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Sailor Paddy Hutchings wearing Gill's OS2 Offshore System Jacket made from at least 13 recycled plastic bottles

What do champion sailors wear at sea?

16 May 2022

After a decade spent finessing his sport, up-and-coming sailor Paddy Hutchings still has so much more to give.

Paddy Hutchings is not only embarking on his first solo campaign at the tender age of 21, but he is also campaigning for ocean conservation and sustainability along the way (#Sail4Sustainability). Hutchings’ background is in double-handed racing, where just two crew members control every factor on board the boat. The intense sport requires a lot of preparation, including finding appropriate clothing that will feel comfortable in any weather.

Hutchings was looking for a brand that shared his passion and offered eco-friendly kit. He found Gill, the world-leading marine clothing brand that is pushing the boundaries when it comes to sustainable apparel for sailing, watersports and outdoor living.

Hutchings sailing in the Gill OS2 Offshore Trousers & Jacket each made from 98% recycled materials

Now the face of Gill’s collections, Hutchings shares more about what he needs to succeed on the racetrack.

What do you enjoy about double-handed racing?

To compete, you have to push yourself physically as far as possible. And being able to work together with just one other person on the boat is great, as achieving your goals is all the more rewarding.

When I am practising on my own, I sail a MACH 2 Moth foiling boat around the Plymouth Sound. Foiling was a new type of sailing for me, and I spent the cold winter months getting to grips with it – so I was grateful for my warm kit! I’ve loved learning how to sail a foiling boat and it has made me rethink the fundamentals of the sport, even if it means I fall in the water a lot!

I bought the Moth because I predict that the future of sailing is foiling, especially in performance classes. I’ve already seen this shift happen across the sport, especially with the way the IMOCA and Figaro races have evolved.

14.9% less Co2 emissions are generated after using recycled nylons found in selected Gill products

What is in your kit bag?

For dinghy racing, I have been using Gill’s ZenTherm Skiff Suit. I find it to be both warm and flexible to sail in. I also use the Gill Aqua Parka before and after I sail; it is perfect for keeping me warm and motivated on colder days.

My kit bag for offshore racing is a bit more interesting. A must-have is the new Gill OS2 Offshore System, which is a range of clothing made from 98 per cent recycled materials. And my Gill x Armadillo merino wool base layer is also amazing for keeping me warm and wicking away moisture. The Gill Kynance sunglasses and the technical marine sun hat make an appearance in better weather.

Gill’s new plant-based XPEL fabric coating is four times more durable than previous water repellent coatings and free from harmful PFCs

Which item out of the new collection do you like the most?

Overall, I am really impressed with the quality and comfort of the Neoprene products. The first time I wore them I spent eight hours a day on the water for multiple days and never once did I feel uncomfortable, which I have struggled with before while wearing other brands. A new bit of kit that I love is the Eco Pro Rash Vest, which is made from recycled plastic bottles, which shows Gill’s environmental awareness.

What advice would you give anyone thinking of taking up sailing? 

Sailing has offered me experiences that I could never have dreamt of. It has also ignited a passion for the environment. Being so close to nature and being able to do my part to protect it gives me something to focus on and strive for. People considering sailing should go for it; there’s not one day I regret it!