Louisa tells us about her favourite base layer from the Gill Race Collection.

When it comes to sailing gear it’s no secret that I love stuff that is first and foremost comfortable but also a little bit stylish. Enter the Gill Race Collection Long Sleeve T-Shirt. It’s the comfortable and breathable UV shirt that performs every time you wear it, time and time again. It's that UV shirt that doesn’t even feel like you're wearing a technical shirt. It's not like all the other UV shirts that are a bit too heavy or too warm, especially in warm weather sailing.

I think it’s safe to say everyone’s looking for that comfortable and breathable shirt that they can wear all day racing without feeling, let’s say, less than fantastic by the time they get off the water; especially racers.

RC Long Sleeve T-Shirt

The race collection long sleeve t-shirt is quick drying, UV 50+ and super lightweight not to mention extremely comfortable due to its satin-silk like feel. What makes this UV shirt unique is that the UV protection is sewn into the fabric rather than sprayed on top like most. The ultra-light weight material and breathability makes the shirt perfect for those warm weather sailing days where you want/need some sort of protection from the UV rays without sweltering from having a base layer on. 

What also makes it great is that it does not have a high neck line like most rash guards rather it has a crew neck making it a bit more comfortable, not limiting your mobility and reducing the chance of irritation while you move around the boat. (There is a high neck option if you prefer, as of spring 2014).

The race collection long sleeve t-shirt is also stylish with its sleek lines, loose fit, and hitting just below the hips. This also makes it a great option for your time off the boat as well as on – hey, there is nothing wrong with looking good during the award ceremony or while you de-rig or clean the boat. It’s a great alternative for those sailors and/or racers seeking a breathable, lightweight and quick drying performance shirt who would rather not wear a rash guard or (heavier) UV top.

Furthermore the shirt is as durable as I’ve ever seen for a light weight performance top. My boyfriend will wear his all weekend for a regatta and that shirt out performs every time, even with all that gets thrown at it: beer, sweat, sunscreen and more beer. He’s had it for almost three years now and it looks the same from the first day he got it; which is pretty incredible for a white shirt. There’s no perspiration stains or tear’s in the fabric or stains from grease; whereas shirts he’s had for a year are completely worn out and stain ridden.

From personal experience (when I got one of the worst sunburns of my life from head to toe, literally), the race collection long sleeve t shirt was the only thing I could wear that would not hurt or irritate my skin, yet it was still breathable during the hot June days and kept me warm when I needed it while my skin recuperated. We all know how it gets when you have a horrible burn (you feel cold but your skin is hot) - it was the perfect shirt to wear.  

Let me tell you - last time I forget to put on more sunscreen. My boyfriend didn’t get his shirt back for two days as I wore that shirt 24/7 while I got over the immediate repercussions of the burn. All I can say is thank god for this shirt; I’m sure I would have been way crankier than I already was! And yes, I know, I should have worn more sunscreen.

To say the least, when customers come in, especially racers, and are looking for a recommendations on light weight base layers, my go to shirt is the race collection long sleeve t-shirt. And Yes, race collection is a bit more expensive than the average base layer top or UV shirt but it’s tough as nails and lasts longer; 100% worth the money. 

And yes, a selfie was necessary. Don't we all take selifes when we're burnt like lobsters?  

Tags: Gill, Gill race collection, Race Collection, Base Layer, UV protection

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