Myles Uren, Product Manager for Spinlock, was in Cape Town to conduct scheduled servicing on all Spinlock Deckvest VITO lifejackets in use on the 2019-20 edition of the Clipper Race. As one of the race’s Official Suppliers, these sessions are primarily run by Spinlock to ensure mandatory safety and quality checks are conducted correctly, but also gives them the opportunity to further engage crew with their brand. Each jacket was inflated, with the lights, beacons and air retention all checked before deflating them so an identical process was followed for each to ensure any anomalies were found.

The AQP from each yacht, as well as a few Race Crew members, worked with Myles to understand exactly why and how certain checks are performed so they can replicate this in future stopovers and feel more confident to take on more maintenance themselves. Feedback on the process was very positive, and Race Crew appreciated having a face to associate with the product they use so frequently and felt able to raise any questions. They wear the lifejackets every day and night onboard the yachts, ultimately putting the product through one of the toughest tests for durability, therefore any feedback on their experience of the product proves highly valuable for Spinlock.

As the confirmed lifejacket provider for both the 2019-20 and 2021-22 editions of the Clipper Race, it is a particularly key process as Myles explained: “I take the opportunity to see if there is any wear occurring on the jackets, or any feedback from the crew that we can take back for Product Development for future generations of the jacket’’.

The Spinlock South Atlantic Showdown, from Punta del Este to Cape Town, was a particularly challenging sail with extreme weather conditions so the lifejackets were certainly pushed to their limits and stood up to the challenge well. In line with naming the race, Myles presented the top three teams with a Spinlock trophy at Prizegiving and took the opportunity to catch up with the teams on how they found the leg. The Cape Town stopover provided some great opportunities for Spinlock in both their commercial benefits, as a new partner of the race spreading their brand awareness further to an international market, but also getting the Race Crew hands-on with their product and becoming a more approachable brand for them.