By Gary Anderson

July 3 - sfg13d2-69British Sailing has announced a new four-year partnership with Zhik Sailing Clothing, which sees the company become the Official Technical Clothing Partner to the British sailing team.

The deal will see the sailing apparel and clothing company provide technical support to the 86 sailors and 40 support staff that make up British Sailing's Olympic and Paralympic squads.

Zhik says it will work with the members of the British team to develop clothing that ensures the athletes' body temperature is maintained during long spells on the water as well as aiding agility, performance and comfort in all types of weather conditions.

"Our athletes are constantly moving around the boat, hanging off trapezes and hoisting up huge spinnakers in challenging and changeable weather conditions," said Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Olympic manager, Stephen Park.

"Sailing as a sport requires very specific technical clothing, and for our sailors what they wear out on the water is vital to helping them perform at their very best day in, day out."

Founded in 2003, Zhik aims to deliver technically proficient apparel for racing on water and its products are being used in over 40 countries around the world.

"Zhik has a comprehensive understanding of what the athletes need when racing, and is constantly looking for innovative ways to better its technical range," said Park.

"With that in mind we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them in the coming years."

sfg13d2-560-2New partnership will see Zhik working closely with British sailors to develop clothing to help maintain body temperature when out on the water

The partnership will see Zhik working with the British Sailing team in the build up to Rio 2016, where they will hope to at least match their haul of five medals at London 2012.

Britain won four silver medals during Olympic competition at Weymouth, to add to Ben Ainslie's gold in the Finn class.

Dylan Fletcher and partner Alain Sign just missed out on qualifying for the London 2012 British sailing squad in the 49er class, and he believes that the new partnership will benefit British sailors, particularly in his own skiff category.

"I'm a big fan of Zhik kit - it has always been at the forefront of sailing kit since they started out, especially for skiff sailing where flexibility is of such an importance to us," he said.

Dylan FletcherDylan Fletcher (left) and Alan Sign are currently in action at the 49 and 49er FX European Championship 2013 in Aarhus

"My favourite bits of kit are the Microfleece Skiff Suit coupled with the Titanium top, which keep me warm but most importantly allow me to run around the boat without feeling like the kit is slowing me down," added Fletcher, who is currently at the 49er and 49er FX European Championship 2013 in Aarhus, taking place from June 29 to July 7.

Simon Payne of Zhik commented: "We are honoured to be working with the British Sailing Team for this next four year cycle.

"As the team's new Official Technical Clothing Partner, our focus will be on working with the team to develop new products and systems that will allow this country's athletes to perform better at all their key events on the world stage."

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