Groupama Team France's Forward WIP helmets
FORWARD WIP is an innovative company whose mission is to create protective gear for watersports enthusiasts, reducing the risk of injury as a result of impact.
Indeed sailing, kite surfing and windsurfing are entering a whole new era, where high-speed flight requires a complete overhaul of the gear in order to be better protected. Thanks to extensive expertise in the development of innovative, high tech sports products, FORWARD WIP is contributing to the development of these sports by introducing greater levels of protection for those involved.
For years and since the advent of the foil, Forward WIP has been collaborating with and supplying a number of America’s Cup teams with protective gear.
For this 35th edition, the Franco-Swiss company has joined forces with Groupama Team France, as well as its crew of young talent, Team France Jeune for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup.
Using data from a range of specifications and trials of several prototypes, Forward WIP has finalised the ‘CrossOver’ helmet, which is used by the French team to provide protection, comfort and a lightweight feel.
The helmet has a clean, rounded shape with a snug fit for optimum aerodynamic performance, whilst satisfying the CE standard for skiing, a standard necessary for this high-speed competition where collisions can be violent.
It should be noted that Forward WIP is keen to share these new technologies as extensively as possible. Like a number of other products, the ‘CrossOver’ helmet is available in a public version, which will enable a great many sailing and skiing enthusiasts to use the same helmet for their summer/winter activities. This helmet offers foams and protection that are suitable for environments with water and snow, making it the ideal piece of kit for sailing, watersports as well as skiing.
Grégoire Toubel, Head of Sales, Forward WIP.
“We’re extremely happy and honoured to be working with a fine team like Groupama Team France and to be giving them the opportunity to benefit from the very best protection technologies for this competition, where every detail counts in the quest to excel.”
THE HELMET DESIGN
The graphics on the helmet are open to each team. However, they must adhere by one point: the integration of a bold surface colour (orange, red, green or yellow) measuring 300cm2 making it much easier to pinpoint a crew member in the water. The team has entrusted Jean-Baptiste Epron, who is also the man behind the look of the French AC Class, with designing the helmet’s décor in line with specifications.
The French team’s cockerel, which appears on the AC Class’ sails, naturally has a role on the right and left-hand sides of the Forward WIP helmet, thus delimiting the brightly coloured zone.