attempt, we had many adversities to deal with, but the support team and I dealt with them, one at a time. The run was tougher this time, firstly because of the stress caused when the support car was broken into. Secondly, because this time we had to do it overnight, in order to make the tide for swimming and the darkness made it much harder to stay motivated and get into a fast stride. 

“After the run, the swim was even tougher than during the first attempt, but I was perhaps a little naïve to think that the second attempt will be easier. No one can control the weather and conditions in the Channel overnight were really tough. That’s what makes Enduroman Arch to Arc so special. But I made it thanks to my coach and the experience I gained the first attempt.

“After the swim, I knew I could do the record, and it was just about pushing myself all the way to Paris. I have learnt a lot about myself by achieving this race. I feel blessed to have been surrounded by my team and had shared with them memories to remember forever.”

For the challenge, Perrine’s head coach was Ryan Bowd of RnR Sport, with assistance from Tim Denyer a specialist channel swimming coach, Mat O’Halloran (swim coach) and her personal trainer Bobby at the Grand Hyatt. She was supported during the challenge by Ryan, and fellow RnR Sport coach Ralph Hydes, as well as the founder of Enduroman Events Edgar Ette.

Edgar comments, “It is a fantastic feat by Perrine to have set the record. The Enduroman Arch to Arc is a challenge that takes full dedication from an athlete in its preparation and few people have the drive and commitment needed to attempt the event, much less take a setback as Perrine did and come back eight weeks later and break the record so convincingly.”

Perrine’s next big challenge is competing in this year’s Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Perrine would like to thank HUUB for providing her with the best swim equipment possible to assist her, through what for her, is not her natural element compared to run and bike.

Perrine’s Results (UK timing)

Run - 140km

  • Started Run on August 19th, 2018 at 3:30pm
  • Finished Run August 19th, 2018 at 10:03 am
  • Total Run 18h 33m run

T1 in Dover - 5h 16m

Swim – English Channel

  • Swim Started Swim on August 20th, 2018 at 3:19pm
  • Finished Swim on August 21st, 2018 at 11:50am 
  • Total Swim Time 20h 31m 

T2 in Calais 3h 17min

Bike – 288km

  • Bike Start on August 21st, 2018 at 3:07pm
  • Bike Finish on August 22nd, 2018 at 10:58am
  • Total Bike Time 19h44m

Total Time – 67h 21m

August 28, 2018

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How to find the perfect swim goggle for triathlon

Goggle Guide Image

Here at HUUB, we view swim goggles as one of a triathlete’s most important pieces of race day equipment, so our scientific approach to tri kit extends to developing the best racing goggles you’ll find for triathlon. Within our range, you’ll discover photochromatic, self-regulating lenses that adapt to light conditions to give you the best vision possible, as well as anti-fog, scratch resistance and leak resistance to ensure triathletes get the most out of their swimming goggles.

Selecting a pair of goggles isn’t easy, there are so many choices and without trying them all on it's hard to know what will suit best. There are a few things to consider to narrow down your selection, all of which will be individual to the swimmer and the 'swim'. The ideal scenario is to find a google that suits all, however as a triathlete, you will find yourself in varying locations, from the pool to the sea.

The fit of a goggle

Perhaps the most essential part of getting the right goggle for you. Everyone’s face is inevitably unique, and therefore all goggles are going to sit slightly differently. Goggles with a larger socket or seal usually fit a wider range of people due to a softer and broader rubber seal that will shape around the eye socket. When you look at the goggles with a smaller and sleeker socket, it gets more important that you make sure the fit is right. Making sure the goggles come with varying nose bridge sizes gives a much greater chance of getting that perfect fit. The worst thing you can have is a pair of leaking goggles, or one that aggravates eye socket and nose. Additionally, when swimming in the open water your awareness is crucial, the majority of which comes from your vision, so you don't want to impede that with goggles full of water!

The lens of a goggle

The most undervalued aspect of a pair of goggles, people don't necessarily always think about light conditions and sighting. You could be swimming at the crack of dawn when the sun is rising, or you could be swimming in overcast and gloomy conditions. Each of these conditions will have a lens which is most suited. For cloudy conditions the best choice would be a clear lens, however, this doesn't necessarily have to be non-colour, it has been found that certain colours such as yellow in fact highlight features such as buoys and coloured flags and make them stand out in gloomier conditions. Mirrored lenses are the best option for strong sunlight and bright days. Sighting while swimming is hard at the best of times, so you want to make sure you have the best visibility and do not have to squint to see where you are going!

The shape of a goggle

Similar to the fit of a goggle, the general rule of thumb is that the bigger the goggle the increased chance of it being comfortable. Here at HUUB, we look into all aspects of making a swim faster, and one of these is drag and streamlining - the goggle has a sizable impact on this. If you are all about speed then you want a goggle with minimal drag that almost sits within the eye socket without impacting vision too much. Some would argue that these goggles aren't as comfy as a more traditional bulky goggle, however, this isn't always the case. A final thing to consider is your proximity to others when swimming, in essence how likely is it that you're going to get clonked around the head? A goggle with a bigger seal and malleable frame will be able to absorb the impact easier and will have less chance of being dislodged.

 

Altair

Altair Goggle

Good for: Race, pool and open water swimming

Key feature: Three interchangeable lenses

Fit: Flexible X-O Skeleton frame and interchangeable bridges for a custom fit

BUY NOW

Aphotic Goggle

Aphotic Goggle

Good for: Open water swimming

Key feature: Photochromatic lenses

Fit: Designed to fit the face perfectly with silicone that offers a secure fit

BUY NOW

Brownlee Goggle

Brownlee Goggle

Good for: Race and pool swimming

Key feature: Market leading clarity and peripheral vision

Fit: Interchangeable nose bridges for fit and split straps for comfort

BUY NOW

Varga Goggle

Varga Goggle

Good for: Race and pool swimming

Key feature: Minimal drag and precision fit

Fit: Soft frame and gasket for a comfortable fit

 

BUY NOW

August 28, 2018

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Helen and Marc Jenkins join Precision Coaching

Marc and Helen Jenkins need little introduction as one of the most prolific triathlon couples in the UK or indeed the world. Marc an Olympian himself is an incredible coach has coached Helen to three Olympics Games and two World Championship titles.

While hugely impressive, none of that is news. What is news though, is that they are opening up their doors to a broader audience working with Precision Coaching and signing up athletes that want to learn from some of the very best in the business and take their triathlon performance to the next level.

So why Precision? Helen commented, “Being an elite athlete myself, I’m really lucky that I have access to brilliant physios, nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches and all these people work as a team together to make me better.  I’ve never seen that set up anywhere else for an Age Group triathlete. To be able to access all those things make you a better athlete and get to the finish line faster.”

At Precision Coaching the coaches and specialists communicate regularly in order for the athletes to achieve the best training plan having considered the athletes' needs and aims. Athletes are allocated a lead coach who is then supported by the rest of the team’s knowledge and experience. Precision’s view is that no one coach or specialist has all the answers but together sharing knowledge and methodology the athlete gets the best outcome. An example of this is on the injury front. If an athlete has an injury before starting with Precision or indeed has an accident while training the coach and Dr John Allen will work together to build the program around the injury so that training is as efficient as possible. This avoids details being missed which is critical as a professional athlete, and a unique approach of the precision team replicating a collaborative team approach the Jenkins’ have.

Will Usher, Precision Founder and Coach added, “Over the years we managed to establish some exceptionally strong relationships in the industry not least with Marc and Helen. Six of our coaches or specialists can list the Olympics in their resumes. It’s a real pleasure to be able to offer this level of service to our athletes and watch them grow to achieve and surpass their goals.”

Precision also offers 1:1 sessions on Zwift riding together while coaching on FaceTime or Skype. This takes the form of a pure coaching role talking you through your session, taking times and encouraging etc.  Zwift allows the coach to switch their screen to yours so they can see all the data in real time which when combined with FaceTime or Skype puts the coach in the room wherever you are in the world. The results that have been coming back from this have been staggering.

For the more adventurous you can get the coach’s avatar working with and for you in a Zwift race as a domestique. Imagine riding and talking with Marc or Helen Jenkins or both in the bunch and getting a lead-out for the final sprint onto The Mall!

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