Thursday, March 31, 2011

blueseventy racing

DATED: 1 April 2011

After 1 year of extensive research, blueseventy have partnered with high Profile Derby based Formula 0.5 Racing outfit, Diamond Racing.

It’s not typical to see a swimming company and motor racing outfit partner, but the relationship came after blueseventy started looking for ways to use their world champion swim-skins, made illegal in the wake of FINA rule changes in late 2009.

Development manager Steve Nicholls commented on the relationship “ Initially we were going to work with a bicycle brand supplying this unique material for them to put into tyres, but then we realised that bicycle tyres were way too skinny and we wouldn’t use anywhere near enough material up. Someone tabled the idea of monster trucks, but we settled on the idea of car tyres.“

Working with Professor N Prene, the innovative swim company developed a new rubber composite based on a high heat covalent created rubber, dubbed butylene V. The material is made in a unique process involving chemically dissolving existing suits, and then pouring the liquid mixture into a tyre mold.

Nicholls states “Initially we had some issues with the tyres coming apart, but after we removed the zippers from the suit prior to putting them into the tyre compound, that sorted itself out.”

The company is thinking of developing the idea further and has already started a new company branch, named green30, named after the fact that 30% of the world is covered in land.

The green30 company holds a lot of potential, but Marketing Manager Dean Jackson has assured loyal blueseventy customers that it won’t take away from the focus on traditional avenues in performance swim and triathlon. “After all, 70% is a lot larger than 30%” said Jackson.

The new tyre compound will be used in the yet to be announced Formula 0.5 series, a lighter faster series based on the format of Formula 1.

More details contact:

About blueseventy
blueseventy, named after the fact that 70% of the earth is covered in water, is the world leader in triathlon and open water wetsuits, swimskins and googles. Since 1993, the company has designed, tested, refined and crafted products using superior materials and revolutionary details that equate to comfort, freedom from restriction and ultimately a competitive advantage in the water. blueseventy products have instilled confidence in beginners as well as carried world-class athletes to victory. blueseventy products can be found in more 30 countries. For more information, visit

Monday, March 28, 2011

School is in! on the PZ3TX and how it makes you faster

TriSports University takes a look at the blueseventy PZ3TX swimskin.
By Tom Demerly.
Go to article at

The Beijing Olympics established a precedent for new swim skins as being measurably faster in the water. The blueseventy PZ3TX leads the swim skin category for triathletes.

When the water is too warm to wear a wetsuit, speed suits make you faster in the swim.
If the incredible number of swimming records in Beijing didn’t convince you, then the FINA rulings on speed suit use should. Bottom line: You’ll go faster in the water with a speed suit. The only debate is how much faster.

It’s true that strong swimmers duking it out for a handful of seconds over 1500 meters or 2.4 miles for the Kona swim prime are the primary market for swim skins. But anyone looking for that handful of seconds out of the water will benefit. For the good swimmers a swim skin makes them faster. For the rest of us a swim skin makes us less slow.

The early swim skins worked by providing a small degree of positive buoyancy while improving hydrodynamics. Swim governing bodies quickly outlawed the positive buoyancy suits. The next generation suits went for extremely snug, compression-benefit fit and non-absorbent fabric. This final generation of suits including the blueseventy PZ3TX combine all allowable technologies with the addition of hydrophobic – water fearing – performance and improved hydrodynamics along with fine details like no stitching to absorb water. Finally, the patterns for the suits – where they close at the arms and neck – have finally been optimized to manage the layer of water surrounding the swimmer.

Because the PZ3TX works partially due to compression it takes a little effort to get on.
An impressive automatic opening zipper makes removal extremely fast. 
Swim skins work most prominently by making your body smoother and smaller in the water. They cover and compress protrusions making the overall shape of the body smaller and smoother. For females, they compress the chest and block entry of water in the bust that can increase resistance. The larger your bust, the greater the potential improvement in hydrodynamics and efficiency as long as the suit provides adequate compression and a tight enough neck seal.

Additionally, while swim skins cannot be buoyant by definition, they can resist water intrusion or becoming permeated with water which would increase their tendency to sink.

The blueseventy PZ3TX uses a hydrophobic, non-absorbent fabric called BLU-TX that also has significant compression. This fabric accomplishes two agendas: It provides compression for muscular support and improvement of body hydrodynamics by smoothing and reducing the body shape in the water, and: It uses non-absorbent fabric and seams so it does not become water soaked and negatively buoyant. In short: The suit makes you smaller, smoother and doesn’t soak up water.

“In short: The suit makes you smaller, smoother and doesn’t soak up water.”

One of the innovations on the blueseventy PZ3TX is the seams. The suit is not sewn together using thread and stitching but welded together using radio frequency and heat to melt the edges together under a seam-sealing, non-absorbent fabric tape. This process is extremely strong. By flipping the charge of the molecules from positive to negative thousands of times per second they heat up, creating friction from the inside going out. A die exerts pressure on the overlapping edges of the fabrics as they near a molten state. On a molecular level, they melt together. The joint is reinforced by fabric tape welded on in the same process. The seam is waterproof, smooth, hydrodynamic and utterly non-absorbent. It is also extremely strong, effectively making the entire garment into one continuous piece of fabric – like a tight fitting “tube” you squeeze into.

At the outside edges of seams there are bar tacks to join and reinforce several seams simultaneously, but that is the only thread on the garment.

Details on the PZ3TX include the taped/welded seams that are stronger, less absrobent and more hydrodynamic than conventional sewn seams.
Notice the bar tacks in the center photo near the end of the seam finish at the leg, a durable reinforcing detail.

The blueseventy PZ3TX is donned and doffed by a zipper in the back. The zipper is 14.5 inches or 37 centimeters long, zipping down to the upper portion of the small of your back. The YKK zipper closes extremely tight and is self locking so it will not open during the swim. The zipper is a quick opening design that can be automatically disengaged for near instant opening by pulling the top of the zipper apart. The zipper is backed by a 1mm thick, two sided nylon, open cell foam draft flap that is 45 mm wide and is stitched on as with the rest of the zipper.

With minimal practice the suit comes off in a flash, the quick opening zipper is a thoughtful detail that stays securely closed while swimming. while you may need an assistant to help zip you up before the race, getting the suit off is fast.

To me the important question is: How much faster will a PZ3TX make you in the water? How much time will it save? I’ll suggest this is a nearly impossible value to quantify. The suit will not take on negative buoyancy as the swim duration increases due to the non-permeable fabric and that it exerts an improvement in hydrodynamics. It won’t get waterlogged. Perhaps the larger performance advantage may be streamlining the body through compression and “fairing” of body contours.

A confounding question of whether or not a swim skin like the blueseventy PZ3TX makes us swim faster would be easily answered with that one “golden BB” metric that proves how much time the suit saves over a given distance. Something similar to aerodynamic tests that suggest a given aero helmet will save 30 seconds over a 40 km time trial at a certain speed. I can’t provide or verify that metric.

“Basically, when wet- the PZ3TX is nearly a half pound lighter than a standard tri suit. Almost a half pound.”

We did discover this: When we weighed the PZ3TX dry it weighs 140 grams in a women’s size small. When we weighed the blueseventy Triathlon Enurance Suit dry it weight 169 grams. The Endurance Tri Suit has a chamois pad for the bike while the swim skin does not. The difference in dry weight between the suits is 18%. When we immersed the PZ3TX for ten minutes at the bottom of a four foot deep pool, along with the Triathlon Endurance Suit- then pulled them out of the water and drained them for 30 seconds before weighing them wet the Triathlon Endurance Suit weighed 429 grams wet while the PZ3TX only weighed 243 grams wet for a 44% decrease in weight when wet, a weight savings of 186 grams or 6.5 ounces or over .4 pound. That is a lot of weight in the water. Basically, when wet- the PZ3TX is nearly a half pound lighter than a standard tri suit. Almost ahalf pound. To calibrate that, put anything in your back pocket that weighs a half pound and swim with it- like a half dozen gel packets. While it is impossible for me to translate this additional weight to any potential time savings in the swim, it isn’t difficult to imagine that lighter in the water is likely faster in the water.

The one paradox to the use of a swim skin like the blueseventy PZ3TX is that, if the swim skin is worn over a standard tri suit, is there any advantage? Does the tri suit still soak up the same amount of water as it would when worn alone in addition to the (much smaller) amount of water absorbed by the swim skin? The suit still changes the hydrodynamics of the swimmer by acting as a fairing over the regular fabric tri suit. Especially in long distance events where you may wear a tri suit with back pockets, swim skins like the PZ3TX will keep pockets from acting like a drag sit in the water.

Triathlete Magazine’s Aaron Hersh recently wrote a column that included data from a trial that included three swim skins compared to a swim brief. Hersh measured overall time, heart rate and stroke count. He tested the TYR Torque Elite, TYR Torque Pro and Profile Design Mako speed suits against. His article is here.

While the validity of test protocols can be debated ad nauseu, and Hersh likely tested the suits worn by themselves (not over a tri suit), Hersh’s test does establish a trend that swim skins test faster. He estimates up to a 1:36 time savings over a 2.4 mile swim.

Ultimately a data-driven case for swim skins is difficult to produce. Tests suggest they are faster. If you put one on and swim in it, and you feel faster and have test results to show faster swim splits individually, that is a compelling argument for swim skins providing an advantage in your next race.

Monday, March 21, 2011

blueseventy triathletes face off in food fight

... but all for a good cause!  This was a food fight of a different kind.  Fresh off her Ironman NZ win, Sam Warriner took on up and comer Teresa Adam in a battle for the title of chocolate brownie Queen.  But this was not just for bragging rights - the aim was to raise money for the quake ravedged region of Christchurch.

Using their own secret brownie recipes, the girls faced off in front of a crowd at the Falls Restaurant in Auckland, where a panel of judges (including the local mayor) got to taste the final product and vote for the winner.

It was close but in the end Teresa won the contest, and her brownie will be sold at the restaurant for a month with all proceeds contributing to the $2,500 raised on the day for Christchurch.

Teresa has had some time to practice because while Sam has been out training for IMNZ Teresa has been recovering from surgery to correct a problem in her leg. But just like Sam's heart condition didn't hold her back from winning Ironman NZ, Teresa is focused on qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics later this year at the London round of the ITU World Championship series.

Huge thanks to the guys at Omakiwi Photography for the pictures!  Check out the rest on our Facebook page!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kris Gemmell wins on debut at Ironman 70.3 Singapore

Kiwi Kris Gemmell had a dream debut at the Ironman 70.3 distance, winning the event in a sharp time of 3.50.56 ahead of strong competition, including South African and Team TBB member James Cunnama and Aussie 'fish' Pete Jacobs.

Gemmell led out of the water, which is not surprising given the speed needed to be competitive in ITU racing. The big question was whether he had the strength on the bike of his competitors.  His 2:05:06 bike split that kept him in the top 3 heading into transition would suggest he certainly did!

On the run Gemmell pulled back the lead at the 10k mark, and ran a solid 1:13:40 for the half marathon to take the win just over a minute clear to Cunnama, with Pete Jacobs taking 3rd.

Just one week earlier Gemmell took out the OTU Oceania Championships in Wellington. For Gemmell, it was not just the change in distance he had to adjust to – “and no relaxing waiting for a start time in the afternoon as with my ITU races – we were up before the sun!”

In the womens race it was Mary Beth Ellis of the US that took the win after running compatriot Amy Marsh down.  Michelle Wu from Australia over came a very slow swim to take third place.  70.3 World Champion Jodie Swallow had been in the lead on the bike but made a planned withdrawal before the run due to a bone bruise on her heel.

Ironman 70.3 Singapore

Pro men
1. Kris Gemmell (NZL) 3:50:56
2. James Cunnama (RSA) 3:51:45
3. Pete Jacobs (AUS) 3:54:25
4. Patrick Vernay (NCL) 3:55:50
5. Faris Al-Sultan (GER) 3:56:13
6. Hideo Fukui (JPN) 3:56:32
7. Christian Kemp (AUS) 3:57:00
8. Scott Nyedli (GBR) 3:58:25
9. David Dellow (AUS) 4:00:08
10. Balazs Csoke (HUN) 4:02:38

Pro Women
1. Mary Beth Ellis (USA) 4:21:06
2. Amy Marsh (USA) 4:22:32
3. Michelle Wu (AUS) 4:25:31
4. Maki Nishiuchi (JPN) 4:31:11
5. Rachael Paxton (AUS) 4:36:52
6. Kirsten Molloy (AUS) 4:37:48
7. Rachael Smith (4:41:17) 4:41:17
8. Emma Ruth Smith (GBR) 4:43:56

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Triathlon Champions do their bit for Christchurch

World Champions auction items for Christchurch earthquake.

When we got a call from our friend John Newsom, who lives in the flattened city of Christchurch asking for a hand raising some money for the region, we of course were right on board, along with a few other big names of the sport.  Here's the official press release on the initiative - check out those auction items!!

Christchurch based hosts of popular podcast IM Talk ( John Newsom and Bevan Eyles endured the devastating earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand just over two weeks ago. With close to 200 deaths, thousands of residents being displaced from their homes and the central city more of less flattened to the ground the region needs the help of the worldwide triathlon community. “Whilst I suffered some significant damage to my home thankfully both Bevan and I did not loose any family or friends. We’ve now got a chance to do our part in helping our city slowly return to a new type of normality. Things will never quite be the same” comments Newsom.

With help from sponsors, race organisers, friends of the show and world champion athletes such as Chrissie Wellington, Craig Alexander, Terenzoe Bozzone and Bevan Docherty a number of auctions have been set up on E-Bay. The auctions commence on Wednesday 9th March NZT and close one week later

All items can be shipped anywhere in the world with shipping included in the auction price.

Auctions include:

  • Chrissie Wellington’s Record Breaking Shoes from Ironman Arizona
  • Craig Alexander’s race suit along with a #1 Race number (bike) from the 2010 World Championships
  • Bevan Docherty’s Jacket from the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and a Beijing Olympics singlet
  • NZ champion women’s package:
    • Sam Warriner’s Helmet Rudy Project Helmet from Ironman NZ last weekend
    • Andrea Hewitt’s ITU race kit
    • Gina Crawford’s race kit from her win at Ironman Wisconsin
    • Yvonne Van Vlerkin’s: White Skinfit-Tri Suit , Rudy Project Wingspan TT-Helmet, Rudy Project Noyz Racing Pro
  • Rachel Joyce’s – Abu Dhabi bike kit
  • Entries into
    • Every Challenge Series Race around the World (12 races in total)
    • Hood to Coast Relay - 30th Anniversary!
    • Vineman 70.3
    • Monster Middle Distance Triathlon, Ely
  • IM Talk Packages
    • IM Talk Bike JerseyBlue Seventy Axis Wetsuit
    • Newton Shoes thanks DCM Sport
    • Coffee’s of Hawaii prize pack
    • DVD Documentary “Going Long, Going Hard”
    • Salt Stick or Xlab or O2 Creations

All auctions are though E-Bay. To see the list of auctions click here  . Alternatively searches for “IM Talk” on should bring up all the auctions.

Any businesses or champion athletes who would like to support Christchurch can contact John Newsom via IM Talk and a second round of auctions may take place.

A special thanks to all the business and individuals that have offered items for these auctions. Your generosity is truly appreciated in this difficult time.

For more details contact John Newsom
Tel +64-3-9817508
Mobile +64-21399774

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blueseventy athletes dominate Aussie Open Water Champs

This weekend the open water stars of Australia and New Zealand competed in the 2011 Australian Open Water Championships at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith. Not only national titles were up for grabs, but also spots at the 10k event at the World Championships to be held in Shanghai in July. Strong performances at Shanghai also hold the promise of Olympic selection, making this event even more important.

Kane & Cara after winning NZ Corsair Classic.
Pic: Mark Tantrum Photography
Blueseventy athletes dominated the open categories, with Ky Hurst taking home Gold (by just 1sec!) in the mens 10k, and it was a clean sweep for blueseventy in the women's 10k with Melissa Gorman, Cara Baker and Danielle DeFrancesco taking 1st - 3rd respectively.  All qualified for the 10k World Championships.  Trusty NeroTX does it again!

Kane Radford took gold in the 5k which unfortunately wasn't enough for a berth at Shanghai, having finished 7th in the 10k.  Not content with their 10k medals, Danielle DeFrancesco took home silver in the 5k - missing  the gold by just 3secs, with Cara Baker grabbing the bronze.  Well that was worth getting out of bed for!

Men’s 10km
1. Ky Hurst (QLD) 1:55.04
2. Rhys Mainstone (QLD) 1:55.05
3. Trent Grimsey (QLD) 1:55.10

Women’s 10km
1. Melissa Gorman (QLD) 1:59.03
2. Cara Baker (New Zealand) 2:03.55
3. Danielle DeFrancesco (QLD) 2:04.02

Men’s 5km
1 Kane Radford (New Zealand) – 56:30
2 Codie Grimsey (QLD) - 56:32
3 Trent Grimsey (QLD) - 56:43

Women’s 5km
1 Bonnie MacDonald (QLD) – 59.18
2 Danielle DeFrancesco (QLD) – 59.21
3 Cara Baker (News Zealand) – 1:00.49

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wet but wonderful: Ironman New Zealand

It seems that Taupo is a place of extremes when it comes to weather.

Just a month ago, hundreds headed to Taupo to compete in the National Sprint Championships, which where held in temperatures in the mid 30’s, leaving many competitors looking hot and bothered and supporters looking a little pink!

But for Ironman, the weather gods had something else in mind. Rain. Not just drizzly dampness – but torrential, wet to the bone, wish you stayed in bed rain.

For over 1300 competitors this was obviously not the conditions they were hoping for.  But 1249 guttsed it out for an incredible 96.7% finish rate!

But for Sam Warriner, the weather was nothing compared to the challenges she’s faced in the last couple of months – needing surgery to repair a problem with her heart that had her pulse racing at up to 220 beats per minute. But she’s made of tough stuff, and under the guidance of new coach Jon Ackland Sam was ready to take on the challenge. Not only facing her first Ironman on home soil (and only her 2nd attempt at the distance) Sam also had 7 x IMNZ Champion Jo Lawn and 2010 IM World Champion Mirinda Carfrae to contend with, not to mention Kate Bevilaqua who won IMWA in December.

Sam had a strong swim and came out on the heels of fellow blueseventy athlete Maki Nishiuchi, and quickly put distance on Lawn and Carfrae who exited the swim a little over 2mins down. For Lawn and Carfrae, the bike quickly became a frustration with punctures holding both athletes back. Sam came off the bike 8mins ahead of Kate Bevilaqua, with Belinda Harper a further 2mins back. Lawn would need to make up a 13min deficit to catch Sam, and Carfrae had a massive 22mins to make up thanks to her bad luck on the bike. But Carfrae took the challenge and ran a 3.01.06 marathon (the 3rd fastest overall of the day!) which took her into 2nd just over 3 mins behind Sam, with Lawn also running strongly to take 3rd.

We caught up with Sam the following day to find out how she found the race. “I found the last 5km of the run really hard – I was really hurting, but I just kept thinking that I had led the race for 99% of the day and I wasn’t going to lose it in the last 1km!”

The achievement makes her just the 3rd woman to win a World ITU Championship title and an Ironman – something she wasn’t even aware of.

Rather than head off to the US for the next six months, Sam has chosen to remain based in New Zealand with husband Stephen at their home in Whangarei. Sam will be alternating between the US and NZ from now until the end of the northern hemisphere race season. Next up on the race calendar will be the Texas and New Orleans IM 70.3 races. The balance of the season will depend on how she sits on the newly established points table in her goal to qualify for Kona.

While it was the first title for Sam, Cameron Brown secured his 10th win at the event, finishing 10mins clear of Terrenzo Bozzone.

In an emotion filled speech at the awards dinner, Cam commented that making the speech never got any easier, before turning to Bozzone and joking “don’t worry Terrenzo, you’ll get your chance one day”. The pair obviously get along great and Terrenzo played up to the jibes.
IMNZ Title No. 10 for Cam Brown and No.1 for Sam Warriner

The event also marked Mark Reilly’s 100th IM commentary, and the usually talkative voice if Ironman was for once lost for words!

It was also the 100th IM finish for 38yr old Czech IM legend Petr Vabrousek, who finished 7th overall, 27mins down on Brown.

2011 Bonita IMNZ Results:
1. Cameron Brown 8.31.01
2. Terenzo Bozzone 8.41.54
3. Mathias Hecht 8.45.36

1. Samantha Warriner 9.28.24
2. Mirinda Carfrae 9.31.33
3. Joanna Lawn 9.31.53