55°S – 67°17´W Cape Horn is a dream for all sailors and today it comes true for PROtect and Ericsson 3.
and is widely considered to be the most southerly point of South America, and marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage; for many years it was a major milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world.
However, the waters around the cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors’ graveyard.
The longest leg of Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 is 12,300 nautical miles long, a challenging slog for the crew, boat and equipment because of both the duration and the changing weather conditions therefore long lasting protection of all surfaces from wear and tear is really required.
PROtect tapes are pressure sensitive tapes using extremely high molecular weight polyethylene film with an aggressive acrylic adhesive, a very tough material, with the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic presently made.
It has a very low coefficient of friction, is self-lubricating and is highly resistant to abrasion (15 times more resistant to abrasion than carbon steel) therefore widely used for lines and ropes dragging over the deck, mast and boom protection.
PROtect mask are pressure sensitive tapes using thin film of highly tensilized skived PTFE (a synthetic fluoropolymer well known as TeflonÒ) with a high temperature silicon adhesive. These tapes have an extremely low coefficient of friction therefore suitable for wrapping parts where build up can occur.
PROtect tapes and PROtect mask on Ericsson 3 were the first to move into safer waters of Atlantic Ocean followed by Ericsson and Puma, all using PROtect. Who is going to cross first the finishing line in Rio de Janeiro? Not a big deal for us, because PROtect is the preferred material by all Volvo teams.