The organising team at the inaugural Challenge Penticton long distance triathlon in Canada have confirmed that UK wetsuit brand Huub will be the Swim Course Sponsor for the event’s first outing on 25 August 2013.
It’s been a busy few months for the Huub brand. Towards the end of 2012, Huub celebrated its first birthday. Over the past 12 to 18 months, it has been building momentum – with distribution under way in North America and with expansion in burgeoning European tri markets, such as Spain and Poland.
Then, in February, having previously released two ‘Question of Sport’ style teaser videos, the wetsuit and swim specialist released its final video, which showed the Brownlee brothers choosing Huub. In a four year deal, Olympic Triathlon champion, Alistair Brownlee joined his bronze-medal winning ITU World Champion brother, Jonathan, as high profile sponsored athletes for the Huub brand.
Huub also scooped two key awards at the major 220 Triathlon Awards ceremony earlier this month. The brand was staggered to be singled out not once but twice – winning the coveted Wetsuit Brand of the Year 2013 award; and with the Huub Archimedes wetsuit scoring with the Innovative Product of the Year 2013 award.
Challenge Family in North America
“As the world watches the achievements of the [Brownlee] brothers, a new era in wetsuits will follow suit… not unlike the new era of triathlon right here in Penticton,” said Barb Haynes, Challenge Penticton’s General Manager.
“Seems like a perfect fit to us here at Challenge Penticton,” Haynes added.
In August last year, the Challenge Family announced the expansion of its global series of long distance triathlons into North America with the launch of Challenge Penticton in Canada. Challenge Penticton joins the Challenge Family’s series of races that includes the world’s largest iron distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany.
Penticton has historically been the home of rival Ironman, with its Ironman Canada event.
Acknowledging the role of Penticton, British Columbia, for long distance triathlon over the years, Challenge Family CEO Felix Walchshöfer said that bringing together two of triathlon’s oldest and most respected races reinforced the all-important legacy of the sport.
“The towns of Roth in Germany and Penticton in Canada have both grown remarkable races since the earliest days of the sport. To have them together in one family, both in the hands of their respective communities, ensures this legacy will continue for years to come,” said Walchshöfer.
Huub brings together ‘research, science and reality’
Wetsuit and apparel specialist Huub was formed in late 2011 with a vision to create better products combining research, science and reality. Combining some of the endurance sport industry’s greatest experts – such as SwimSmooth, Huub Toussaint and the Eidnhoven Facility – Huub is constantly striving to maximize performance and comfort for the athlete.
Huub Toussaint, the principal investigator at the Swimming Research Centre in the Netherlands, has conducted extensive testing to determine the best position in the water, based on individual athlete ability at open water swimming.
He stated, “Since 85% of triathletes don’t typically come from a strong swimming background, a decision to purchase the appropriate wetsuit can definitely affect their outcome. For triathlon in particular, effort from the legs to assist body position needs to be controlled and energy conserved for the bike and run.”
Continuing its focus on the science behind swimming, and with the aim of challenging some myths about wetsuit buoyancy, Prof Huub Toussaint and the team at Huub recently released a white paper. With limited data available in the marketplace, and to assess any claims that could be made about wetsuit buoyancy, the authors – Huub Toussaint, Erik Simons, Merel Toussaint and Dean Jackson – conducted their own research into the buoyancy of different wetsuit materials.
The authors hope that the findings from their research can open up a debate and assist in the correct comparison of wetsuits available in the market.