Named after Freeman K. Pittman, SAIL’s long-time technical editor who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1996, the Pittman Innovation awards recognize outstanding new products created by a sailing industry that remains forever fresh in its thinking.

Sailing has always been a technology-driven activity, and the spirit of innovation that prompted the first Stone Age sailor to cast off and let the wind do the work remains as vibrant today as ever. Of course, many of today’s innovations harness the now commonplace miracles that are part and parcel of the modern era. Nonetheless, a surprising number are the product of good-old common sense, the kind of thing that prompt you to wonder, “Now why didn’t I think of that?”
This is the second recognition for LOOPX after the nomination to the Dame Award at Mets 2013.
We really really proud of the achievement and really thanks the team of judges Adam Court, Charles J. Doane, Jay Paris, Ben Ellison and David Schmidt and working hard to come up with even more impressive products.

SPK is an innovative system developed by PROtect tapes with the support of professional sailors to hoist gennaker and spinnaker much safer and to respect the environment. Today there are various solutions to pack these sails, some very expensive, others less safe.
In designing the product, special attention had been devoted to the material and the choice went to of buttons made of recycled materials. 
They must be applied to the luff tape of the sails.
They can be glued, sewn or screwed. All methods are very simple, no special skills required. 
Additionally, the characteristic V-shaped groove is capable of retaining the thread till the sail is dropped.
At first the end of the string is wrapped around the button then around the compacted sail and finally around the button again.

The operation is very simple and can be performed by one person only.
There are no more knots, reducing the time required to compact the sail.
When the sail is set and the threads broken, the sail expresses all its propulsive force.
The broken threads are retained from the throat of each button, without falling into the sea, whether of wool or biodegradable and compostable material like our yarn ball SPK003 (not included in the kit).
The crew will then remove them when the sail is lowered or at the end of the race.
SPK allows therefore to get back to the method used in the past, now much cheaper and environmentally friendly to respect our planet.
Finally the packaging, extreme reduction to the lowest possible level.

To watch the video


  • all materials are recycled and recyclable
  • low cost
  • environmental friendly use
  • compliance to the regulations of our sport and the code of ethics
  • less dexterity is required 
  • no need for help to compact the sail
  • standardization of the packing process
  • possibility of packing only one portion of the sail
  • reduction of the sail preparation time
  • increases reliability

PROtect tapes launches the 49er kit designed and optimized by the Australian champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.
The kit contains twenty eight different pieces already die cut, easy to apply just removing the liner and one roll of tapes to improve the performance and reliability of the skiff designed by Julian Bethwaite.
Just a couple of examples: PTFE tapes to be applied inside the throat to make easier to hoist and drop the kite or to minimize the friction inside the pole launcher. UHMWPE to eliminate the gap on rudder stock or avoid friction/abrasion of the pole on deck.

PMK049 contains the following items:

51 mm x 0.2m – 2 pieces
100 mm x 0.4m – 2 pieces
51 mm x 3.0m – 1 piece
25 mm x 0,05m – 2 pieces
25 mm x 0,05m – 2 pieces
25 mm x 0,05m – 2 pieces
51 mm x 1m – 2 pieces  
51 mm x 0,05m – 1 piece  
51 mm x 0,05m – 1 piece
25 mm x 0,1m – 2 pieces  
25 mm x 0,1m – 2 pieces  
25 mm x 1m – 1 piece  
25 mm x 1m – 1 piece
25 mm x 1m – 1 piece
51 mm x 0.3m – 4 pieces
12 mm x 33m – 1 roll
51 mm x 2.0m – 1 piece
Pole Launcher
Inside kite throat
Deck for Pole 
Strip in front of Foot Straps
Control Line Holes
Trapeze Shockcord Holes
Side of Mast Step for Jib Sheet
Mainsheet Ratchet Block
Boom for Out Haul
Vang Top
Vang Bottom
Rudder Stock
Rudder Stock
Rudder Stock
To Cover Tip Bolts, Spreader Tips, To cover T Balls and Turnbuckles
Jib Luff          

The kit will be officially launched in Zadar (Croatia) at the 2012 49er Worlds.

PROtect tapes is widely used by Olympic sailor of 470, Star, Laser, 49er and is the choice of many national Olympic teams.

A great sunday in for the 4th event of Audi Sailing Series Melges 32.
The series winner is the spanish crew Bribon, leader since day one, very consistent, four times on the top three.
Behind them, many teams tried to attack the leader without success but Robertissima took the second place and Argo the third.
Fantastica ends the week in ninth position, keeping the circuit leadership by thirteen points, a solid advantage but not impossible to close.
Melges 32 will resume in Porto Rotondo for the final series valid as World Champioship too (16-22 Septempter 2013)
PROtect tapes is widely used on Melges 32.

Frank Cammas and Groupama is the winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 after a journey of 37,000 miles around the globe.
The french team well deserve the victory and is a combination of several factors including consistency and reliability.
In the first leg down to Cape Town they took brave tactical decisions splitting from the fleet along the Marocco coast and Groupama 4 broke the mast in leg 5 Auckland to Itajaí holding a narrow lead over Puma. This is the Volvo Ocean Race.
We met the V70 team in Lorient in July 2010. PROtect tapes was the supplier of the little Extreme 40.
This edition has been extremely challenging not only for the crews and shore teams but for our products.
Yesterday we got confirmation that some of the tapes applied before the start in Alicante were still on the mast.
All teams stressed the two essential points of the solutions required and provided: performance and lightness. 

Research & Innovation team has gathered very useful information, essential for the continuos performance program of PROtect tapes, few new products will be launched after this experience.

PROtect tapes
 is widely used on the Volvo 70 but each team is taking a different approach about chafing, friction and abrasion.

The only common products for all team are PMF076965330 and PMF125965330, glass coated PTFE used with silocon adhesive as mold release that has been used for the boat construction, during the stopover for small repair and in the few unforeseen pit stops.

PROtect CHAFE is used on the mast, on the deck and on the daggerboards and PROtect MASK on the rigging.

This is the list of the products normally used on the V70 (plus some tailor made products developed for some of teams):

PROtect CHAFE in various widths and lenghts

PROtect tapes is also official supplier of Team Telefonica.

Josh McKnight is the 2012 Zhik Moth World Champion.
The day started with Josh (AUS) ahead of three point of Scott Babbage (AUS) who dominated the qualifying series and x on xx.
Scott was rounding the first mark first but he capsized on a tricky downwind leg allowing Josh to take the leading position and keep in till the finishing line. After this race Johs was three points ahead of Scott
Race two saw a good comeback of Scott, finishing second after Rob Gough (AUS) and Josh third and because an additional discard the final race started  with the Australian separated by just one point.
The ninth and final race of a fanstastic sailing week has been dominated by Josh who well deserve the 2012 World Championship title, followed by Scott Babbage and Rob Gough.  

PROtect tapes is widely used on Moth and other skiff and PROtect tapes proposes a special kit developed by Simon Payne.
The whole Italian team was using it in Campione together with Scott Babbage (AUS), Bora Gulari (USA), John Harris (AUS), Brad Funk (AUS) and Simon Payne (GBR).

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