LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To celebrate its 80th anniversary, Speedo, the world’s leading swimwear brand, today launched the new SPEEDO® LZR RACER™, which independent testing has shown to be the world’s fastest swimsuit.
Speedo has harnessed the expertise of NASA and a number of international research institutes to create a faster suit which has 10% less passive drag* than Speedo’s FASTSKIN FSII launched in 2004 and 5% less passive drag* than Speedo’s FASTSKIN FS-PRO®, which was launched in March 2007 and has seen swimmers break 21 World Records as a result.
Made from an ultra lightweight, low drag, water repellent, and fast-drying fabric unique to Speedo called LZR PULSE™, the LZR RACER is the world’s first fully bonded swimsuit that is ultrasonically welded which gives the effect of no seams at all. Ultra low drag LZR panels are embedded into the base fabric to create a Hydro Form Compression System helping to compress the entire swimmer’s body into a more streamlined shape and enabling them to cut through the water with more power and agility.
“When I hit the water, I feel like a rocket,” said Michael Phelps, holder of six World Records, who has been involved in the suit’s development. Phelps will be sporting the LZR RACER as he sets out to achieve a record-setting eight gold medals later this year. “I can’t wait to race in it – this is going to take the sport of swimming to a new level.”
His comments, echoed by other elite swimmers, are gratifying for Speedo’s research and development team, Aqualab, who have spent more than three years in intensive research and development to create their most hydro-dynamically advanced swimsuit to date.
Speedo scanned the bodies of more than 400 elite swimmers and held technical tests involving more than 100 different fabrics and suit designs in the world’s leading flume and test centers, including the NASA Langley Research Center, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and Otago University in New Zealand. Speedo also utilized Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software from ANSYS, Inc., whose technology is also used in F1 motor racing and America’s Cup yachting.
The result is an engineered swimsuit whose 3D anatomical shape has a Core Stabilizer with a corset-like grip to support and hold the swimmer so they can maintain the best body position in the water for longer without losing freedom or flexibility of movement.
The LZR RACER’s unique design also provides swimmers with up to 5% more efficiency** in terms of their oxygen intake, enabling them to swim stronger for longer. “It makes it easier to swim faster,” said Rick Sharp, Exercise Physiologist, Iowa State University.
The Speedo LZR RACER has been declared “out of this world” by swimmers involved in its development and testing. “It’s like swimming downhill,” says World Record-holder Libby Lenton (AUS). According to World and Olympic backstroke champion Natalie Coughlin (USA), “it’s super tight but it really feels like part of your body when you put it on.” Double-Olympic champion Grant Hackett (AUS) commented that “it’s the best suit yet and looks like something out of a futuristic movie.”
The unique “space age” design of the Speedo LZR RACER brings about another world first – where elite performance meets avant-garde fashion – through the involvement of international fashion label Comme des Garçons whose founder Rei Kawakubo formed a key part of the design team. Her striking design on the side panel of the suit incorporates the character “kokoro” meaning Heart, Mind, Spirit, by celebrated Japanese calligrapher Inoue Yu-ichi. Kawakubo said” When we come to combine the development of the highest technology that is the realm of Speedo with the force and spirit of the art of Yu-ichi, records will surely be broken.”
Speedo co-President David Robinson said: “Speedo has been leading the world in swimwear design since 1928 and our commitment to innovation in design and technology is the backbone to everything we do. We are particularly proud, in our 80th year, to be launching the Speedo LZR RACER which has broken new boundaries in performance swimwear and which we know will help elite athletes achieve their ultimate performances in 2008. It’s our 80th birthday present to the world of swimming.”
Speedo LZR RACER, which has been approved by FINA (Fédération International de Natation Amateur), will debut at national trials around the world from March 2008. A retail version of the suit will go on sale in May 2008.
In the U.S., three silhouettes of the LZR RACER will be available for men and women, retailing between $290 and $550.
SPEEDO® is a registered trademark of and used under license from Speedo International Ltd.
Warnaco Swimwear, Inc., a division of The Warnaco Group Inc. (NASDAQ:WRNC), is the authorized licensee of the SPEEDO® trademark in North American and the Caribbean.
Please review the supplemental fact sheet for additional details. For further press information, imagery or to arrange an interview, please contact:
|Audra Silverman||Carrie Grandits|
|Brener Zwikel & Associates||French West Vaughn|
|(212) 708-1703||(212) 330-0701|
Note to Editors
*Passive drag affects a swimmer in the streamlined position which is achieved after the initial dive and after a turn. During a 50m race, a swimmer is likely to be in the streamlined position for up to 15m. In tests the swimmer is in an immobile streamlined position in a flowing water flume, hence passive.
** In tests comparing LZR RACER and training swimwear
¹Skin friction or surface drag is the force that tends to slow a swimmer down by means of the water passing along the surface of the suit and/or skin. As the characteristics of the water can’t be changed the solution for the swimmer is to make the suit/skin as smooth as possible. Essentially the rougher the surface the more likely it is to ‘grab’ onto the water that is moving by. Greater body coverage with low frictional materials that don’t restrict movement is required to reduce skin friction drag.
Born on Bondi Beach near Sydney, Australia in 1928, SPEEDO® is the world's top-selling swimwear brand. The brand's heritage derives from its leadership in competitive swimming, where more Olympic Gold Medals have been won in Speedo than any other brand. Eight-time Olympic Medalist Michael Phelps is among the elite swimmers who wear SPEEDO® Fastskin® technology. Building on its authentic base, the SPEEDO® product line has dramatically expanded over the years. It now includes women's fashion and fitness swimwear, men's water shorts, kid's swimwear, active wear, footwear, and a comprehensive collection of aquatic and fitness equipment. For more information visit, www.SpeedoUSA.com.
The Warnaco Group, Inc., headquartered in New York, is a leading apparel company engaged in the business of designing, sourcing, marketing and selling intimate apparel, menswear, jeanswear, swimwear, men's and women's sportswear and accessories under such owned and licensed brands as Warner's®, Olga®, Body Nancy Ganz®, and Speedo®, as well as Chaps® sportswear and denim, and Calvin Klein® men's and women's underwear, men’s and women’s bridge apparel and accessories, men's and women's jeans and jeans accessories, junior women's and children's jeans and men’s and women's swimwear.