Henry Marshall 2016 Laser Nationals and Zhik Gear review

Mentor On The Lake, OH-"The 2016 Laser Nationals kicked off in Mentor with a tricky westerly breeze that kept everyone on their toes. The morning was about seven to nine knots, and hot. It was perfect conditions for the Zhik Hybrid Suit. I combined that with a spandex top to stay as cool as possible. I personally love the Zhik hybrid suit, but it has one major flaw. The rear end padding tends to wear through quite quickly. To combat this I typically wear spandex shorts over the suit to wear something a little less expensive. The problem with this is that you sacrifice a bit of grip on the rail for downwinds."

Zhik Hybrid Suit

"Day One was a solid showing for me, and I managed to win the only race of the day. The second race of the day was abandoned due to a lack of wind. Unfortunately, I was over the line in the second race under a Z flag penalty, so a 20% penalty was added to my race two score in day two. Every day of the event I wore my Zhik Power Pads II, which I absolutely love. With the old version you’d lose a bit of feel on the rail in light air. The new power pads are like an extension of your legs, and I wear them whenever I go sailing. As the breeze died out at the end of day one, I was glad I had my coolest kit on."

Power Pads II and Hybrid Skiff Suit

"Day Two saw four races, all of which I was fortunate enough to win. Days two and three brought significantly more breeze and slightly cooler temperatures."

"Day Three was undoubtedly the most physical day, with about 14-18 knots from the southwest. It was important to have your gear dialed in through a long day of four races. I was able to pull off three firsts and a second to insure a solid lead going into the final day. When the breeze gets up a bit, I like to wear the new Zhik Microfleece Skiff Suit. It’s a medium thickness, so you won’t overheat in it. I find that it gives me just a bit more stability when hiking and the seams are cut perfectly to give you maximum movement downwind without the suiting chaffing the backs of your legs."

Microfleece Skiff Suit

"Day Four was almost no wind in the morning, and the chop from the previous day had stacked up tall, making brutal sailing conditions. I didn’t want to waste any extra weight on gear, so I dressed as light as possible wearing the Zhik Hybrid Suit and a light spandex top. Late in the starting sequence of race 10 a boat with a sail number starting in 209 was yellow flagged for a kinetics violation. Fearing that it might have been me, I took a penalty turn, as did another boat. This put me well back in the race forcing me to claw back for the first time in the event. I managed to pull off a 16th place, which I discarded."

Zhik Spandex Tops

"After the Laser fleet finished up race 10 the breeze died to almost nothing, which, with the substantial chop, made racing impossible. The race committee called off racing for the day and we were sent in. I was fortunate enough to come away with a victory, posting a score of nine points in 10 races, and claiming the title of the youngest Laser National champion in history."

To purchase Zhik gear visit our online store at www.SturgisBoatWorks.com


Catherine Towner, Marketing/Sponsorships, (508) 778-9187


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Catherine Towner

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